Michael Chang, vice president for energy and sustainability at Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc. (Nasdaq: HST), participated in a video interview in conjunction with Nareit’s REITworks: 2022 Conference held on Sept. 12-13 in La Quinta, California.
Chang explained that Host has been involved with the Science Based Target initiative (SBTi) from early on and was one of the first companies to set a science-based target in 2016. Those targets were reset in 2020 to the 1.5-degree Celsius level of ambition.
Host is now in a new target-setting process to set a fourth generation of goals that will be aligned with SBTi, Chang said. “We are focused on science-based target verification and it’s also a critical component as you’re thinking about long term aspirations and setting those interim goals.”
Looking ahead, Chang said he sees increased funds and scrutiny surrounding ESG. “I think we’ll see a pop of innovation as companies are setting net zero targets and decarbonizing. We need that technology to make progress toward goals.”
Chang also touched on pending regulation from the Securities and Exchange Commission that he said is going to drive standardization around metrics, verification, and the valuation of ESG to businesses. This will result in the integration of ESG into more traditional business functions, he added.
As incoming chair of the Real Estate Sustainability Council (RESC), Chang also said top areas of focus include decarbonization, getting to net zero, supply chains, and data management.