Kimberly Pexton, vice president for sustainability at JBG SMITH (NYSE: JBGS), participated in a video interview in conjunction with Nareit’s REITworks: 2022 Conference held on Sept. 12-13 in La Quinta, California.
Pexton discussed reasons for a REIT to set a defined net zero strategy. She said it was “important to lean into this existential challenge that we’re all faced with. Each industry, each business, not just REITs or the real estate industry in general, has a stewardship responsibility to protect natural resources."
As for how REITs should go about setting goals and establishing a timeline, Pexton stressed that “data is your friend.” The first step is for companies to gather the information relative and relevant to their carbon footprint, she said. “Understanding what your total footprint is will start to give light to the areas you need to focus on to start setting targets and making that net zero or carbon neutrality achievement viable.”
Pexton also urged companies to not be afraid of making commitments, despite concerns about whether those publicly stated climate goals can ultimately be met. “We need them to push the industry forward.”