02/24/2023 | by
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1315_Nareit Testimonials_JumpStart_Harry_Etra_2023-02-02_v2

Harry Etra, CEO of HXE Partners—a sponsor of Nareit’s ESG JumpStart: 2023 Virtual Class Series—participated in a video interview in conjunction with the event.

Etra said that having a leadership-level commitment to ESG issues will ultimately lead to an effective program for REITs.

“Having a connection between the broader business strategy and ESG, rather than considering ESG as a siloed part of the organization, really requires that top-down buy-in when it comes to ESG,” he noted.

Turning to ESG oversight structures, Etra said that board-level oversight is increasingly being seen at REITs, with the board ultimately responsible for the ESG strategy—but followed up through a designated committee, like the nominating corporate governance committee, where ESG oversight ultimately sits.

“Increasingly we’re [also] seeing more involvement from the risk committee or the audit committee,” he said. “Going down to the management level, you typically see some form of cross-functional ESG task force or committee that’s responsible for implementing an ESG program.”

Etra added that as an investor-focused ESG advisory firm, HXE Partners works with clients to develop, implement, and report on their ESG strategies.

“We make sure that [our clients] are set up for success by aligning what they do when it comes to ESG with what their broader business strategy is,” he said.