John Isakson, chief financial officer at Preferred Apartment Communities (NYSE: APTS), participated in a video interview during REITwise 2022: Nareit’s Law, Accounting & Finance Conference held in Orlando, Florida on March 23-25.
Isakson said Preferred Apartment Communities realized over the past two years that it needed to be more engaged in ESG issues and is now working on its first sustainability report as a result.
“[It has] helped us coalesce the efforts we had across the company,” he said. “There were a lot of things we were doing already that were meaningful and made a difference—we just hadn’t done a very good job of coming up with a cohesive strategy.”
Isakson added that the REIT investor perspective on ESG issues has shifted from qualitative to quantitative; and that public companies must work with their finance teams on data assurance to be able to present a “good collection” of data in a cohesive matter.
Isakson also said that having sustainability information assured by a third party is “a little bit of the Wild West right now,” but will ultimately be necessary in order for metrics to be “not just measurable, but also comparable.”