09/22/2023 | by Nareit Staff

Nareit kicked off Climate Week 2023 with a webinar featuring REIT industry sustainability leaders on implementing strategies to assess climate-related risk, reduce the carbon footprint of the built environment, and access sustainable capital to finance the transition to low-carbon buildings.

“Climate Risk and Decarbonization Strategies of REITs,” presented on Sept. 18 and available here to rewatch, featured speakers from three REITs:

  • Kristin Brown, director of sustainability, Rexford Industrial Realty, Inc.
  • Kelly Meissner, vice president, corporate ESG and sustainability, Ventas
  • Chris Pennington, director of energy and sustainability, Iron Mountain

Jessica Long, Nareit’s SVP of environmental stewardship and sustainability, moderated the session. Each REIT presenter has a case study featured in Nareit’s REIT Industry ESG Report 2023.

Brown, Meissner, and Pennington shared how they are moving decarbonization plans forward from commitment to action and implementation, including achieving 24/7 clean energy in data centers and embedding decarbonization plans into annual budget processes. They also discussed the approach to engaging cross-functional teams internally and externally to achieve their goals, and how they are approaching financial impediments to doing whole-building energy retrofits on your properties and portfolios.

Divya Bendre, head of sustainable fixed income, Americas for Bank of Americas, Sustainable Banking Solutions Group, joined the panelists to discuss real world impacts of sustainable practices and the need to continue to rachet up impact for sustainable finance.