Alaine Coffey, senior associate, equity research at Green Street, participated in a video interview in conjunction with Nareit’s REITworks: 2022 Conference in La Quinta, California, on Sept. 12-13.
Coffey addressed the inconsistencies in ESG taxonomy, reporting, and standards, and said that she believes there’s a strong demand for consolidation among both industry participants and investors.
“It’s not easy for companies to…sift through all the different reporting frameworks and what they need to do—and it’s hard for investors to do the same thing,” she said, adding that the federal regulation in Europe that includes disclosure mandates will begin to drive overall industry consolidation.
Coffey highlighted the importance of comparability when it comes to Green Street’s examination of corporate level emissions at REITs.
“If you have two buildings—identical energy usage, identical buildings—on different grids, a building on a hydropower grid in Seattle will have lower emissions than your coal-powered grid in West Virginia,” she said.
Turning to the risk new ESG regulations are posing for REITs, Coffey said Greet Street wants to see companies investing in the energy retrofitting needed to get buildings to adapt to and comply with these regulations.
“It’s not just enough to be net zero on a corporate level—it’s how you get to net zero,” she said.