AvalonBay Sees Corporate Citizenship as Key Operating Element

Mark Delisi, vice president for corporate responsibility at AvalonBay Communities, Inc. (NYSE: AVB), participated in a video interview at Nareit’s ESG Forum 2019 at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point in Bonita Springs, Florida.

Last year, AvalonBay was the only apartment REIT named to the CR Magazine 100 Best Corporate Citizens list. Delisi emphasized that understanding how AvalonBay interacts with the society around its buildings is a key piece of operating as a company.

Delisi also commented that the governance element of ESG is an important element in terms of showing how well the company is run. “Investors hone in on the governance piece,” he said.

Meanwhile, the social aspect of ESG is harder to quantify and show the value of, he noted. For AvalonBay, however, “it’s a key differentiator for us in terms of talent attraction and retention.”

In terms of tenant engagement, Delisi pointed to the company’s week-long disaster preparedness program for residents, which is part of AvalonBay’s four-year commitment to the American Red Cross. The company also hosts a Spirit of Caring month, he noted.