05/07/2012 | by
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Communication Important to Sustainability Plan

Boston Properties' (NYSE: BXP) senior vice president and general counsel Frank Burt says it's important to communicate a company's sustainability work to a number of constituents, including shareholders, tenants and employees.

Burt spoke with REIT.com during the 2012 NAREIT Leader in the Light Working Forum in Dallas last month. He said the office REIT believes in transparency when it comes to letting others know the types of sustainability efforts the company is involved in.

"What we've been doing over the course of the last couple of years is working on making sure that the practices we've been developing down in the field get communicated across the entire company in different regions," he said. "So, when we find something that's very effective, we're able to implement it across our portfolio."

Additionally, Burt said Boston Properties also works to communicate those measures to investors and tenants so that they are aware of what particular initiatives the company is working on.

"We also focus on trying to deliver expenses for our tenants that are reasonable so that we can attract and retain new tenants. These strategies align quite well with the efficiencies we've seen in the sustainability field," Burt noted.

He the initiatives that the company has been taking part in over the years are almost identical to some of the sustainability practices currently being developed.

Boston Properties has a detailed sustainability section highlighted on its website. Burt said that section of the website grew out of various conversations during the past three years with investors who were interested in finding out more about sustainability initiatives that the company was taking part in.

"We pulled together the information, and it's been a tremendous positive benefit to us to be able to communicate this to a larger audience. I think other companies can benefit from this as well, so I think you'll see more in the future," Burt said.

Burt said that in addition to make simpler changes like lighting retrofits, he said companies are now developing a more systematic approach to sustainability.

He also said that in the particular markets Boston Properties operate in, it's important to keep ahead of regulations and know what they are doing.

"We try to be engaged with the decision makers so that there are no surprises," Burt pointed out.