Ari Frankel, assistant vice president of sustainability and high performance buildings at Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. (NYSE: ARE), participated in a video interview at Nareit’s ESG Forum 2019 at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point in Bonita Springs, Florida.
Frankel, the 2019 chair of Nareit’s Real Estate Sustainability Council, discussed the release of Alexandria’s first corporate responsibility report, which highlighted the REIT’s efforts to minimize and reduce the impact that its buildings have on the environment. Alexandria’s sustainability goals through 2025 include targeting LEED Gold or Platinum certification on all new ground-up construction projects, and energy consumption 25 percent, greenhouse gas pollution 30 percent, and potable water consumption 10 percent.
Frankel also discussed the significance of Alexandria’s first green bond, issued in June 2018, noting that “the pool of green capital continues to grow.”
Frankel said that because the health and well-being of tenants can be tied to financial performance, it is not just important to Alexandria but to the broad commercial real estate market, noting the rise in building certifications for health as a driver of Alexandria’s top score globally in the GRESB Health & Well-being module. Having health certifications “helps companies with their attraction and recruitment…and life science and technology tenants are in a global competition for talent.”
Frankel said Alexandria’s corporate responsibility report discloses more than 2,700 volunteer hours in areas supporting those four disciplines, as well as more than $14 million delivered to 175 nonprofit organizations doing “mission critical” work, including medical research.
“Social responsibility [is] really at the core of everything we do at Alexandria,” Frankel said. He noted that the REIT’s strategic philanthropy is focused in four areas: cancer research, STEM education, community involvement, and military support services.