ESG Fund Manager Says Real Estate Playing Lead Role in Climate Risk Discussion

Sam Adams, CEO and co-founder of Vert Asset Management, participated in a video interview at Nareit’s ESG Forum 2019 at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point in Bonita Springs, Florida.

San Francisco-based Vert Asset Management is a dedicated environmental, social, and governance (ESG) fund manager with a goal of making investing for sustainability easier. By encouraging investors to move more money toward sustainable investing, companies in turn will be encouraged to increase their sustainable practices, according to Adams.

Adams stressed that the “story around sustainability in real estate is really compelling.” For investors, “it ticks the boxes of people, planet, and profit.”

As sustainability-minded investors look toward REITs when making their investment decisions, they are focusing on whether the investment has the same risk and return characteristics as a conventional investment, Adams said.

At the same time, investors want authenticity, Adams noted: “They want to be actually invested in sustainable companies that are doing innovative things.”

Meanwhile, Adams highlighted that real estate is on the front seat of the climate risk discussion being held by sustainable and conventional investors alike. When it comes to dramatic weather events, “real estate, and REITs in particular, can take a leadership role in identifying these risks and coming up with mitigation plans and recovery strategies,” he said.