Jill Ziegler, director of sustainability and corporate responsibility at Forest City Realty Trust (NYSE: FCE.A), joined REIT.com for a video interview at NAREIT’s 2016 Leader in the Light Working Forum at the Ritz Carlton – Coconut Grove in Miami.
The company’s portfolio is focused on urban real estate assets in the office, retail and apartment sectors.
Ziegler said that tenants in all three of its property segments express interest in recycling, which Ziegler described as “the gateway to sustainability.” She said she expects interest in recycling to continue to grow.
New tenants are particularly concerned about energy efficiency, Ziegler added, especially if they are paying their own bills.
Ziegler also noted that because Forest City’s urban focus involves large, mixed-use developments, adaptive reuse and historic preservation of buildings plays an important role for the company.
“Anything we can preserve and reuse is great for the environment and the community to retain character. They are also cooler buildings for our tenants and residents too,” she said.
Meanwhile, Ziegler underscored the advantages of having a universal sustainability reporting standard that would create, at a minimum, a baseline of common information.
She said events like the Leader in the Light forum keep the lines of communication open with regulators who will be creating the standards and ultimately judging companies like Forest City on their performance.
“The needle is moving forward and things are getting more streamlined and applicable to our industries. It’s all positive movement, but it will take a little while,” Ziegler observed.