Kimco Getting Results from Lighting Retrofits, Executive Says

Will Teichman, senior director of strategic operations at Kimco Realty Corp. (NYSE: KIM), 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.

Teichman gave an update on Kimco’s efforts to retrofit all of its upper-end shopping centers with LED lighting. The project started at the beginning of 2015, and to date, Kimco has retrofitted more than 100 properties, representing about a quarter of its total net asset value.

“The results of those projects have really been dramatic,” Teichman said. Not only is Kimco able to deliver energy savings between 20 percent and 30 percent at most properties, he noted, “but more importantly, we’re delivering significantly improved lighting quality.”

Teichman also commented on the significance of Kimco’s inclusion in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI). Teichman noted that unlike many other sustainability platforms, the DJSI brings Kimco in contact with a wide swathe of investors who aren’t solely focused on real estate.

Meanwhile, Teichman explained that as construction activity has picked up in the wake of the financial crisis, Kimco has placed a high priority on setting more defined standards around sustainable construction. Because Kimco moves several hundred tenants in and out of spaces on a quarterly basis, the company is focused on establishing standards that allow tenants to adopt best practices for using sustainable materials and processes in the construction of those spaces, Teichman said.

Teichman also commented on the challenges of complying with mandatory energy disclosures.

Five years ago, there were no laws on the books, according to Teichman. Today, there are approximately 15 cities and two states with mandatory requirements for disclosure, he said. The process has moved quickly and that presents challenges from operations and compliance perspectives, according to Teichman.

Those challenges include knowing which properties are impacted, as jurisdiction is not always clear, Teichman noted. Another challenge involves the actual collection of data and fulfilling the reporting requirements, he said.