Will Teichman, director of sustainability at Kimco Realty Corp. (NYSE:KIM), joined REIT.com for a video interview at NAREIT’s 2014 Leader in the Light Working Forum in San Francisco.
Kimco received the NAREIT 2013 Leader in the Light award in the retail category. Teichman was asked what he thought set the company apart from its peers in the area of sustainability.
“What has really differentiated us over the last year to 18 months has been the breadth and depth to which we’ve been able to take our program,” Teichman responded. He noted that in addition to having active programs in energy and efficiency, Kimco has also launched programs in solar energy, waste and recycling in order to round out the breadth of the program.
“From a depth perspective, we’ve really worked to move those programs out to as many properties as possible,” Teichman said.
Teichman also commented on Kimco’s pilot program, launched last year, to identify energy-efficient improvements within leased retail spaces. He explained that the program is intended to address a large portion of environmental impacts that are typically outside the scope of a retail landlord.
Typically with triple net leases, he noted, the landlord is primarily focused on efficiency measures and common areas. However, working together with tenants to find ways to improve their efficiency is key to advancing sustainability in retail properties, Teichman stressed.
Teichman said the goals of the pilot project, which is being conducted at the Westlake Shopping Center in Daly City, Calif., include making changes to the Kimco leasing process and finding economic ways to work with tenants so that “we can advance sustainability inside of the building as well as outside.”
Teichman also discussed the importance of transparency in sustainability. He noted that institutional investors have shown a growing interest in sustainability matters. “We’ve embraced that new challenge and have moved to collect information and disclose that information through a number of different forms,” he said.
Tenants are also demonstrating interest in sustainability, Teichman said. He noted that Kimco has been working hard to engage with both large, national anchor retailers and small retailers alike in order to understand their needs and concerns.