Joe Lopez, senior vice president of property management and director of environmental impact at Equity One, Inc. (NYSE: EQY), 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.
Equity One owns and operates retail assets, with a portfolio concentrated in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and South Florida.
Lopez described the adoption of sustainability practices by organizations as a “learning process.” He noted that the initial goal in the early stages of implementation is to get support from the organization’s management team.
In Equity One’s case, Lopez explained, the company had a major shareholder that was interested in the sustainability aspects of the firm’s portfolio. This, in turn, helped drive interest from the senior executive team “and helped start the engine for our programs,” he said.
Lopez added that Equity One has seen its sustainability programs grow substantially.
“That’s a testament to involvement at the senior level. Without the highest level of participation, it’s very difficult to build strategies and move initiatives forward,” he said.
Lopez also pointed out that sustainability reporting frameworks are becoming more consistent, allowing companies to provide the transparency that investors are looking for.
Meanwhile, one way that Equity One is incorporating sustainability into the forefront of the tenant-landlord relationship is by including it into its standard lease forms, Lopez said.