Nareit’s Real Estate Sustainability Council Focused on ESG Data, Disclosure, and Investor Perspectives

Ari Frankel, assistant vice president of sustainability and high performance buildings at Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. (NYSE: ARE), participated in a video interview at Nareit’s ESG Forum 2019 at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point in Bonita Springs, Florida.

Frankel has been named chair of Nareit’s 2019 Real Estate Sustainability Council, and he discussed key topics the industry is focused on, calling out ESG data and disclosure as the most important. Frankel also highlighted the range and evolving nature of investor appetite and use of ESG data and disclosures.

“There’s a wide landscape of ESG data providers out there and a wide range of how investors are using [data],” he said, noting that about $25 billion in ETFs currently are screened with ESG. He said the Real Estate Sustainability Council is taking a hard look at how and where ESG data is being used across the industry.

Frankel said that disclosure is another key topic, since REITs are often implementing ESG practices, “but if you’re not disclosing, then you are disadvantaged in terms of your scores.” He said REITs have been increasingly proactive in managing disclosures.

“I hope that we get to a place where we have good recognition of what a good disclosure looks like on sustainability,” he added.