Dan Egan, senior vice president of energy and sustainability at Vornado Realty Trust (NYSE: VNO), participated in a video interview at Nareit’s ESG Forum 2019 at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point in Bonita Springs, Florida.
Egan said Vornado, a diversified REIT, is not challenged by “issues of fragmentation” because it maintains a high degree of operational control. The REIT is concentrated in New York, Chicago, and San Francisco, but its diverse portfolio is managed centrally, he said.
Any company operating in multiple jurisdictions must be aware of regulatory changes at the local level. Egan said that new regulations in New York on carbon disclosure will require REITs to submit their energy and water consumption on an annual basis and receive a letter grade or star rating assessing building efficiency. He added that the city is looking for creative ways to compel buildings to reduce their carbon emissions.
“The implications there could be tremendous, depending on what sort of performance your building currently has with carbon emissions,” Egan said.
Vornado, which won Nareit’s 2018 Leader in the Light Award for the diversified sector, is also a leader in green cleaning practices. The REIT owns its own janitorial subsidiary and follows a formalized green cleaning program for all its buildings.
“Green cleaning really represents a culmination of so many material topics on ESG—not just sustainability,” Egan said. “We’re maintaining a healthy environment for our tenants.”