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Facing climate change

How companies are protecting their properties against its dangers

By Journal of Property Management staff
Office Skysraper Under The Sun

JPM asked representatives of four institutional owners/investment managers about climate change, the risk it poses to their investments and how they are responding to that risk through sustainability and resilience measures in their portfolios. Each company offers a different perspective on an issue that continues to evolve and shape the investment real estate market, but they share some common themes, including keeping a view toward long-term value protection and taking meaningful action now to mitigate the risk posed to their investments.


Chris Laughman,
LEED AP O+M, CFM
Director, sustainability
Greystar, AMO
St. Louis, MO

“Greystar increasingly receives inquiries from investors and clients as to both the impact of climate change as well as our strategies around recognition of that risk. They are not just looking at what we are doing now or what we have done in the past, but how we are considering the future impacts of the decisions we make today. To address this, we focus on collecting actionable environmental data and then use that data to not only identify risks but develop strategies to mitigate those risks. Data and the quality of that data are key to taking meaningful action.”


Steven Moore
Director of facilities, energy and sustainability
The Taubman Company
Bloomfield Hills, MI
“Sustainability is integral to everything we do at Taubman. By focusing on sustainability, we are better prepared to address risks from climate change both now and in the future. Our long-term approach to investment means resilience is top-of-mind and a core component of any investment decision. We are investing across our portfolio to address these issues, including three large solar projects, multiple LED lighting projects and a number of other efficiency and upgrade projects to improve our assets for the long haul.”


Kelly Meissner,
Member of IREM Sustainability
Advisory Board Director, sustainability
Ventas, Inc.
Chicago, IL
“Climate change risks from new investments—including both physical risks, such as increased frequency of extreme weather, and transition risks like regulations on carbon emissions—are regularly evaluated by our sustainability and risk management teams and incorporated into our investment diligence. In addition to managing risk by owning a geographically diverse portfolio, last year Ventas set two annual climate risk goals: the first, to limit our exposure to assets in high-flood-risk zones to less than 10% of NOI (currently 4%), and the second, to ensure that we have written emergency plans in place at 100% of our operating assets [which was achieved in 2019].”


Brian Trainor
IREM Associate member
Senior associate, global ESG strategy
Heitman LLC
Chicago, IL
“Climate risk is like any other investment risk; it needs to be properly assessed and integrated into the acquisitions process. We require a holistic view of the potential risks of every investment, and climate risk is an integral part of this strategy. As an investment manager, implementing a robust climate resilience strategy is part of our fiduciary duty to mitigate potential risks and ensure long-term value creation for our clients.”

 

Journal of Property Management

Written by Journal of Property Management staff

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