by Kimberly Ryan, Senior Portfolio Manager, Wells Fargo Private Bank
Commercial real estate can have a significant impact on the environment and an increasing number of real estate industry professionals are incorporating sustainability practices into corporate strategy and building management. Kimberly Ryan, Portfolio Manager for Wells Fargo Private Bank’s Social Impact Investing (SII) REIT strategies offers her thoughts on the benefits of integrating sustainability and ESG analysis into the REIT investment process.
Many people in consumer marketing are wondering! In these weekly commentaries the G&A Institute team offers media and experts’ shared perspectives on various issues and matters related to corporate sustainability, responsibility; and, sustainable, responsible and impact investing.
Once upon a time in the early days of jet travel, business travelers accounted for three-quarters or more of the total passenger business of the major U.S. airlines (known as “trunk” carriers back in the day). Fares were long set by Federal regulation and family-friendly, tourista-friendly fare packages were scarce or non-existent. Airlines relied on the “have-to-travel-for-business” crowd.
Corporate managers & executives: is your board “sustainability/ESG fluent”? And if not – why not?
Attorney Silda Wall Spitzer and John Mandyck, CEO of Urban Green Council, writing in Harvard Business Review explain that while “some” board members have become increasingly “sustainability/ESG fluent” many companies [still] don’t expect their directors to understand sustainability or ESG and don’t provide board room education on the subject matter.
There is encouraging news for sustainability professionals coming from the world of stock exchanges this month. The NASDAQ Exchange just published its guide for listed companies – as well for privately-owned firms as perhaps future IPOs for NASDAQ listing – for companies’ public ESG reporting. This is the “ESG Reporting Guide – A Voluntary Support Program for Companies”.
For the eighth year, the G&A Institute research team has examined the ESG, Sustainability, Responsibility & Citizenship disclosure and reporting practices of the S&P 500® Index companies and determined for year 2018 that 86 percent of the almost 500 public companies were publishing reports in various formats for public viewing.
These days the comparisons of companies in sectors and industries and among investment peers (those companies chasing similar sources of capital) are continuing to gain momentum. There are numerous third party players busily analyzing, measuring and charting company ESG performance and producing scores, rankings, ratings and various kinds of comparisons (company-to-company, company to industry etc) for their investor-clients (asset owners and managers).
We should not have been surprised: in 2016 presidential candidate Donald Trump promised that among his first steps when in the Oval Office would be the tearing up of his predecessor’s commitment to join the family of nations in addressing climate change challenges. In 2015 in Paris, with almost 200 nations in agreement, the United States of America with President Barack Obama presiding signed on to the “Paris Agreement” (or Accord) for nations and private, public and social sector organization to work to prevent further damage to the planet.
This week we celebrated Earth Day. That first (1970) observance became a catalyst for action – soon after the first of a series of environmental-focused Federal legislation began to change dirty air to cleaner and then clean, and more laws to address a very unhealthy state of affairs in the U.S.A. (The Environmental Act, Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, RCRA, etc.). But…the challenges for society have not gone away. The list of “hot ESG issues” grows by the week.