23 Jun ULI Atlanta Demystifying ESG Program
In June 2022, ULI Atlanta convened members, other land use, and real estate professionals to explore thinking about and utilizing ESG in real estate practices.
The ULI Atlanta Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee hosted an introductory presentation on Environmental, Social, and (corporate) Governance (ESG). A panel discussion – ULI Atlanta Demystifying ESG Program – followed on its importance to the real estate industry.
The Role of Real Estate in Environmental, Social, and Governance Keynote
Monika Henn, Director of ULI’s Greenprint Center for Building Performance, gave an ESG 101 for Real Estate at the ULI Atlanta Demystifying ESG Program. During the Keynote, she shared examples of the application of ESG (a set of standards for corporate behavior) to the built environment. In her conclusion, Monika referred to several ULI member resources, including reports such as the Blueprint for Green Real Estate and 10 Principles for Embedding Racial Equity in Real Estate Development.
Shelli Willis, a Partner at Troutman Pepper, facilitated the panel discussion. Participants were Randall C. Dragon, The Dragon Group’s Co-Founder and Principal, Rainey Shane, JLL’s Social Sustainability Director, and seam, inc. Co-Founder. Also, Nathaniel Smith, Founder and Chief Equity Officer of Partnership for Southern Equity. Discussion highlights included; difficulties in measuring the “S,” growing awareness of the connection between a firm’s bottom line and ESG, and deeper questioning of what we define as the actual costs.
KB Consultant, Gabby Oliverio, attended the ULI Atlanta Demystifying ESG Program. She felt the conversation provided an insightful perspective on the ties between real estate and ESG. Especially “E” and “S.” Per the presentation, 40% of global carbon emissions come from buildings*.
Gabby notes rethinking ideas about the built environment may be required. For instance, beyond the monetary returns of investing in and constructing buildings and their traditional uses. The same structures must provide access to quality healthy spaces to counteract negative environmental impacts and social disparities genuinely.
As a result of conscientious investment, balancing performance with certifications, commitments with means, and better support via the real estate decision-making process, the real estate industry can impact the outcomes and be a vital partner in ESG. We are grateful to Gabby for the details and her takeaways from the Demystifying Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) Panel Discussion. We look forward to hearing more from her on future events.