March 2011— In cooperation with the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (‘NAREIT’), RealFoundations hosted the inaugural ‘Leader in the Light Working Forum’ in Dallas, Texas. The forum was attended by executives responsible for asset management and sustainability from 18 NAREIT members with representation across the Healthcare, Industrial, Office, Retail and Residential real estate sectors.
The forum was delivered as a series of highly interactive, hands-on work sessions over the course of two days. Attendees were engaged in collaborative exercises, alongside their industry peers, to identify the key drivers of sustainability in real estate and share leading practices. The forum included working sessions focused on identifying the challenges, opportunities and approaches for Tenant Engagement, Information Integration and Capital Allocation in relation to accelerating real estate sustainability initiatives.
Attendees were joined by senior leaders from the U.S. Green Building Council, U.S. EPA Energy Star Program, Cornell University as well as RealFoundations, each of whom contributed to the discussions and shared industry trends and observations within the working groups.
For the closing exercises, participants turned their attention to the NAREIT Leader in the Light submission process and judging criteria. The Leader in the Light award was created in 2005 for the purpose of recognizing NAREIT member companies who have demonstrated excellence in energy efficiency. Each participant contributed insights and perspectives that will serve as inputs to the design of the next iteration of the award scheduled for the Fall 2011.
For Sheldon Groner, Executive Vice President of NAREIT, the working forum exceeded his expectations. “The feedback I have received has been highly, highly positive,” he said. “It was a great way to interact and share ideas with the industry.”
“I’ve learned quite a few things from my peers and it was exciting to work with others and hear their good ideas. I enjoyed the way the forum was structured which allowed participants to get a lot of ideas out on the table, discuss them as a group and develop some fairly solid conclusions,” stated the SVP of Energy & Procurement for a Retail REIT.
Michael Zatz, Chief, Market Sectors Group at Energy Star, commented that the session provided a, “fantastic opportunity to interact with energy leaders in the industry.” It was important, he said, to be able to hear and understand what real estate companies are focusing on in their day to day activities.
Attendees agreed that participation in the session was a valuable use of time. The Director of Sustainability for an Industrial REIT stated, “The session…provided me the chance to work alongside others within the industry who deal with the same challenges and opportunities surrounding sustainability.”
Brent McFerren, a Director with RealFoundations and work session facilitator said, “The variety of participants combined with the collaborative nature of the event provided the perfect forum for real estate companies to share sustainability practices as well as help shape the future of the Leader in the Light program. Companies who participated in the event are now much better positioned to deliver effective sustainability initiatives and tell their story via Leader in the Light."
About RealFoundations RealFoundations is a global management consultancy focused exclusively on the real estate and property industry. From developers, owner/operators and corporate occupiers to service providers and institutional investors, RealFoundations offers innovative solutions around business intelligence, process analysis and improvement, solution implementation, strategic information and systems planning and systems integration.
For additional information, please contact Mark Callin Executive Director RealFoundations