Toledo, OH-based Welltower experienced a year of “significant achievement” across many environmental, social and governance categories, according to the real estate investment trust’s annual ESG report, released Thursday.
“We have made transformational strides in the quality, scope and integrity of our ESG initiatives and enhanced our data collection processes, transparency and consistency in reporting, resulting in consequential year-over-year improvements,” CEO Shankh Mitra said in a statement. The REIT’s board is “fully committed” to “steady improvement in ESG reporting,” he added.
Welltower said that among its key accomplishments in 2022, it:
- Was recognized as an Energy Star Partner of the Year at the sustained excellence level.
- Issued its second green bond offering of $550 million, with net proceeds to be allocated to a portfolio of eligible energy efficiency, water efficiency and green building projects.
- Achieved a 10% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions over its 2018 baseline ahead of schedule. As of the REIT’s 2021 ESG report, it had reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 5.9% from that baseline.
- Used more than 51,000 megawatt hours of green power, more than doubling its usage from 2021.
- Included a new ESG scorecard in its 2022 Named Executive Officer annual incentive program that outlines nine specific goals balanced across E, S and G.
- Named to the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index.
- Attained an ISS ESG Corporate rating as a Prime status holder.
“Welltower’s holistic approach to ESG-related goals is based on rigorous data collection, transparency in reporting, strong employee engagement and consistency in defining and achieving ambitious ESG targets,” the company said.
In 2021, Welltower launched an ESG steering committee, a cross-functional effort to
engage leadership from across divisions of the company.
“We have seen a direct and positive impact on commitment and progress towards our ESG goals as a result of ongoing discussions and actions taken by this committee. We believe
collaboration equals more comprehensive reporting and raises the bar of our ability to develop and achieve corporate-driven ESG goals,” Mitra said.
Welltower said that it is working on “reducing the environmental impact and increasing health and wellness for occupants associated with our buildings” in collaboration with its operators and development partners.
“The company’s new sustainability guidelines for new development projects is meant to provide guidance to consistently incorporate sustainability, health and wellness
in our projects,” the REIT said.
Those guidelines are built on three pillars: climate, environment and experience, according to the report.
Welltower said that among other efforts to engage employees, the company provides regular support and training for its property management teams. In October, for example, the REIT offered training focused on energy efficiency and benchmarking data. The company said it also is making efforts to prioritize resident wellness and healthcare within its senior living and care properties.
The REIT called out US operator Sunrise Senior Living and commercial real estate company Cushman & Wakefield “as examples of how we provide the best experiences for our residents.”