Debra Cafaro
Debra Cafaro

Real estate investment trust Ventas has been named to the Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index, or DJSI, for the first time and has been ranked the top healthcare REIT by GRESB in its assessment of real estate environment, social and governance, or ESG, factors.

“The Ventas culture and company policies promote strong governance and ethics, engaged corporate citizenship and minimized impact on the environment,” Debra Cafaro, Ventas chairman and CEO, said in a statement. “These are essential elements of our commitment to sustained excellence for all of our stakeholders.”

The DJSI for North America, launched along with other indices in 1999, tracks the performance of the top 20% of the 600 largest Canadian and United States companies in the S&P Global Broad Market Index that lead the field in terms of sustainability. To be included on the list, companies must complete a corporate sustainability assessment that converts an average of 600 data points per company into one overall score that determines inclusion.

The 2017 list, effective Monday, includes 10 companies in the real estate category. Healthcare REITs returning to the list in 2017 are HCP Inc. and Welltower.

In the GRESB real estate ESG assessment, the results of which were released Tuesday, Ventas said it ranked first among healthcare real estate company participants, retained its Green Star designation for the fourth consecutive year and improved its score by nearly 10%. Ventas also achieved an “A” ranking, the highest possible score, on the new GRESB Public Disclosure Assessment, recognizing the company’s focus on transparency and public reporting.

The Ventas property portfolio has more than 1,200 assets in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, including seniors housing communities, inpatient rehabilitation and long-term acute care facilities, skilled nursing facilities and health systems, medical office buildings and life science properties.