In Conversation: The Evolution of SitusAMC's ESG Framework
On this episode of "In Conversation," Lisa Wallace, SitusAMC General Counsel and Chief Administrative Officer, and Sehr Aziz, Head of Environmental, Social and Governance, talk about the company's ESG journey and initiatives. They discuss how SitusAMC evolved its long-standing commitment to ESG into a cohesive framework, including the adoption of formal goals, distinct action items and quantifiable metrics to measure success. SitusAMC recently released its first ESG report, which can be downloaded here.
In 2022, SitusAMC joined the United Nations Global Compact, committing to incorporating its 10 key principles on human rights, labor, the environment and anti-corruption. "What we needed was a common language for corporate responsibility, a framework that would work for us regardless of size, location or complexity of our business," Aziz explained. "To drive our ESG agenda wasn't to work in isolation but to become part of a global movement."
While all of the Compact goals are important, SitusAMC performed a materiality assessment to determine where the firm could have the most impact. Aziz outlined how and why the company chose its specific focus areas, which include:
Environmental: Reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing the use of clean energy in operations, with a commitment to achieving net-zero emissions.
Social: A commitment to recruit and hire diverse talent, promote equal opportunity and foster employee training and education.
Corporate Governance: A commitment to business ethics and integrity and regulatory change management.
Aziz described how SitusAMC is helping clients achieve their ESG goals. For example, commercial real estate has seen a growing number of sustainability-linked loans, in which a portion of the interest rate is linked to ESG covenants and a borrower's ability to achieve certain targets. Firms receive incentives to reach these goals to secure a lower interest rate. "Some of our clients are assessing ESG-related risks in their property portfolios and we are helping them with data gathering and analytics in that space," she explained.
In 2022, SitusAMC made measurable progress toward its ESG goals, including migrating to office buildings that are LEED-certified and use 100% renewable energy, and moving elements of the business over to the cloud to reduce carbon emissions, Aziz noted. Last year the firm cut its GHG emissions by 173 metric tons and was awarded a Bronze Sustainability Rating from EcoVadis, the world’s largest and most trusted provider of business sustainability ratings.
Learn more about SitusAMC's approach to ESG and Corporate Responsibility here.