Grand Ridge Plaza | Seattle, WA
At Regency, we strive to integrate sustainable practices throughout our business, and believe that sustainability is in the best interest of our stakeholders and our environment. Our approach to environmental stewardship focuses on integrating management responsibilities across our development projects and operations to address material environmental risks and issues.
We accomplish this by focusing on seven strategic priorities:
Our formal climate strategy work began in 2008, and in 2014 we became the first U.S. REIT and second U.S. Corporation to issue a Green Bond for financing environmentally sustainable projects. In 2017, we developed our own Green Building Standard that,
to-date, is applied to all ground-up development and major redevelopment projects, ensuring that all of our construction projects achieve a higher level of green building performance. In addition, we set initial 10-year environmental targets which
were achieved ahead of schedule, and in 2018 we re-baselined with our goals.
In 2019, we developed and implemented a Tenant Sustainability Guide, and in 2020 we incorporated a sustainability metric into our amended and extended credit facility agreements for added incentive to reduce Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions. In 2021, we continued to achieve our goal of reducing Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions, introduced property-level climate risk reports into our due diligence process for all new investments, and released our second standalone climate change risk report aligned with TCFD.
The Market at Springwoods Village | Houston, TX | Trees for Houston Event
Grand Ridge Plaza | Seattle, WA | LEED Silver Certified
More than ever, we recognize that climate change is one of the most significant issues facing our society and future generations. As a long-term owner, operator, and developer of real estate, we acknowledge the potential for climate change to have a material impact on our properties, people, and long-term success. The frequency or intensity of extreme weather events, sea-level rise, and other climate changes may continue to increase. Regency wants to ensure that our properties can safely, sustainably, and responsibly withstand the test of time. In addition to understanding the impacts, we also aim to do our part to reduce the impacts of climate change.
To understand our exposure to climate-related impacts, in 2018, we analyzed the sea-level rise risks to our properties in Florida. As a result, we identified that a small number of our assets would be at higher risk in the long term and, as such, factored the results into our insurance and property management strategies, specifically those properties at elevated risk.
During 2020, we built on that work, expanding our analysis to our entire portfolio and business over the short and long term (2030-2100). Our analysis looked at two scenarios: one assuming lower levels of GHG emissions that will limit average temperature increases to 1.5°C to 2°C degrees (a “sustainable growth” scenario), and another where GHG emissions continue to rise at a higher level of 6°C degrees (a “current trends” scenario). The work provided a better understanding of the risks and opportunities at both the portfolio and geographic market levels under the two different climate scenarios, and over the short and long term.
To help expand our understanding at the property level, in 2021, we partnered with an experienced consultant to perform climate-risk analyses on any properties we are considering for new investment, as well as on all properties in our portfolio progressively over the next four years. These reports identify the risk level of the site within five specific perils: storm (including hurricanes and strong winds), drought, heat, flood (pluvial and fluvial), and fire.
The results from our 2018, 2020, and 2021 ongoing property-level analysis are integrated into acquisition decisions, property management, and capital allocation project planning.
We published our second standalone TCFD report in 2022.
Climate scenario analysis and reporting continue to evolve for many companies, including Regency. We expect our methodologies, tools, and analyses to improve and change over time as we refine our understanding of climate-related risks, challenges, and opportunities. We aim to build upon and revise the results of our TCFD analysis and disclosures on an ongoing basis.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions
We are committed to measuring, reducing, and reporting our GHG emissions. Regency's Scope 1 and 2 emissions consist primarily of electricity consumed in common areas and vacant tenant spaces — within our operational boundary. Scope 3, on the other
hand, represents the most significant portion of our reported emissions and comes from sources such as tenant activities, and corporate and regional leased assets.
Throughout 2021, we continued to refine our environmental footprint to align with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard (GHG Protocol), and increased our Scope 3 emissions data visibility. Concurrently, we reduced emissions within our operational boundary, and we are pleased to report that we achieved our annual target through our aggregate efforts.
In 2021, we reduced like-for-like Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 2%, exceeding our long-term target with an average yearly reduction of 7% since 2018.
As we transition into 2022, we are refining our strategy and elevating our commitment by aligning our goals with the SBTi. Early 2022 marks Regency’s transition to targets for reducing Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions on an absolute basis. Aligned with
the Paris Agreement, we’ve committed to reduce our absolute Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 28% by 2030 from a 2019 base year, endorsed by the SBTi, and to achieve net-zero Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions across all operations by 2050. Through this
pledge, we will continue to reduce our Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions, and measure, report, and collaborate with our tenants to reduce their operational emissions. We recognize that our engagement efforts with our tenants related to our reported Scope
3 emissions is key to our long-term success.
To help reduce the environmental impact at our centers and meet our 2030 goal, we have identified the following reduction strategies:
- Energy efficiency focused on LED conversion and lighting controls
- Renewable energy through growing on-site solar generation.
We continue to explore additional renewable energy and efficiency projects and introduce more initiatives at our properties to benefit the environment. We will continue to share near- and long-term progress regarding our de-carbonization strategy.
The Field at Commonwealth | Washington, D.C. | LEED Silver Certified (Left) and Belmont Chase | Washington, D.C. | LEED Silver Certified (Right)
Exterior common area lighting represents approximately 90% of Regency’s total energy consumption and is our largest source of GHG emissions. In 2009, Regency identified the opportunity to implement advanced lighting controls and in 2012 started to replace our existing lighting systems with energy-efficient LED. Over the years, we have continued to make progress on this strategic priority and, to date, have converted more than 242 of our shopping centers to highly efficient DarkSky™ compliant LED fixtures. In 2021 alone, we converted more than 21 shopping centers.
Additionally, throughout 2021, we continued to take advantage of opportunities to use cool-roofing technology, improve glazing and insulation at our properties, and maintain and replace HVAC units.
Together, our efforts have led to a cumulative annual reduction in like-for-like energy consumption of approximately 3% in 2021, giving us an average annual reduction in energy use since 2018 of 4% - exceeding our 2021 average yearly reduction target of 2.5%.
We’re proud of the significant progress made over the years, particularly in 2020 and 2021 as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in higher vacancy, growing our operational boundary. However, we recognize that the opportunity to reduce our energy consumption remains as we position Regency to meet our 2030 GHG emissions and energy efficiency goals.
Starting in 2022, we are re-baselining and elevating our environmental strategic goals. We are committing to reduce energy consumption by 30% from like-for-like operational control areas by 2030, from a base year 2019. We look forward to continuing our efforts on this initiative and will report annually on our progress.
Chimney Rock | Bridgewater, NJ | Rooftop Solar Panels (Left) and The Gallery at Westbury Plaza | New York, NY | Rooftop Solar Panels (Right)
Regency continues to focus on expanding the use of renewable energy technologies at our shopping centers, and sharing the benefits of affordable, clean power with its tenants and local communities. This initiative has been incorporated into our business strategy since 2011, and continues to progress as we seek additional opportunities to provide our tenants with affordable renewable energy as well as exploring options to offset Regency’s Scope 2 GHG emissions.
As of year-end 2021, we had 15 solar energy arrays at our centers that generate approximately 3,600-megawatt hours of electricity. Through our expanding use of renewable energy, we continue to partner with and support some of our tenants who are also committed to clean power. These solar arrays prove that renewable energy can compete with traditional fossil fuels by reducing energy costs and GHG emissions, benefiting our shareholders, tenants, and communities.
Regency remains committed to utilizing its portfolio to provide the cleanest, most viable solution to prevent environmental degradation. We continue to seek opportunities to expand the use of renewable energy, including the sourcing of Regency’s common area electricity needs.
In 2022, we’ve established a new long-term goal to generate on-site renewable energy equivalent to at least 10% of our absolute energy consumption based on operational control by 2030. We look forward to reporting on our progress annually.
Electric Vehicle Charging Stations
Cochran Commons | Charlotte, NC | Tesla Charging Stations (Left) and Serramonte Center | San Francisco, CA | Tesla Charging Stations (Right)
Regency was an early adopter nearly ten years ago, and has since been a leader in supporting the development of a national network of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. EV stations positively impact our communities and the environment by increasing property value and providing visitors to our centers with a modern amenity that enables them to reduce their carbon footprint directly.
In 2021, we continued to advance our electric vehicle program by installing 85 stations across our properties totaling 576 active stations. This was a 17% increase from 2020, when we had 491 active stations across 82 Regency properties
We recognize the value that EV charging stations provide to the communities we serve and the environment. As a result, we are establishing a new long-term target to install EV charging stations at 50% or more of our properties by 2030. We look forward to reporting on our progress annually.
Colonial Square | Minneapolis, MN | STARR Award Winner (Left) and Market at Colonnade Center | Raleigh, NC | Rainwater Cistern (Right)
Regency’s most significant use of water within our operational control is landscape irrigation, which is primarily impacted by weather patterns and water restrictions. We recognize the need to conserve this natural resource; to keep it available for future generations while also preserving the environment and minimizing effects such as drought and water shortages. At Regency, we strive to implement best practices in water management at our properties, by focusing on strategies that balance the use more efficiently, while also providing shade and pedestrian-oriented landscape areas for the community to enjoy.
We do this through high-efficiency irrigation systems, including “smart” controllers that adjust schedules based on local weather conditions to optimize irrigation run times. We also, where possible, use reclaimed water from our local utility providers and plant native, drought-tolerant plants. Other measures like stormwater management systems that protect stream channels from excessive erosion, permeable paving systems, and rainwater retention cisterns are just a
few other measures to conserve water usage on our properties.
The water we use is sourced from municipal, public and private water utility providers and we comply with public policy and local requirements for water use and monitor consumption regularly. We strive to reduce our water use without compromising the environments at our centers, and encourage our tenants and other stakeholders to undertake water conservation measures, including through our Tenant Sustainability Guide, which provides guidance on tools and practices our tenants can use to reduce water use.
In 2021, we increased our like-for-like water usage by 5% when compared to 2020 due to the reduction in landscaping projects. Despite this increase, we reduced our average annual like-for-like water usage by 1% since 2018 – in line with our objective of maintaining sustainable water use.
Starting in 2022, we are establishing a new long-term goal to reduce like-for-like water consumption by 10% based on operational control by 2030, from a 2019 base year. To achieve this, we will continue to build on the steps taken to reduce water consumption and explore additional opportunities to refine our strategy further. We look forward to reporting on our progress annually.
CityLine Market | Dallas, TX (Left) and Persimmon Place | San Francisco, CA | LEED Gold Certified (Right)
In partnership with our tenants and network of local recyclers, composters, and waste haulers, we work to promote responsible waste management practices across our shopping center portfolio. While recycling programs vary significantly based on local recycling infrastructure, we continuously strive to provide our tenants and center visitors with the means to recycle and compost their waste. Collaboration with our tenants to reduce waste management is key to our success. While it presents a challenge, we advise our tenants on how recycling can be maximized and its benefits to the environment and their businesses through our Tenant Sustainability Guide.
In 2018, we set a 10-year goal to improve like-for-like waste diversion by an average of 1% annually. In 2021, we met our goal, increasing our average annual like-for-like waste diversion rate by 4% since 2018.
Not only do we focus on waste diversion and resource conservation at our properties, but we also seek effective waste management programs at our corporate and regional offices.
Together with tenant engagement, waste management remains a strategic priority. Starting in 2022, we are re-setting and strengthening our goal to achieve a 35% waste diversion rate across all of our operating properties based on operational control by 2030. We look forward to reporting on our diversion strategy and progress against this target annually.