Grand Ridge Plaza | Seattle, WA | LEED Silver Certification
Regency’s approach to environmental stewardship involves the integration of sustainable practices throughout our business. We seek to constantly improve our environmental impact through initiatives such as sustainable building practices and climate resilience at all our properties. There are six strategic priorities that we focus on to measure success: green building, energy efficiency, greenhouse gas emissions reductions, water conservation, waste management, and climate resilience. We believe these priorities facilitate better risk management and achievement of key strategic objectives, as well as strengthen our relationships with critical stakeholders. But most importantly, they are consistent with our Core Value of doing what is right.
Over the years, Regency has implemented a wide variety of sustainable initiatives that have earned us a Green Star Award from GRESB for the last five years. GRESB, the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark, is an organization that assesses and benchmarks the Environmental, Social, and Governance performance of real estate assets, providing standardized and validated data with Green Stars awarded only to the best performers.
In 2019, we enhanced our environmental leadership through the development and implementation of a Tenant Sustainability Guide. This document is intended to help our tenants adopt sustainable practices that will benefit both their businesses and the planet. Tips like using LED lighting and renewable energy, and recycling, as well as discussion of water conservation tools are included as small choices that can make a big impact. This initiative is complimented by our green leases and Vendor and Contractor Principles, which also ensure sustainability is a focus for those with who we work.
The Market at Springwoods Village | Houston, TX | LEED Certification Ceremony
Sustainable Building and Operations
As the preeminent owner, operator and developer of neighborhood shopping centers we believe it is our responsibility to be an industry leader in environmental matters. We were an early adopter of green building practices and continue to consistently deliver retail shopping centers that are more resource-efficient, address occupant health and safety, support local communities and achieve recognition from green building authorities.
In 2014, Regency issued a $250 million Green Bond and was the first U.S. REIT and second U.S. corporation to do so. Green Bonds finance and promote environmentally sustainable projects. In 2017, we implemented our Green Building Standard, which incorporates many of the same design elements and construction practices that are included in LEED. This Standard ensures that our centers have a higher level of green building performance relative to conventional practices.
We have committed to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, become more energy efficient and divert more waste. These goals ensure sustainability is a key consideration in the operation of our centers, and were updated in 2018 after we achieved our previous 10 year goals in only 5 years. Ensuring a high level of sustainability in our building and operations not only reduces costs and is the right thing to do but it enables us to stay ahead of the curve as cities and states introduce requirements for environmental reporting and performance.
In 2019, consistent with our ethos for continuous improvement, we have reviewed and expanded our environmental data collection and reporting. We are developing a data management plan to ensure consistency and best practice going forward, and will continue to review and improve our environmental data management and reporting to ensure transparency on material environmental issues. In addition, we are expanding our reporting to include responses in line with Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) and Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations.
- Provide guidance and leadership to tenants on sustainability issues
Persimmon Place | San Francisco, CA | LEED Gold Certified
Greenhouse Gas Emissions
We are committed to understanding and reducing our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions footprint and striving for a carbon-neutral future. For this report, we have refined our reporting boundaries and expanded our emissions data to include additional, previously
unavailable, sources of Scope 1 and 2 emissions. We also identified relevant sources of Scope 3 emissions and commenced collecting and estimating data. We are pleased to report that in 2019, we exceeded our emissions reduction goal of 5% by achieving a 9% reduction
in our Scope 1 and 2 like-for-like emissions. Understanding the contributors to our emissions is key to developing plans to reduce them. The largest driver of our Scope 1 and 2 emissions is electricity consumption in the common areas of our portfolio.
We will continue our energy efficiency projects and develop a renewable energy strategy which will enable us to continue to achieve our emissions reduction goals.
Our Scope 3 emissions can be reduced through continued leadership on sustainability with our tenants, vendors and contractors. We aim to build on our Scope 3 inventory as technology and transparency improves. In addition, we are working towards setting a Science-based Target and will continue to improve our data collection and reporting with that goal in mind.
- Reduce like-for-like Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 5% from previous year
- Maintain a reduction of 5% in like-for-like Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions each year until 2028
Welcome to a Cleaner Future
Regency welcomes new employees with a gift, which includes, among other things, a voucher to have trees planted. The trees are planted by a partner organization, which manages multiple reforestation projects around the world, our new team members choose to which of the current projects their trees contribute. This initiative ensures that the people we welcome into our workplace are aware of our culture and commitment to the environment, and have an opportunity to contribute immediately. In 2019, this program planted approximately 400 trees around the world. When these trees mature, they will absorb approximately 19,200 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere annually,(1) the amount created by driving an average car 2,177,243 miles(2).
(1) arborday.org/trees/treefacts(2) epa.gov/greenvehicles/greenhouse-gas-emissions-typical-passenger-vehicle.
Belmont Chase | Ashburn, VA | LEED Silver Certified
Our largest source of energy consumption is lighting for the common areas at our centers. Energy-efficient LED and advanced lighting controls can help us significantly reduce the energy required and we are continuing to convert existing lighting systems throughout our portfolio. These energy-efficient projects reduce our energy use by nearly 60% on average while also improving safety and aesthetics at our centers.
In addition, we continue to seek opportunities to improve the roof insulation and glazing at our properties as well as implement cool-roofing and regular HVAC replacements.
We are proud to report that these projects enabled us to exceed our reduction goal of 2.5% and in 2019 we reduced our like-for-like energy consumption by 6% from 2018.
- Reduce like-for-like energy consumption by 2.5% from previous year
- Maintain a reduction of 2.5% in like-for-like energy consumption each year until 2028
The Gallery At Westbury Plaza | New York, NY | Rooftop Solar Photovoltaic System
As our sustainability efforts evolve, we see the benefits of turning to renewable energy where possible to offset our emissions, reduce costs and contribute to a lower carbon future. We have done so in partnership with our tenants who similarly seek to reduce their impact on the planet. Regency has implemented 19 solar arrays at 12 of our centers, producing approximately 2,400 megawatt hours of clean and renewable power in 2019. Some of our tenants have also installed solar arrays and in total we have 30 systems at 22 of our properties.
Combined, we estimate that approximately 5,900 megawatt hours of renewable energy was produced at our properties in 2019. In addition we purchased 3,585 megawatt hours of renewable energy credits for operations in the common areas of our properties. We will continue to seek opportunities to source renewable energy and add arrays to our properties to provide clean and affordable energy options for our centers and tenants.
Cochran Commons | Charlotte, NC | Tesla Charging Stations
Electric Vehicle Charging
We recognize the benefits of sustainable transport options for the communities we serve and have been contributing to the development of a national network of EV charging stations since 2012. EV stations provide customers with a modern amenity that enables
them to reduce their carbon footprint from vehicle use by up to 3 times.(3) An additional 105 stations were installed at Regency properties in 2019, providing a total of 314 stations at 59 of our properties and an estimated 2.5 million charging sessions over the year.
(3) urw.com/en/csr/csr-documents; The Tesla® word mark and logos are registered trademarks owned by Tesla, Inc.
We recognize water as an essential resource that should be used efficiently in our operations. The majority of our water consumption is in landscape irrigation and we aim to balance our use of water with the desire to provide shade and aesthetically pleasing natural areas at our centers for our tenants and customers. More than 130 of our centers have high-efficiency ‘smart’ irrigation systems that adjust schedules based on local weather conditions to optimize when they are operational. In addition, we use water-efficient plantings such as native and drought-tolerant plants and where possible use reclaimed water from our local utility providers. Stormwater management systems, permeable paving systems and rainwater retention cisterns are also measures we have implemented to ensure we adhere to best practice in water management across our portfolio. In 2019, we reduced our like-for-like water use by 6% when compared to 2018.
Village at La Floresta | Los Angeles | LEED Silver Certified
We strive to provide facilities and haul services that enable our tenants and customers to collect and dispose of recyclable and compostable materials. Recycling programs vary significantly based on location however as much as possible we promote responsible waste management and our Tenant Sustainability Guide gives tips on how recycling can be maximized and benefit both the planet and businesses. We are pleased to report that like-for-like composting at our properties more than tripled in 2019 and the like-for-like amount of waste being diverted increased by 3% from 2018. We are extremely pleased with these results and will continue to assess and monitor waste management at our properties and implement measures to maintain these achievements across our portfolio.
Regency also works to divert waste and promote recycling in our offices. Our paper recycling program enabled us to recycle approximately 80 tons of paper in 2019 which equates to preserving 1,345 trees and a carbon footprint reduction by 116,069 lbs – the equivalent of keeping 11 cars off the road per year.
- Increase like-for-like waste diversion by 1% from the previous year
- Maintain a 1% increase in like-for-like waste diversion each year until 2028
Task Force on Climate-related
Financial Disclosures (TCFD)
Regency is committed to reducing our environmental impact and implementing the recommendations of the TCFD.
Our Board regularly reviews our corporate responsibility program including our efforts to analyze the impact of, and respond to, climate change. Ultimate responsibility for assessing and mitigating climate-related risks and identifying and seizing climate-related opportunities is with our President and Chief Executive Officer, with ongoing oversight by our Corporate Responsibility Committee. This Committee is comprised of senior leaders from all departments in our business and meets at least quarterly. The Chair reports regularly to the President and Chief Executive Officer and the Nominating & Governance Committee of our Board.
Regency has a significant portfolio in Florida and identified that sea levels rising might pose a risk to our centers in that market. To better assess the potential impacts we conducted an analysis based on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) sea level rise projections in coastal areas. We identified that, in the long term, seven assets would be most at risk by sea level rise of five to six feet, and one location that could be threatened by a rise of three feet. This analysis has contributed to how we assess asset and risk management in this region, and mitigate these risks.
In 2020 we will build upon this analysis with an in-depth climate change scenario analysis involving risk and opportunity identification and consideration. The Corporate Responsibility Committee will host a workshop with key representatives from across the business to identify and analyze risks and opportunities across our business in two climate scenarios, one where there are low levels of emissions and another where emissions continue to rise. The analysis will look at the short, medium and long term in both scenarios. The output from the workshop will inform our business, strategic and financial planning and will be reported to the Executive Committee and Board with recommendations on action.
Risk management is integrated in all that we do. A full account of our risk management practices can be found in our Corporate Responsibility Policies and Practices document. The sea level rise analysis informed how we manage risks to our Florida properties and the output from our 2020 workshop will similarly inform risk management across our portfolio and be integrated into our existing processes. High impact and likelihood risks may be managed through specific risk action plans.
Metrics and Targets
Metrics and targets will be discussed and agreed at our 2020 workshop. We also have environmental stewardship goals designed to lower our impact on the planet and climate. We disclose our energy use, water consumption, waste diversion and greenhouse gas emissions in this Report as well as our progress toward achieving our goals.