At Regency Centers, our values are the foundation of who we are and what we do, and they drive us to implement leading environmental, social and governance (ESG) initiatives through our Corporate Responsibility Program.
Today, as we celebrate Earth Day 2021, we find it more important than ever to shine the spotlight on one of our four main pillars of responsibility: Environmental Stewardship.
Our continued commitment to be good stewards of the environment involves focusing on six strategic priorities to identify and implement sustainable business practices which minimize our environmental impact — not just on Earth Day, but every day. These six priorities include:
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 can help us reduce energy use by nearly 60% on average, while also improving safety and aesthetics at our centers.
Greenhouse gas emissions reductions
We are committed to understanding and reducing our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions footprint and striving for a carbon-neutral future. In 2020, we further improved our dataset and accessed aggregated data that will give us visibility of the emissions footprint of our properties throughout 2021. Through this, we can better understand the impact of our business, and use that knowledge to work with our tenants for their benefit and that of the communities they serve.
We strive to implement best practice in water management at our properties in order to preserve this important resource. The majority of our water use is to irrigate our properties, which is influenced by factors like weather patterns and water restrictions. However, we seek to minimize these impacts and balance our use of water to provide pleasant and inviting natural spaces at our centers with our aim to advance water conservation.
As early adopters of green building practices, we are committed 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.
We promote best practice waste management, and through our Tenant Sustainability Guide, advise our tenants on how recycling can be maximized as well as the benefits it provides to the environment and their business. We aim to provide our tenants and center visitors with the means to recycle and compost their waste. Regency also seeks the best waste management programs for our corporate offices, and encourages employees to participate in recycling and other diversion measures. In 2020, our paper recycling program achieved the following: preserved 237 trees, saved the equivalent of 84 years of energy demand for a laptop, and conserved the equivalent of 42 pools of water.
Regency recognizes that climate change is one of the most significant issues facing our society today, and that its potential impacts on our business need to be analyzed and incorporated into our strategic planning. To do so, we addressed the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), and undertook a climate change scenario analysis and risk and opportunities assessment. The results of our analysis are being incorporated in our strategic and property-level planning to ensure resilience in our portfolio and business into the future.
As our sustainability efforts grow, we are slowly blurring the lines between what is a ‘green’ initiative and what is common practice in many areas,” said Mark Peternell, Vice President, Sustainability. “Not only are there obvious benefits to being good environmental stewards, but the efficiencies of resources and cost savings become more apparent every day. We are fast approaching a point when sustainability initiatives will be an important and integrated aspect of everything we do.
Although we are proud to be committed to these long-term sustainability goals, we understand there is always more we can do to be better stewards of our environment. Together, we look forward to reaching these goals and pursuing new ones, one day at a time.
Learn more about Regency Centers' commitment to Corporate Responsibility here.