Heitman North American Core Fund Reaches 5 Stars for Second Consecutive Year
Chicago, Oct. 20, 2021 – Heitman LLC (Heitman), a global real estate investment management firm, today announced that its North American Core Fund (Fund) has achieved a 5-star ranking in the 2021 Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) Real Estate Assessment for the second year in a row.
The Fund’s status as a 2021 5-star GRESB fund places it in the top 20 percent of the funds that submitted information for review and assessment. The fund team is focused on implementation of industry leading ESG integration and comprehensive data tracking at the asset level. GRESB enables Heitman to benchmark assets’ performance holistically against the industry, which in turn allows Heitman to communicate its best practices and identify areas of further improvement across the fund.
“We are proud to achieve a 5-star GRESB ranking for the second consecutive year. We continuously seek to improve our environmental performance across our portfolio, which is evidenced in the Fund’s GRESB score. Progress to date suggests we are on track to achieve our goal of reducing carbon emissions to net zero by 2030,” said Blaise P. Keane, Heitman Executive Vice President and Senior Portfolio Manager for the Heitman North American Core Fund. “In addition, we continue to refine and advance incorporation of an assessment of climate risk into our investment process, which we believe will lead to beneficial outcomes for investors.”
In line with Heitman’s commitment to reduce operational carbon emissions to net zero by 2030, the Fund team has been focused on integrating active management strategies that result in meaningful reductions of carbon emissions for matters within the Fund’s operational control. Heitman’s commitment to portfolio-wide carbon reductions follows the Urban Land Institute’s (ULI) Greenprint Center for Building Performance (Greenprint) framework for achieving net zero carbon operations, which it plans to achieve via continued energy efficiency improvements, onsite and off-site renewable energy investments, green utility power purchasing agreements, electrification of operations, and the acquisition of renewable energy credits and offsets.
In 2020, the Fund team completed a total of 185 unique energy projects ranging from automatic metering projects and building automation upgrades, to the installation of high efficiency equipment and on-site solar capabilities. In total, the Fund’s portfolio has 22 properties with solar installations and 11 properties in deregulated markets sourcing renewable energy. Year-over-year, the Fund has achieved a 12% reduction in energy usage and 11% reduction in carbon emissions within its net zero operational boundary.
“Each year, we continue to make improvements in how we collect energy data, expand our data coverage, and enhance our active management strategies to reduce our carbon footprint and drive property values,” said Laura Craft, Heitman Senior Vice President and Head of Global ESG Strategy. “Importantly, we are focused on driving return on investment by focusing on sustainability improvements that position our assets and portfolios for the future.”
“Heitman’s steady progression up the GRESB annual rankings, marked by the Fund’s performance as a 5-star fund two years in a row, exemplifies the firm’s commitment to ESG improvement and performance,” said Dan Winters, Head of Americas at GRESB.