GRESB’s Globally Recognized Platform Incorporates Sustainability Data from Over 600 Companies; Equity Residential’s Northern California Commitment to Sustainability Continues to Expand Throughout Existing and New Apartment Communities.San Francisco, CA (
March 4, 2015) – The Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) Survey recently recognized Equity Residential as the Sector Leader in Residential Large Cap (Communities) in North America, announced Equity Residential’s First Vice President of Investments, John Hyjer. The designation of Sector Leader is the result of Equity Residential having the highest overall GRESB score for multifamily properties in North America.
Headquartered in the Netherlands, GRESB is an industry-driven organization committed to assessing the sustainability performance of public, private and direct real estate portfolios around the globe.
According to Hyjer, “As one of the nation’s leading owners and developers of multifamily residential communities, Equity Residential is committed to serving and enhancing the neighborhoods and cities where we operate. Our industry leading sustainability programs not only address specific environmental impacts such as water conservation, waste reduction and energy efficiency, but also the environmental and social impact to each apartment community and its residents. We are honored to have our work recognized, as we can think of no better way to serve than by ensuring the sustainability of our high-quality communities.
In drought stricken Northern California, Equity Residential has installed smart irrigation systems in the majority of its communities. These properties have benefited from a 29% reduction in use of irrigation water, as compared from the pre-installation baseline. Notably, these systems use weather data such as rainfall, wind speed, temperature and humidity, as well as the type of plantings to determine the optimum-watering schedule, providing residents with a beautifully landscaped community without sacrificing the commitment to sustainability that Equity Residential holds.
Additional key initiatives deployed in Northern California include the installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels in eight existing communities that currently generate 1.5 megawatts, with more planned in our communities under development. As a result, there was over an 80% reduction in electric use in these eight properties in the two years since the solar panels were installed. Due to its location and architecture, Skyline Terrace in Burlingame was one of the communities selected. It features both photovoltaic panels, which produce electricity, and solar thermal panels, which provide hot water.
Equity Residential is in the midst of an ongoing conversion to energy-efficient lighting, thereby saving energy and reducing emissions in the process. With the latest innovations in LED lighting, they not only use significantly less energy and last much longer than florescent or incandescent, they also increase the level of light by nearly double.
The GRESB also recognized Equity Residential’s leadership role when it became the first apartment community to partner with Zipcar in 2012. While Equity Residential’s investment strategy includes acquiring and developing in transit-oriented locations, there are still instances when residences desire the use of a car, and the firm’s current on-site car-sharing concept allows for that, at a reduced impact to the environment.
Additionally, Equity Residential utilizes sustainability practices in the renovation and upgrading of apartments and entire communities. Eco-friendly products have been installed in nearly 20,000 apartments in California, including the installation of Energy Star kitchen appliances, Low-VOC paint, WaterSense faucets and showerheads, programmable thermostats and energy efficient lighting, to name a few. Additionally, through the ‘Our Pretty Smart’ program, residents are educated in all of the sustainable features available in their apartments.
About Equity Residential
Equity Residential is an S&P 500 company focused on the acquisition, development and management of high quality apartment properties in top U.S. growth markets. Equity Residential owns or has investments in 391 properties consisting of 109,225 apartment units. For more information on Equity Residential, please visit our website at www.equityapartments.com.