We have been hard at work enhancing the integrity and competitiveness of our business through Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) initiatives. In recent years, we have enhanced financial and operational performance through responsible investment policies, community engagement, and transparent corporate governance. Put simply, we believe embedding ESG into the very core of WPT’s business practices creates enduring value for all our stakeholders.
We believe ESG enhances the durability of our portfolio by attracting high-quality tenants, creating competitive advantages, minimizing risk, and maximizing returns. We implement ESG initiatives across our portfolio through sustainable development standards and by leveraging our existing industry relationships to strengthen ESG engagement with our on-site property management teams and tenants.
Sustainability also influences our corporate and human resources practices. We relocated our corporate headquarters to a LEED Gold certified building, offered employee incentives for alternative, lower emission transportation, and added LEED accredited professionals to our staff to facilitate increased sustainability in our operational and investment initiatives. The following highlights our progress to date, our key sustainability strategies, and sets the stage as we work to build a robust and evolving ESG program.
WPT is in the early stages of our sustainability journey, but we are proud of the accomplishments we have made throughout our business. Our achievements would not be possible without the dedicated team of employees that drive WPT’s long-term relationships and reputation. By formalizing our existing sustainable development and operational guidelines under the framework of ESG, we can more clearly demonstrate our commitment to building a sustainable future.
WPT is committed to advancing sustainability practices in the construction and operation of our buildings to minimize our environmental impact. Through the implementation of the following practices, we aim to reduce our carbon footprint, while enhancing asset value, and create safer and healthier environments for building occupants and local communities.
The decisions we make for new construction and major renovation projects have long-term implications for the environment and for building occupants. As such, our responsible development best practices are designed to drive energy and water efficiency as well as enhanced indoor air quality. Best practices include:
We strive to conserve resources by reusing building materials in our development projects. In our Eagan, MN development project we purchased a site with an existing building and repurposed all asphalt and concrete on-site during the construction phase. The recycled materials were used as aggregate base materials for new pavement and floor slabs for the new building. By utilizing existing materials, we saved 15,500 tons of material from entering landfills or being shipped through fuel intensive transportation. Ensuring the health and safety of our contractors and vendors is a priority during the development phase of our properties. We use concrete systems like Ductilcrete and PrimX that use fewer joints than traditional floor slab systems, requiring less maintenance for the life of the floors. These systems reduce silica exposure and promote healthier conditions for workers during construction. Fewer joints in our concrete systems also translate to safer conditions for occupants after construction, including forklift operators experiencing fewer back issues and less damage on material handling equipment.
Many of our properties use landscaping that is in line with local water conservation policies, facilitates stormwater management, and decreases potable water consumption.
Our Bayonne, NJ, property includes xeriscape landscaping using all native species that thrive on rainfall alone.
We take pride in building lasting relationships with all our stakeholders through creativity and collaboration. Exploring opportunities that create value for our tenants while driving long term investor value is a win-win. In addition to utilizing green lease language to engage tenants and facilitate positive ESG outcomes in their leased spaces, many of our tenants have their own corporate ESG goals. Engaging with these tenants to develop strategic partnerships helps us implement impactful efficiency projects while strengthening our tenant-landlord relationships.
WPT values innovation and regularly analyzes the benefits of adopting technologies and strategies that enhance on-site ESG efforts at our properties. We have incorporated the Vutility HotDrop meter technology to gather and benchmark utility use in select properties. Collecting this data will allow us to monitor utility consumption trends and help inform our tenant engagement strategies as we continue to implement our ESG program across the portfolio.
Our 1.5 million square foot building in Social Circle, GA, is already a LEED® Gold certified facility. But through partnership and collaboration with our tenant, General Mills, as part of their lease renewal, we continued our commitment to sustainability in the building with a comprehensive LED retrofit. This lighting upgrade improved occupant comfort and resulted in an annualized energy savings of 18.4% since installation.
WPT seeks to positively impact our stakeholders through meaningful engagement, collaboration, and charitable activities. We work hard to create a culture that values good corporate citizenship and attracts and retains a diverse and talented group of employees.
Our Minneapolis headquarters facilitates sustainability policies, procedures, and amenities to drive integration of ESG principles into WPT’s culture. We offer our valued employees:
We take time to positively impact our local communities through volunteering with local lunch packing events with Feed My Starving Children, building homes with Habitat for Humanity, and contributing time to local Minnesota nonprofits The Sanneh Foundation and MATTER, which both support youth and community development nearby and internationally. Our employees select organizations that are meaningful to our team to contribute to financially. To date, we have donated to the Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Home for Life Sanctuary, Open Arms of Minnesota, The Sanneh Foundation, and The Loppet Foundation.
WPT is committed to integrating principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in our everyday business practices. Our employees and senior management are required to participate in diversity and inclusion training including an understanding of how diversity and inclusion supports our business practices.
Thoughtful corporate governance and stakeholder engagement provides the foundation for WPT’s success by building positive and lasting relationships with our investors, partners, tenants, employees, and communities. We pride ourselves on operating with transparency and integrity through ethical business practices and governance policies that all WPT employees are responsible for upholding. We also proactively engage with our vendors and third-party service providers to ensure compliance with our policies and alignment with our core stakeholder values.