Savanna, a New York City-based real estate investment manager, owner/operator and developer, has released its 2021 Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Report,showcasing the numerousways in which the firm is employing ESG best practices and operations throughout its real estate investment portfolio.
The full Savanna 2021 ESG report can be accessed HERE,and highlights include:
- LEED/ENERGY STAR: Savanna has over 3 million square feet of LEED certified buildings and achieved an ENERGY Star certification accounting in over 2.7 million square feet of office buildings in its portfolio including at One Court Square, 521 5th Avenue, 19 West 44th Street, 360 Lexington Avenue and 5 Bryant Park.
- WELL Health Safety: In addition, the firm’s entire portfolio has been certified under WELL Health-Safety rating.
- Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB): Savanna achieved GRESB 5 STAR Rating and Green Star Designation for six of its funds.
“Savanna is striving to build environmentally conscious spaces and accelerate corporate diversity through our comprehensive ESG program,” notes PeterRosenthal, Chief Development Officer, Savanna. “Environmental, social and governance principles are at the core of many of our operations and investment decisions. Savanna continues to meet and exceed its goals of reducing energy use while boostinginclusion in the workforce and we’re incredibly proud that our initiatives are having a meaningful impact. We look forward to continuing our ESG efforts going forward and we’re confident our actions today will create a better tomorrow.”
Additional highlights of the report include:
Environmental Responsibility: Savanna continues to develop ground-up construction projects, incorporate sustainability criteria in newly acquired buildings, and demonstrate operational efficiency through green building certification programs and energy ratings. In addition, the firm has conducted in-depth assessments and uses Environmental Performance Metrics to understand the performance of its assets by engaging with energy managers, property managers, consultants and tenants and identify areas of opportunity for efficiency. Savanna also utilizes the Energy Star Portfolio Manager platform to track the performance of each building and aim for improvements at the portfolio level:
- ULI:Savanna aligned with Urban Land Institute’s (ULI) Greenprint Net Zero goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions across its portfolio by 50% by 2030 and net zero operations by 2050.
- Cortex:To further assist in energy efficiency, as well as enhance electricity and carbon reduction, Savanna utilizes a software called Cortex, which provides real-time analytics on the efficiency of the building’s HVAC systems. Asverified by a third-party consultant, the most recent statistics comparing 2020 with 2021 show a 2.4% year-over-year reduction in energy use and 22% reduction in water consumption.
Social Responsibility:Savanna has cultivated an inclusive and diverse work environment for employees that encourages optimal performance, stimulates innovation, and supports personal development opportunities, in addition to attracting and retaining diverse talent:
- Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: In 2021, Savanna formed a DEI council comprised of members representing multiple business units, which are helping to develop initiatives aimed at increasing diversity and inclusivity, access, and equity throughout the firm.
- Savanna Women’s Initiative (SWI):SWI was founded by Savanna employees in 2021 with the mission to promote professional development and leadership opportunities for the firm’s female team members by fostering a culture in which the success of women is respected, valued, and supported. SWI engages all employees at Savanna with a focus on recruiting, retaining, and cultivating female talent.
- Community Engagement/Development: Savanna has partnered with multiple community organizations, such as Project Destined, which provides opportunities to students in diverse communities by giving them exposure to the commercial real estate industry.Savanna has also engaged with The ACE Mentor Program, which introduces high school students to careers in architecture, engineering, and construction management as well as Women Rising, which offers support andadvocacy to women and families experiencing domestic violence.In addition, Savannasupportsmultiple local development organizations in the neighborhoods in which it invests, including the Downtown Alliance, LIC Partnership, Uptown Grand Central, 34th Street Partnership and Grand Central Partner
- Disclosure: During 2021, Savanna aligned ESG reporting to globally recognized disclosure standards such as GRI (Global Reporting Initiative), SASB (Sustainability Accounting Standards Board), GRESB (Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark), and Taskforce for Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).
- ESG Committee: In 2020, Savanna launched the ESG Committee to ensure that ESG initiatives are discussed by all business units and at the executive level.
For more information about Savanna, please visit savannafund.com.
Savanna, formed in 1992, is a vertically-integrated real estate investment manager based in New York City and focused on strategic property investments throughout the City’s five boroughs. The firm pursues real estate equity and debt investments, including ground-up development and major repositioning projects. Savanna’s equity investments target value add/opportunistic returns by adding value through asset management and/or property development, redevelopment, and repositioning, deploying a team of more than 60 experienced investment, asset management, construction, and leasing professionals. Savanna also selectively invests in real estate debt instruments that have the potential to generate equity-like returns, including preferred equity instruments, high yield bridge and mezzanine loans, and B-notes. Since 2006, Savanna has invested over $5 billion in total capital across approximately 17 million square feet of real property.