As a leading owner of seniors housing and medical office buildings, we support and apply measurable sustainability practices and standards. Sustainability is good for the environment and our business – creating lasting economic efficiencies, while preserving and protecting the planet.
Sustainability is a focal point for our existing portfolio and a factor in our acquisition and divestiture strategy. Our initiatives lower operating costs, are valued by tenants and operators, and lead to higher market values.
Sustainability in Action
Improvements to our environmental footprint and energy efficiency efforts are taking place company-wide. Spearheading our efforts is a Sustainability Committee comprised of senior leadership from different functional areas that meets regularly to consolidate and improve our awareness, information collection and disclosure regarding environmental matters.
LEED-certification was a key criterion in the selection of our corporate headquarters in 2011, and our corporate offices in Chicago, IL, Louisville, KY, and Irvine, CA, are all located in LEED-certified buildings. Ventas is a member of the independent U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). We have experienced in-house LEED-accredited staff, and we are proud to have nine LEED-certified buildings in our portfolio, two additional properties built to LEED standards and three more properties currently being built to LEED standards. LEED buildings deliver a host of energy efficiencies, including reduced waste, energy and usage. Plus, LEED buildings have lower operating costs and increased asset values.
Ventas is an ENERGY STAR partner. We continually look for opportunities to reduce consumption as we measure energy usage (lighting, HVAC, water and utilities). Sixty of our senior living communities and medical office buildings have received ENERGY STAR certification, meeting national energy efficiency benchmarks established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. We also have 505 properties registered with ENERGY STAR and a total of 124 ENERGY STAR Labels awarded.
The sustainability impact can be significant: typically, Energy Star buildings use 35% less energy, emit 35% less greenhouse gas, and cost 50 cents less per square foot to operate than average buildings. These buildings also are especially appealing to our customers, tending to provide higher occupancy rates and increased asset values.
As a signatory to the CDP, we are committed to transparency and timely disclosure of climate change risk. For 2013, Ventas ranked in the top half of participants in the Financial Sector. Click here for our complete survey and results. Every year, we also participate in the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) survey as part of its annual global survey on the sustainability of real estate properties. For 2013, Ventas scored in the top quartile of all participants in North America. Click here for our complete survey and results.
At Ventas, sustainability is integral to our everyday business. We strive to identify where we can make strategic investments to increase the efficiency in each facility. Across our portfolio, we are collaborating with our customers to improve environmental awareness and the sustainability of our properties.