2020 ESG ReportDownload
A LETTER TO OUR STAKEHOLDERS
While the health crisis and social unrest dominated much of our attention in 2020, we maintained our focus on environmental, social and governance issues, which continue to shape how we conduct our business. As we have actively developed our industry-leading ESG program, ESG issues have become more important to our stakeholders. Our customers are focused on sustainability and have continued to make their commitments part of the value proposition they offer their employees and stakeholders. In financial markets, we are seeing a growing focus on ESG from both equity and fixed-income investors. Our communities, which are focused on advancing climate action and have established carbon-neutrality targets, benefit from our leadership on the issue. Climate change is also an important topic to our employees, who are focused on the impacts of climate on our planet, including its current inhabitants and future generations.
Caring about ESG makes Boston Properties a more purposeful real estate company. It is the right thing to do, and it is also the smart thing to do, now and in the future. The events of 2020 have led to health and wellness as well as social equity securing themselves as key components of sustainability and ESG. While this poses new challenges for how we in the industry will measure portfolio risk, value, and performance, it also reinforces just how intertwined our work is with many important aspects of people’s lives.
Sustainable development and responsible growth are inherent to our investment philosophy, which is shaped by our core strategy of long-term ownership. As stakeholder interest in ESG issues continues to escalate, the important role of real estate companies and the opportunities for BXP have never been more evident. We continue to address the needs of our stakeholders by making efforts to improve ESG performance. These efforts include advancing our commitments to the period-defining issues of carbon-neutrality, climate resilience, diversity and inclusion, health security, community involvement and industry leadership.
OUR 2020 HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:
- BXP ranked among the top real estate companies in the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) assessment, earning a fifth consecutive 5-Star rating, the highest rating and recognition. It was the ninth consecutive year that BXP earned the GRESB “Green Star” designation, achieving the highest scores in several categories;
- BXP was named one of America’s Most Responsible Companies by Newsweek magazine. BXP ranked 56th overall out of 400 companies included. It was the second-highest ranking of all property companies and the highest ranking of any office REIT. BXP was also named one of the ten most sustainable REITs by Calvert Research and Management;
- Our Board of Directors established a new board-level Sustainability Committee to, among other things, increase Board oversight of sustainability issues;
- We launched the Diversity & Inclusion Committee in early 2020 with the mission of promoting diversity, equity, inclusion and transparency as part of our culture, business activities and decision-making practices, while also providing an additional mechanism through which we can make a positive impact in the communities in which we operate;
- We are committed to achieving carbon-neutral operations by 2025. As a climate action leader, BXP became a proud signatory of the We Are Still In pledge after the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Agreement in 2017. BXP’s emissions reduction target ambition is in line with a 1.5°C trajectory, the most ambitious designation available at the time of submission under the Science Based Targets initiative. In 2020, BXP was one of six North American Real Estate companies with this distinction and the only North American office company in that group;
- In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we convened a Health Security Task Force of internal and external healthy building experts to develop and implement a comprehensive health security plan. BXP was named a 2020 Best in Building Health award winner and completed Fitwel’s Viral Response Module enterprise certification;
- BXP has been a Green Lease Leader since 2015 and was named a 2020 Green Lease Leader at the highest Gold level by the Institute for Market Transformation and the U.S. Department of Energy for exhibiting a strong commitment to high performance and sustainability in buildings and best practices in leasing;
- We advanced the allocation of $850 million of green bonds from our June 2019 offering and issued green bonds in our third green bond offering in March 2021, growing our total green bond offerings to $2.7 billion since 2018. We have completed impact reporting with details about the use of proceeds and the environmental metrics for the first two green bond offerings;
- BXP was recognized by the Environmental Performance Agency (EPA) as a 2020 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year and a 2021 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year for Sustained Excellence. This award is reserved for ENERGY STAR partners demonstrating outstanding leadership, year over year. Partners must perform at a superior level of energy management, demonstrate best practices;
- We increased our total property area certified under the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification program to 25.8 million square feet, 99% of which has been certified at the highest Gold and Platinum levels;
- We increased stakeholder engagement on issues of sustainability, diversity and inclusion, and issued our first supply chain survey focused on social and environmental issues;
- We maintained our ongoing commitment to volunteerism and philanthropy. Through the year we donated more than 940 service hours to over 200 community events and organizations; and
- We maintained a diverse Board of Directors which consists of four women or 36% of our Board
We are proud of our position and consistent recognition as an industry leader in sustainability and ESG. We will continue to demonstrate our commitment and capacity to conduct our business in a manner that contributes to positive economic, social and environmental outcomes for our customers, shareholders, employees and the communities we serve.
Owen D. Thomas, CEO Douglas T. Linde, President