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Verdani's 10 ESG, Climate, and Reporting Trends Shaping 2024

Authors: Carli Schoenleber, Paulynn Cue, Mary Reames, Nick Gillett, and Shauna Archer

February 7, 2024


Over the past year, the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) narrative has been shaped by extraordinary climate extremes, with the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) confirming 2023 as Earth’s hottest year on record and reporting an unprecedented 28 billion-dollar disasters impacting the U.S. in the past year.[1][2] The 5th National Climate Assessment, published in December 2023, casts these events in stark relief, warning of rising damages tied to each consecutive increase in global temperature.[3]



As the world confronts the challenges of climate change, scrutiny on corporate ESG practices is intensifying. The recent surge in global ESG regulations marks a move towards greater corporate transparency, requiring companies to disclose not just the risks and opportunities of sustainability issues, but also the impacts of their operations on people and the environment. This trend goes beyond mere compliance; it's catalyzing the strategic use of ESG data across the supply chain, as companies and investors recognize its critical role in business strategy and financial performance. A 2023 IBM survey of 2,500 executives illustrates this shift: an impressive 76% report ESG as fundamental to their business strategy, with 72% seeing it as a driver of revenue growth.[4]


Despite persistent debate in the U.S., the global dedication to ESG and sustainability is steadily gaining ground. This movement is propelled by governments, investors, and consumers alike, who are urging businesses towards a sustainable future where success is achieved without detriment to people or the planet. This article delves into Verdani's 10 ESG trends for 2024, highlighting both emerging and ongoing developments in corporate sustainability and sustainable real estate and offering insights for navigating the increasingly intricate and continuously evolving ESG landscape.



 


Across the U.S., climate change has quickly transitioned from a distant concern to a pressing reality. A PBS Newshour poll from last August indicates 62% of Americans are feeling its direct impact in their communities and 56% recognize it as a major threat.[5] Concurrently, the insurance market is experiencing significant changes due to climate risk, particularly in states like Florida, California, and Louisiana, where insurers are increasing premiums and even withdrawing from especially high-risk areas.[6] Because insurability has direct implications for real estate values, this trend has raised concerns about potential devaluations,[7] echoing warnings from the insurance industry in the 2000s.[8] 



As climate change worsens, individuals are increasingly considering strategic choices such as relocating to areas less prone to extreme weather.[9] Meanwhile, businesses and investors are shifting to proactively assess vulnerability to climate risks, conducting climate risk assessments and stress testing to determine how operational and acquisition strategies would perform under different climate scenarios.[10] Recent regulatory developments requiring climate risk disclosures are further incentivizing this shift, including the EU’s 2022 Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) proposed climate disclosure rules (final rules anticipated in 2024), and California’s 2023 SB-261.



In the real estate sector, building performance standards like Local Law 97 in New York City are prompting owners to weigh the penalties of non-compliance with GHG emissions reduction mandates against the costs and benefits of retrofitting for decarbonization.[11] As sustainability becomes more integrated into corporate strategy, we will see more companies view compliance not only as a risk mitigation measure but as an opportunity to future-proof assets and achieve broader goals around climate adaptation. For example, retrofits like HVAC upgrades not only cut emissions and energy costs; they can also add value and resilience by improving indoor environmental quality, offering protection against infectious diseases like COVID-19 and external pollutants like wildfire smoke.[12]


 


In recent years, ESG has found its place on the corporate org chart in a variety of departments, ranging from operations to human resources, dedicated ESG departments, and now finding a new home in the financial C-suite offices. Stakeholders and leaders are recognizing that integrating sustainability has financial implications that require not only embedding those short- and long-terms plans into the corporate strategy but also focusing on the outcomes with regards to financial interests, investing, and corporate spending.[13] 


In a recent Deloitte survey of 750 CFOs and financial SMEs, 60% of real estate firms acknowledge their unpreparedness for impending ESG regulations. These organizations lack the requisite processes, protocols, and data to meet compliance standards, and most respondents intend to leverage outsourcing to enhance efficiency.[14] With CFOs and financial departments at the helm of ESG incorporation and implementation, it is critical to be planning now on how to shore up the evolving regulatory landscape and position portfolios for impending changes.



The successful implementation of sustainability processes and policies stands out as a key competitive advantage. This not only enhances the attractiveness of a property, drawing in and retaining tenants, but it also aligns with investor and board requirements. There is a growing emphasis on analyzing and assessing risks and implementing strategies to mitigate potential threats to both existing and newly acquired properties within the portfolio — and these efforts are not only being stewarded by ESG consultants and internal ESG teams, but with CFOs and financial departments making key decisions.


Positioning a real estate portfolio to gain a competitive advantage is crucial for owners and investors grappling with the lingering effects of the downturn in commercial space leases, which continue to lag in the aftermath of COVID-19. Now more than ever commercial real estate must be poised to attract and retain tenants, adding to their property amenities and meeting consumer demands for championing environmental and social change.


 


Over the past decade, ESG regulations have skyrocketed by 155%, reshaping corporate strategy for public and private companies worldwide.[15] Addressing urgent sustainability issues like climate change, nature loss, and human rights, these regulations have become more diverse and demanding, covering everything from comprehensive ESG disclosures to greenwashing and supply chain due diligence (see map below). This is a unique year for ESG compliance as companies adjust to earlier rules like the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR), EU Taxonomy, and the U.S. SEC Modernized Marketing Rule, while also preparing for upcoming mandates like the U.S. SEC climate disclosure rules and EU CSRD. This rapidly changing landscape is pushing companies to get ahead of requirements by investing more resources into ESG data management, assurance, and reporting, a strategic shift that is also revealing new opportunities to create value. Although not a formal regulation until adopted by jurisdictions, the introduction of IFRS Sustainability Reporting Standards will consolidate SASB and TCFD and signify 2024 to be a landmark year of more standardized ESG financial disclosures.[16]



Biodiversity and nature are increasingly recognized as crucial components of ESG, drawing growing attention from investors and policy makers and spurring an urgent need for standard setters to finalize nature-related reporting and target-setting guidance for businesses.[17] Key initiatives like the Accountability Framework, Science Based Targets Network (SBTN), Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD), Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), and the GHG Protocol are coordinating to accelerate the development of market-ready frameworks that are applicable across global supply chains and align with existing climate frameworks.[18] In 2023, TNFD released its initial recommendations, setting the stage for the forthcoming SBTN land targets and GHG Protocol Land Sector and Removals Guidance, expected in 2024.[19][20][21]  As biodiversity regulations begin to emerge in the UK and EU (e.g., CSRD, EU Deforestation Regulation, Biodiversity Net Gain), regions known for leading on ESG regulation, it is a strong indicator that global trends will follow suit. This suggests that even companies not currently required to report on biodiversity, such as those outside the scope of the CSRD, should proactively integrate biodiversity considerations into their ESG programs, engaging in data collection and supply chain collaborations to stay ahead of potential regulatory and market changes.


For the U.S. commercial real estate market, cities and states have been a key driver for built environment sustainability, propelled by climate commitments that are accelerating the adoption of benchmarking laws and building performance standards. Benchmarking laws require owners to report on building energy use, whereas building performance standards impose stringent energy or GHG emissions performance targets. This year is particularly significant as some of the first building performance standards come into effect, notably New York City’s Local Law 97 and Denver’s Energize Denver program.[22][23] Additionally, in 2023, California set a precedent as the first state to incorporate embodied carbon requirements into its commercial building code, marking a shift towards regulating the full spectrum of building lifecycle impacts.[24]


 


As ESG and sustainability grow in public prominence, there are still those who talk the talk without, in fact, walking the walk. “Greenwashing” is using messaging to convey an inaccurate picture of a product’s sustainability or to pull attention away from unsustainable practices.[25]


Globally, regulatory agencies are adding or expanding rules to combat greenwashing. For example, in the U.S., the SEC amended the so-called “names rule” in September 2023, requiring funds with titles implying a focus on environmental or social investments to invest at least 80% of their value accordingly.[26] Another SEC rule, Enhanced Disclosures by Certain Investment Advisers and Investment Companies about Environmental, Social, and Governance Investment Practices, awaits finalization. Similarly, the EU Parliament voted in January 2024 to adopt a new anti-greenwashing directive, restricting generic, unproven product claims like “environmentally friendly” and allowing only those sustainability labels that are based on “official certification schemes or established by public authorities.” The directive awaits approval by the EU Council.[27]


The past two years have also seen several prominent enforcement actions, with the SEC’s Climate and ESG Task Force taking action against public companies including Goldman Sachs Asset Management, L.P.[28] and DWS Investment Management Americas.[29] In an example outside the financial sector, two UK consumer-protection authorities have pursued investigations for misleading sustainability claims.[30]


Private litigants also pursue greenwashing claims, often as class actions alleging premium charges for falsely labeled “green” products.[31] Such litigation can prove costly, resulting in legal fees and damage awards. Moreover, companies facing greenwashing allegations may suffer a significant loss of reputation within the court of public opinion. A 2022 study found that companies failing to meet stated sustainability goals experienced a 1.34% drop on the American Customer Satisfaction Index. This number, while seemingly small, “can have significant implications for corporate performance.”[32]



 


Generative AI and technology are at the forefront of the sustainability transformation. Traditional data management, building management, compliance, and reporting tasks are giving way to automated data collection, AI-powered analysis and engagement, and data-driven strategy development. This shift, enabled by the exponential improvement in intelligent technologies, is crucial as more ESG regulations emerge, demanding proactive approaches that go beyond compliance.


Imagine the future of smart buildings, where technology drives both cost savings and sustainability advancements. Buildings equipped with IoT sensors and integrated AI-powered management systems predict and analyze energy consumption, water usage, and other key metrics, identifying inefficiencies and areas for improvement. They learn occupant behavior and automatically adjust settings optimizing comfort and performance and minimizing environmental impact.[33] And to ensure engagement, AI-powered solutions personalize tenant data insights,[34] encouraging customer engagement and fostering a culture of sustainability within buildings.[35] Additional research in emerging areas such as Human Building Interaction (HBI), raises “a wide span of research questions about the future of human experiences with, and within, built environments.”[36] 


Beyond individual buildings, AI facilitates regulatory monitoring, automatically updating internal policies and generating compliant reports. It helps set realistic ESG targets by analyzing industry benchmarks and historical data, guiding strategic investment decisions that maximize impact.



Adding to the examples of AI and technology integration for sustainability, we also see the rise of generative AI transforming regulatory compliance.[37] With more regulations taking effect, organizations can use AI to streamline a typically manual process by understanding regulations, assessing impact, automating reporting tasks, updating policy changes, and training employees on new requirements. In addition, global reporting standards like the EU CSRD now require external third-party assurance or audit review. With penalties for use of estimated data and the inclusion of audits, these global standards compel the preparation of precise and reliable sustainability data.[38] Businesses can leverage new powerful AI models trained on precise sustainability and financial data as AI tools rapidly evolve. This will become an integral part of company strategic planning and operations, delivering value through enhanced data analysis, predicting potential sustainability issues and solutions, and empowering better choices.



This technology-driven approach to ESG holds immense potential to increase efficiency and accuracy, enhance transparency and trust, and empower data-driven decision-making. In a 2023 study interviewing 15 large, market leading commercial office building owners and operators, Tan and Miller note that “[r]eal estate owner/operators all acknowledge the indispensable role digitalization plays in their sustainability initiative(s) on energy efficiency, net-zero operation, and healthy building attributes.”[33] By embracing technology, AI, and data analytics, the CRE industry can not only ensure compliance but also align their ESG strategies with long-term value creation and drive continuous improvement that paves the way for a more sustainable future for the built environment.


 


The corporate world continues to show a significant rise in climate ambition, a trend that has been building over previous years. The Net Zero Tracker reports that the top 2000 publicly traded companies adopting net zero targets increased from 21% to 46% in the last two years. However, many of these targets still lack integrity, especially in addressing scope 3 emissions (i.e., emissions across the supply chain) and relying heavily on carbon offsets, with this issue being more prevalent among private companies.[39] In the global listed real estate market, only 15% of companies have established comprehensive net zero targets that cover all emissions scopes by 2050, and in North America this percentage sits even lower at 8%.[40]


Nearly 10 years in, the world is not on track to meet the 2015 Paris Agreement targets. As global emissions continue to hit new records, the 2023 United Nations (UN) Emissions Gap Report notes we are on track for 2.5–2.9 degrees Celsius of temperature increase by 2100, a level that would have devastating impacts environmentally, socially, and economically.[41] Worse still, due to recent economic challenges, 2023 EY research indicates corporations are slowing down their climate action. To meet short-term earnings targets, many CFOs are de-prioritizing sustainability with constrained budgets, despite it remaining a top long-term investment priority.[42]



Despite these shortfalls, climate considerations are increasingly integrated into financial strategy, propelled by factors such as investor pressure, evolving climate regulations, the growth of carbon pricing, and a heightened urgency to mitigate climate risk. In a 2023 CNBC article, JP Morgan executive Rama Variankaval emphasizes that decarbonization has reached “megatrend” status in global financial markets, reflecting its broad and significant influence across various sectors of the economy.[43] Furthermore, evidence increasingly shows that companies leading on climate action are capturing more financial value than less progressive peers, with EY reporting “pacesetters” capturing 1.8 times the financial value from climate initiatives than those taking the least action.[42]



As companies run out of low hanging fruit actions to decarbonize, the next several years will present a new challenge of implementing deeper and more transformative actions needed to keep pace with net zero targets. Real estate companies, having started with simpler projects such as LED lighting retrofits, are now advancing their decarbonization agendas by undertaking deep energy retrofits and commissioning for heightened efficiency. Concurrently they are addressing supply-side decarbonization through electrification, on-site solar, and thanks to the growth of renewable energy in electricity markets and increasing availability of voluntary green energy programs, green energy procurement.[44]



The introduction of the EU CSRD and California's SB 253 GHG emissions disclosure rule illustrate significant progress on climate legislation, importantly by making scope 3 emissions reporting a mandatory practice, with implications extending to private companies. This expansion of corporate climate responsibility to encompass global supply chains is particularly crucial in the real estate sector, where scope 3 emissions can account for upwards of 95% of total emissions,[45] but until now, voluntary reporting has been limited.[46] The increased focus on scope 3 emissions is gradually leading to a clearer understanding of the built environment’s carbon footprint, calling for greater collaboration and engagement with supply chain partners like tenants and materials manufacturers. Advancements like Lendlease's Scope 3 Emissions Protocol are paving the way for more standardized practices in scope 3 measurement and mitigation, helping to scale and accelerate efforts across the industry.[47]


Efforts to decarbonize supply chains are in line with initiatives addressing other supply chain-centric issues like deforestation and human rights, highlighting a unified approach towards overall supply chain management improvements.[48] [49] As market transparency on sustainability grows, effective management of these issues becomes more material for companies, not only for regulatory compliance but also for mitigating reputational risks and aligning with the expectations of a socially responsible business environment.


 


While the prominent place of the “ESG backlash” in the media might have people believing otherwise (see Trend 10, ESG and DEI Endure), ESG and sustainability are growing in importance in boardrooms and C-suites. The Sustainability Board, in their 2023 Annual ESG Preparedness Report, indicates that 88% of companies surveyed have some level of ESG oversight at the board level, up from just over half in 2019.[50] Similarly, studies by the Diligent Institute saw an increase in companies indicating that the full board has oversight over ESG, from 20% in 2019 to 49% in 2023. Methods of board oversight are also changing, with 29% of survey respondents citing increased discussions at the board level, 27% creating new committees to oversee ESG-related issues, and 19% formalizing oversight in their governing documents.[51]


ESG is affecting board composition as well, according to a report by the Conference Board, with the percentage of female directors increasing 9% among S&P 500 companies and 11% in Russell 3000 companies between 2018 and 2023.[52] Overall diversity among S&P 500 companies is up to 48%, an increase of 2% from 2022.[53] While the increase in board diversity remains somewhat slow, the increase in S&P 500 companies disclosing the diversity of their boards has been meteoric, jumping from just 11% in 2018 to 72% in 2023.[52]


In the C-suite, executive incentive plans are increasingly being tied to ESG performance metrics. A 2023 study of S&P 500 index companies showed that 75.8% tie some form of ESG performance to these plans, up from 66.5% just two years ago.[54] An IBM survey of 3,000 CEOs across the globe found an even sharper jump, reporting that “[r]oughly 50% of CEOs and their executive teams now have compensation tied to sustainability goals, a significant jump from a year ago, when the figure was just 15%.”[55] Among the S&P 500, the two most frequently used performance metrics relate to DEI commitments and carbon emissions reduction.[54]


 


As market regulations continue to push the commercial real estate market to increase their ESG efforts, investors are escalating their demands for sustainable investments and performance.[56] This shift includes investors looking for clear, visible sustainable investments that can keep up with regulatory changes and the growing prominence of ESG frameworks like GRESB, SASB, and TCFD — which grow year over year in volume of participation.[57] Investments are moving from lofty sustainability goals to concrete plans, achievements, and strategies, including performance and sustainability metrics at the fund and portfolio level that evaluate sustainability performance. In navigating these frameworks and investor demands, there is more pressure for real estate stakeholders to evaluate ways to bolster their ESG and sustainability efforts, broadly (portfolio-level) and acutely (fund- or asset-level).



A contributing factor to this increased investor demand stems from federal investments in sustainability projects from the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which was signed into law in 2022. The IRA is the single largest investment in renewable energy and sustainable infrastructure in U.S. history, with billions in funding for energy and climate change projects, incentivizing investors across the country to seek out projects that can capitalize on the substantial funding available.[58] This funding, which includes billions of dollars allocated for loans for innovative clean energy projects, can allow properties to seek financing for renewable energy projects, efficiency upgrades, and other sustainability improvements for properties and projects.[59]


While a holistically sustainable portfolio, at the broad level, has been sought out by investors for a while, there is more attention now to transparency in reporting — with leading ESG Standards framework Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) naming transparency as a key theme of 2024.[60] This scrutiny has investors approaching investment opportunities with a detail-oriented approach that examines the efficiency of a property, the sustainability components of the property, and how it fares against its competitors. Using frameworks like GRESB, investors can determine which funds, assets, and portfolios are performing the best in regard to their ESG and sustainability efforts. This level of attentiveness from investors on ESG performance indicates that setting ESG and sustainability targets and demonstrating progress is seen as financially material.[61] As the market continues to grow in its competitiveness and both funding and regulations increase at local, federal, and international levels, investors will continue to increasingly examine and analyze the sustainability of prospective investments.


 


Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has long been a part of the business lexicon, predating the widespread use of “corporate sustainability” and “ESG.” However, the development of standardized social metrics and the incorporation of social risks into corporate strategy have trailed behind environmental issues like climate change.[62] In the last decade, significant developments like the 2015 UN Sustainable Development Goals, social movements like MeToo and Black Lives Matter, and the COVID-19 pandemic have put growing pressure on companies to tackle societal issues — leading to a rapid acceleration of corporate initiatives focused on areas like employee health and well-being, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), and human rights.


During the pandemic, the commercial real estate sector witnessed a pronounced surge in demand for certifications like Fitwel and WELL, highlighting health and well-being as a material social issue for the industry.[63] Four years since the pandemic's onset, health amenities like clean air, natural light, and access to nature are proving crucial in attracting tenants amidst the evolving hybrid work landscape. By extension, companies are acknowledging the growing value proposition of investing in the sustainability, resiliency, and cultural vibrancy of their broader community, striving to create socially cohesive places attractive for living, working, and fostering connections.[64]



Globally, more investors view social performance through a financial lens,[65] and consumer demand for socially responsible businesses keeps growing.[66] Many regulations and frameworks are emerging that address the growing demand for standardized social KPIs and a process to identify material social issues. These include broader frameworks like the European Sustainability Reporting Standards (i.e., CSRD) and IFRS Sustainable Reporting Standards along with real estate-specific initiatives, such as the Social Value Portal Real Estate Social Value Index (RESVI), recently accepted by GRESB; the World Green Building Council’s Social Impact across the Built Environment framework, launched in December 2023; and Fitwel’s Certified Metrics tool, currently in piloting.[67][68][69]


 


Despite pockets of resistance, especially in certain political circles, ESG and DEI strategies are showing strong signs of staying power in the U.S., driven by both external factors like regulations and risk management and benefits like value creation and talent attraction. Here are some examples:


ESG Resilience

The SEC's proposed climate disclosure rules, along with global regulations like SFDR and the EU Taxonomy, will necessitate ESG integration for public companies regardless of their location. This regulatory pressure drives adoption and standardization. Pro-ESG investors, representing a significant portion of the market, actively seek out companies with strong ESG practices. Ignoring ESG can lead to capital flight and higher funding costs. Proactive ESG strategies address environmental, social, and governance risks, leading to cost savings, operational efficiency, and improved brand reputation, tangible benefits that resonate with both investors and management. 


Amid the heightened focus on ESG and anticipated regulatory developments, the Thomson Reuters Institute conducted a survey across all levels of law firm employees. In the survey, "ESG Polarization in Law Firms: More Myth than Reality," the findings indicate that, “about 80% of our survey respondents said they considered it to be either highly important or unimportant that their firms demonstrate a commitment to ESG, with roughly equal numbers at each of those extremes.”



Yet, when assessing the significance of specific ESG components, polarization diminished, highlighting five pivotal ESG issues deemed highly important, particularly due to their implications for employee retention and recruitment: transparent expectations of performance, pay equity, firm governance, work-life balance, and mental health and well-being. [70]


DEI’s Persistence

In a tight labor market, a diverse and inclusive workplace attracts and retains top talent, especially younger generations who prioritize social responsibility. DEI initiatives boost employee engagement, productivity, and innovation. Diverse leadership teams bring different perspectives and experiences, leading to better decision-making and unlocking new market opportunities. Additionally, studies show companies with strong DEI outperform their peers financially.[71] Beyond financial benefits, DEI fosters a more equitable and just society, contributing to positive social change and building brand loyalty among socially conscious consumers.


Strategies to Adapt

To address concerns, some companies are avoiding polarizing terms and shifting from "ESG" to "sustainability" or more traditional terms like "responsible business," “corporate responsibility,” or “corporate citizenship,” focusing on the positive impact and business value of their initiatives.[72] Corporate leaders affirm they are not cutting back on DEI initiatives, recognizing their critical role in business success. Anticipate a growing emphasis on promoting employee wellness, belonging, and mental health to create a workplace where all employees feel safe, fairly treated, and valued, steering away from programs centered solely around race, gender, or social standing.


In addition, corporate efforts to identify and mitigate risks associated with climate change, changing demographics, quality of life issues in communities, and workplace policies and practices are all essential and generally accepted as important priorities for institutional leaders and will remain so. Expect to see more instances where these ESG and DEI strategies are framed as managing risks associated with doing business rather than as free-standing programs and priorities. 


Companies are engaging leaders in stakeholder mapping exercises to promote more rigorous thinking and engagement around publicized ESG and DEI issues.[73] Some are tailoring their engagement strategies to resonate with different stakeholders, addressing pro-ESG investors differently than those with reservations. Bottomline, transparently reporting measurable progress on ESG, DEI, and risk management goals demonstrates accountability and inclusion, thereby building trust and enhancing stakeholder engagement and reputational value.


Deborah McNamara, co-executive director of ClimateVoice, a nonprofit focused on helping climate-positive companies influence policy, says companies should “talk about how ESG investments help them build a better and more profitable business,” and “remain focused on aligning all levels of business operations and advocacy with achieving meaningful climate goals, and continue to advocate forcefully and consistently for climate policy progress on all fronts."[74]


 

Conclusion

In response to climate change and growing ESG priorities, companies are increasingly aligning financial performance with environmental and social responsibility. Sustainability is now integral to corporate operations, involving risk assessment, a push for net-zero emissions, and greater transparency and accountability. By integrating ESG principles into their business models, companies not only support a sustainable future but also position themselves as industry leaders. This transformation recognizes that profitability and competitiveness hinge on environmental stewardship and community impact, reshaping corporate agendas for long-term viability.

 

For commercial real estate, the integration of ESG principles signifies a strategic pivot toward resilience and innovation. Firms are proactively mitigating climate risks and embedding advanced technologies for efficiency, going beyond regulatory compliance to redefine their competitive stance in the market. This proactive approach is fortifying their portfolios against future uncertainties and aligning with the pressing demand for environmentally and socially responsible investments. CRE companies should proactively harness technological advancements and federal incentives to drive comprehensive sustainability efforts, ensuring their portfolios not only meet the current ESG demands but strive toward new standards for responsible and future-ready real estate.

 

Authors


Carli Schoenleber

Carli is a Senior Communications Manager specializing in Content and Engagement for Verdani Partners, leading thought leadership articles and the Engagement Committee. She has a decade of experience in the sustainability field, working across diverse roles in environmental communication research, environmental planning, marketing, and wetland science. She holds a B.S. in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management from the University of Minnesota and a M.S. in Forest Ecosystems and Society from Oregon State University.





Paulynn Cue

Paulynn is the Chief Communications Officer for Verdani Partners, bringing over 20 years of experience in sustainability and ESG, business development, communications, design, and regenerative development. She has been instrumental in shaping Verdani’s programs since 2014. Paulynn studied architecture at Carnegie Mellon University, advertising at New York University, and environmental design at Parson’s School of Design, and has worked with leading organizations such as Gensler, World Building Institute, and the Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Organization Sustainable Development Commission.




Mary Reames

Mary is an Associate Communications Director for Verdani Partners, drafting high-quality ESG communications and educational materials for Verdani’s national and international client portfolios. Mary has a long history in the ESG industry, having worked as an environmental attorney for the City of Chicago and as a sustainability consultant and LEED-EB contracted reviewer. She holds a BA in Sociology/ Anthropology, a BS in Sustainable Business Management, and a JD with a concentration in Environmental Law.





Nick Gillett

Nick is a Communications Manager for Verdani Partners, with several years of sustainability communications experience, within the built environment. Nick received a B.A. in Business and Sustainability from Western Washington University, Master of Sustainability Leadership from Arizona State University, and has maintained a LEED Green Associate accreditation since 2019. 





Shauna Archer

Shauna is a seasoned marketing and creative executive, working with commercial real estate ESG consultants for over three years. She has lead teams on annual report execution via content strategy, development, creative application, and design for some of the industry’s largest global real estate owners, operators, and capital management organizations. She holds a BS in merchandising and marketing with a minor in management from Texas Tech University and is currently pursuing her LEED Green Associate certification.


 

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