TORONTO, Dec. 14, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust (âRioCanâ or the âTrustâ) (TSX: REI.UN) is pleased to announce that it has achieved a 5-Star rating in the 2020 GRESB Real Estate Assessment with a score of 85. The 2020 score represents a 97% improvement since RioCanâs first submission in 2017. RioCan also received an âAâ rating, the highest GRESB public disclosure score, ranking first among its Canadian retail peers.
âRioCan has reached a milestone in its ESG journey and has now set a high bar for its Canadian peers,â said Dan Winters, GRESB Head of Americas. âIn 2020, more than 1,200 property companies, REITs, funds and developers, representing $4.8 trillion in asset value, participated in the GRESB assessment. RioCanâs exceptional performance within this growing contingent is a great example of commitment to ESG integration that will advance sustainability within the real estate industry.â
âWe launched our sustainability strategy in 2016 with a goal to be among the leaders integrating ESG practices across the business by 2020. RioCan is very proud to have achieved this objective, marking our leadership position with top marks in the GRESB survey,â said Jonathan Gitlin, President and Chief Operating Officer of RioCan. âSustainability is a way of thinking and operating at RioCan. Despite the challenges brought on by the global pandemic, RioCan progressed its sustainability initiatives, including focused efforts to do our part in advocating for social equality. RioCan remains committed to embedding sustainability into all facets of our business model as a means to enhance the value of our assets and organization.â
In 2020, RioCan continued to deliver on its sustainability initiatives. Select achievements to-date are highlighted as follows:
- Became the first Canadian REIT to launch a Green Bond Framework and issued two Green Bonds, raising $350 million in March 2020 and more recently, a $500 million offering to fund eligible green projects in line with the RioCan Green Bond Framework;
- Published RioCanâs Second Annual Sustainability Report detailing the Trustâs progress toward industry leadership in environmental, social and governance (ESG) matters;
- Earned recognition as the top ranked real estate firm on the Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada by Corporate Knights;
- Achieved an ESG rating upgrade by Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) for the second year in a row, driven by improvement in green building certifications and employee management programs;
- Received BOMA Torontoâs 2020 race2reduce Commercial Real Estate Trailblazers (CREST) Award for select RioCanâs properties recognizing commitment to promote operational excellence through improved building performance;
- Awarded the Outstanding In-House Company Diversity & Inclusion Award by Chambers and Partners, a leading international provider of legal research and analysis, for including an ESG objective in every bonus-eligible employee performance scorecard;
- Established the RioCan Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (âDEIâ) Council and appointed DEI officers to promote a diverse and inclusive workplace; and
- Signed the BlackNorth CEO Pledge, which was initiated by the Canadian Council of Leaders Against AntiBlack Systemic Racism.
Additional details about RioCanâs ESG efforts, progress and achievements, as well as the RioCan Green Bond Framework, can be found on the Sustainability page of RioCanâs website, www.riocan.com, under âAboutâ.
RioCan is one of Canadaâs largest real estate investment trusts. RioCan owns, manages and develops retail-focused, increasingly mixed-use properties located in prime, high-density transit-oriented areas where Canadians want to shop, live and work. As at September 30, 2020, our portfolio is comprised of 221 properties with an aggregate net leasable area of approximately 38.4 million square feet (at RioCan’s interest) including office, residential rental and 16 development properties. To learn more about us, please visit www.riocan.com.
For further information please contact:Jonathan GitlinPresident & Chief Operating Officer(416) 866-3033