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Dec.December 08, 2021 09:44 AM

Greener on the other side: Mack-Cali Realty evolves to Veris Residential

After 24 years as an industry-leading REIT providing premier Class A commercial real estate, office space, and luxury multifamily properties with a focus on placemaking and attracting top-tier corporate tenants, Mack-Cali Realty Corporation’s evolution to Veris Residential is not simply a rebrand. It is a reconstitution of its core values and operating systems. 

Mack-Cali has evolved tremendously during the past year and a half, simplifying its business, strengthening its balance sheet, and enhancing its operational platform. Its rebranding to Veris Residential is the natural next milestone in its evolution. The company is committed to maximizing long-term shareholder value, strategically managing evolving ESG risks and opportunities by operating as a good corporate citizen and sustainability-conscious owner and developer in the Northeast.

Veris Residential reflects the responsible, disciplined, and forward-thinking mindset of the company; a corporate culture rooted in diversity and inclusivity; and the adaptability necessary to overcome market conditions and meet evolving societal needs. Veris develops, owns, and manages premier multifamily properties — but what sets it apart is its curation of placemaking and experiences that inspire residents, employees, and partners while sustaining the planet that we all share.

To ensure alignment between the Veris brand identity and the renewed focus on strong corporate governance, sustainability, diversity, and inclusivity, leadership will be investing in best-in-class technology systems and operations support to improve residents’ experience and inspire employees to work more effectively and efficiently while reducing Veris’ carbon footprint. Veris is also implementing several initiatives that support global sustainability and diverse, all-inclusive communities.  

So, how is Veris reducing its carbon footprint today? The company has a sector leading average asset age of only seven years, a number of LEED certified properties and recently upgraded building management systems and features such as green roofs or solar blinds across a number of properties. Additionally, 100% of electricity in the company’s corporate headquarters and in common areas of its multifamily portfolio is renewable, and the team is looking to pilot a number of innovative solutions including on-site hydroponics planting, as well as a pipeline of important, cost-effective initiatives to maximize efficiency while reducing emissions. 

In addition, Veris is currently piloting sustainability-focused initiatives in partnership with Logical Buildings, utilizing the best in ESG technology with capabilities that include providing residents with the option to utilize a smart meter to provide real-time metrics around energy usage and carbon footprint, a companion app that allows residents to set goals for reducing usage and lowering their utility bills, and the Logical Buildings’ Grid Rewards program, which allows for cost benefits and utility savings. 

Further, Veris has formally endorsed sustainability initiatives on the global level, such as upholding and participating in the Ten Principles of the United Nations Global Compact; and was the first U.S. real estate company to join The Climate Group’s EV100 initiative

So, what’s Veris doing beyond the “E” in ESG? As a whole, another crucial part of Veris’s identity will hinge on providing enhanced support for diverse and all-inclusive communities within the company — ensuring that all voices are heard, understood, and respected — by continuing to increase both the gender and ethnic diversity of its Board of Directors as well as its employee-base. Veris is also strengthening its existing Women’s Leadership Network and has signed both the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion Pledge and the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles.

Knowing that no property is an island, Veris will continue to maintain deep connections with the residents and communities it serves by supporting a number of Hudson County organizations — such as St. Lucy’s Shelter, Hoboken Shelter, WomenRising, and WE Project.

This dedication to corporate responsibility, sustainability, diversity, and inclusion is an amazing opportunity to not only elevate the standards of multifamily to meet the changing needs of the modern renter, but also to ensure that as those standards rise, the impact on our planet falls.  

Veris Residential does not consider this just a strategic measure necessary to survive — Veris believes it has a vested responsibility to its tenants and the communities in which it operates to put these values at the forefront of every decision made going forward. The road to total carbon neutrality is a long one, and Veris will rely on its partners — as well as its residents and other stakeholders — to assist it, to keep it accountable, and to trust in its transparency and eagerness to fulfill these goals. The journey is worth it, because Veris knows the grass, the company, and the industry as a whole should be greener on the other side.

 

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