Savanna Improves Sustainability Performance, Raises Year-Over-Year GRESB Rating Scores Across Investment Portfolio

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by KnowESG

Savanna, a real estate investment manager, owner/operator, and developer based in New York City, continues to improve its already stellar sustainability performance across its 7 million square foot New York City property portfolio. Once again, the NYC-based real estate investment manager earned 5-Star ratings for multiple investment vehicles on the 2022 GRESB survey and improved the majority of its scores from 2021.

The GRESB 5-star rating is the highest possible grade, an indication of industry-leading performance. For 2022, several Savanna investment vehicles also placed in the highest tier of the now 1,800+ entities submitting information for the survey, making the firm a leading performer amongst its peers, which include many of New York’s largest REITs and private building owners.

GRESB is the annual environmental, social and governance (ESG) benchmark for real assets, capturing information on ESG performance and sustainability best practices for real estate and infrastructure companies, funds and assets worldwide.

“Savanna integrates carbon reduction and energy efficiency practices into everything we do, from investment to development and overall building operations,” said Peter Rosenthal, Chief Development Officer and Chief Sustainability Officer. “We have participated in GRESB assessments for several years and our continuously rising scores reflects Savanna’s deep commitment to sustainability and maintaining our position as an ESG leader in the commercial real estate industry.”

Earlier this year Savanna released its 2021 Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Report, showcasing the numerous ways in which the firm is employing ESG best practices and operations throughout its real estate investment portfolio. The report can be accessed HERE, which reveals that Savanna has over 3 million square feet of LEED-certified buildings and achieved an ENERGY Star certification accounting in over 2.7 million square feet throughout its portfolio including at One Court Square, 521 5th Avenue, 19 West 44th Street, 360 Lexington Avenue and 5 Bryant Park.

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Savanna continues to develop ground-up construction projects, incorporate sustainability criteria in newly acquired buildings, and demonstrate operational efficiency through green building certification programs and energy ratings. In addition, the firm has conducted in-depth assessments and uses Environmental Performance Metrics to understand the performance of its assets by engaging with energy managers, property managers, consultants and tenants and identify areas of opportunity for efficiency.

Savanna also utilizes the Energy Star Portfolio Manager platform to track the performance of each building and aim for improvements at the portfolio level:

  • ULI: Savanna aligned with Urban Land Institute’s (ULI) Greenprint Net Zero goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions across its portfolio by 50% by 2030 and net zero operations by 2050.

  • Cortex: To further assist in energy efficiency, as well as enhance electricity and carbon reduction, Savanna utilizes a software called Cortex, which provides real-time analytics on the efficiency of the building’s HVAC systems. As verified by a third-party consultant, the most recent statistics comparing 2020 with 2021 show a 2.4% year-over-year reduction in energy use and 22% reduction in water consumption.

Internally, Savanna takes a holistic, multi-disciplinary approach to its ESG platform, led by a committee comprised of members from the firm’s Investor Relations, Project Management, Leasing, Investment, Property Management, Construction Management and Financial Operations teams. The ESG committee has established a goal to achieve net-zero carbon emissions across Savanna’s portfolio by 2040.

Source: Savanna

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