Canadian Commercial Real Estate: Not as green as it could be

Report finds Canadian commercial real estate companies taking a cue from Europeans on sustainability issues

TORONTO, Feb. 18 /CNW/ - A new report finds the Canadian commercial real estate industry is playing catch-up with respect to environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues when compared to international peers. The Canadian Commercial Real Estate Sustainability Intelligence Report, released by sustainability research firm Jantzi-Sustainalytics in association with the Real Property Association of Canada (REALpac), evaluates the ESG performance of 18 of Canada's largest commercial real estate companies and compares them to some of their international counterparts.

"REALpac is pleased with the efforts of those Canadian real estate companies cited in the report as being strong ESG performers. As an Association, REALpac is making great efforts to lead the industry and move it up the ESG curve. We believe this study helps to inform Canadian commercial real estate organizations of the areas in which they can improve and demonstrates the importance of working to actively incorporate positive ESG practices into an organization's business model," said Michael Brooks, REALpac's Chief Executive Officer.

The report found that although Canadian companies showed relatively high performance in the areas of business ethics, labour practices, and health and safety, they lag behind on environmental and disclosure issues. The authors recommend that the real estate sector as a whole incorporate information gathering from stakeholders and best practices, an integrated corporate responsibility and sustainability policy, implementation of sustainability strategies and tactics, and communications planning to keep stakeholders informed about initiatives and achievements.

"Stakeholders, including governments, tenants and investors, are putting increasing pressure on companies to adopt green initiatives. This is about more than just the bottom line. This is a movement toward corporate responsibility and sustainability having a concrete impact on the real estate industry," said Simon MacMahon, Director of Sustainability Services at Jantzi-Sustainalytics and author of the report.

To request a copy of the report please e-mail contact@jantzisustainalytics.com. The report will also be available as a free download beginning February 25, 2010 from REALpac's website (www.realpac.ca).

About Jantzi-Sustainalytics

Jantzi-Sustainalytics provides leading-edge analysis of environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance of organizations. As a global firm with local expertise, Jantzi-Sustainalytics offers high-quality information on companies, institutions and countries. Through the online research platform clients can access ESG profiles and ratings on approximately 3,000 listed companies worldwide. Combined the new Jantzi-Sustainalytics has helped clients become responsible investors for nearly 20 years. Visit Jantzi-Sustainalytics at www.jantzisustainalytics.com.

About REALpac

The Real Property Association of Canada (REALpac) is Canada's premier industry association for investment real property leaders. Our mission is to collectively influence public policy, to educate government and the public, and to ensure stable and beneficial real estate capital and property markets in Canada. REALpac Members currently own in excess of $150 Billion CAD in real estate assets located in the major centres across Canada. Membership is comprised of the largest owners, developers and managers of commercial real estate in Canada including real estate investment trusts, publicly traded and large private companies, banks, brokerages, crown corporations, investment dealers, life companies, lenders, and pension funds. Assets include retail, office, industrial, hotel, multi-residential (apartments) and seniors housing. The Association operates in several areas including advocacy, financial best practices, research, standard setting, professional development, and networking events. Visit REALpac at www.realpac.ca.

SOURCE Real Property Association of Canada

For further information: For further information: Melissa Chase, Communications Coordinator, mchase@jantzisustainalytics.com, (416) 861-0403 ext. 28; Carolyn Lane, Vice President, Research and Communications, clane@realpac.ca, (416) 642-2700 ext. 223

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Real Property Association of Canada

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JANTZI SUSTAINALYTICS

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