At Digital Realty, we are building the trusted foundation for the digital world. Sustainability and corporate social responsibility are critical to this foundation, and they guide the decisions we make and actions we take as a business—and, in serving our customers.
As one of the largest data center providers globally, we believe it is our responsibility to champion responsible business practices and environmental stewardship. The National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (Nareit) shares and champions these responsibilities. Nareit’s stellar reputation was earned through its longstanding, tireless work on behalf of REITs, and the organization has established itself as a trusted voice for the industry.
To help build on these strengths, I am honored to announce that I will serve as Nareit’s 2020 Chair. I look forward to building on the progress achieved by Nareit’s 2019 Chair, Sandeep Mathrani, CEO of Brookfield Properties Retail and Vice Chairman of Brookfield Properties, along with the entire Nareit team. In this role, I will work closely with the organization’s leadership to set the policy agenda, provide oversight, and advocate for REIT-based real estate investment with policymakers at the federal, state and global level.
REITs play a major role in today’s economy. They spur job creation and economic growth, with an equity market capitalization in excess of $1.3 trillion in the U.S. In fact, of the approximately $16 trillion value of the commercial real estate market, REITs comprise 10% to 20% of ownership. And, approximately 87 million adult Americans, or roughly 44% of American households, own REIT stocks.
It’s always inspiring to see the REIT community come together to further ESG efforts and initiatives. In fact, I recently returned from Nareit’s REITworld Digita2019 Annual Conference, and it was rewarding to connect with long-time and new colleagues who are working together to strengthen the voice of the real estate investment community. One of the highlights for me was interviewing former U.S. Secretary of Defense, Ash Carter, and I enjoyed meeting and learning from experts across the real estate investment community who are dedicated to achieving sustainability goals.
Digital Realty understands the importance of sustainability and we are proud to have been recently awarded the “Leader in the Light” award for the third year in a row. The award recognizes the significant results our employees and customers around the world have accomplished in the implementation of sustainable business practices.
We look forward to building upon our strong track record on sustainability and our continued work with Nareit to help REITs meet and exceed their ESG goals in 2020 and beyond.