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Impact of ESG Imperatives

Awareness of ESG is rising, but is not yet a dominant concern.

For the first time, WMRE’s survey included questions about environmental, social, and governance (ESG) imperatives. Only 6 percent of respondents said it was a significant factor in their investment decisions, while 33 percent said it was sometimes a significant factor. Another 18 percent said ESG will be important in the future, but hasn’t made much of
an impact yet.

Among respondents who said ESG has impacted their decisions, 28 percent of survey participants said it has been a factor in assessing assets, 26 percent said it has been a factor in assessing capital providers, and 27 percent said it has been a factor inside their company.

Sabatini said ESG has become an increasingly important part of W.P. Carey’s overall strategy. “On the investments side, ESG due diligence is part of our underwriting process, providing a more holistic view of each transaction and ensuring our investments adhere to our high standards,” he explained. “We also proactively work with our tenants on building efficiency retrofits and property-level sustainability projects to help scale our impact.”

In 2020, W.P. Carey completed a $74 million, build-to-suit food production facility in San Antonio, Texas, for its existing tenant Cuisine Solutions, the largest manufacturer and distributor of sous vide food. The facility is LEED-certified and features a number of green features funded by W. P. Carey including solar panels and electric car charging stations.