Sustainable Company Awards 2023

Diversity and inclusion initiative of the year, Americas: Basis Investment Group

US commercial real estate investment manager Basis Investment Group (BIG) was singled out by the Environmental Finance Sustainable Company Awards judges this year for its diversity and inclusion initiative.

One praised the "unique programmes from employee, vendor, and capital commitment perspectives," noting the the programme for "unconscious bias for staff" in particular.

Each year, BIG sets three diversity and inclusion goals on employee diversity, vendor diversity, and its capital commitments. For 2022, BIG says it achieved 77% employee diversity (against a 50% target), 50% diversity among its third-party vendor engagements (against a 40% target) and 25% of the firm's capital commitments were made to diverse or female sponsors (against a 20% target).

Furthermore, through its Basis Impact Foundation, led by chief executive officer Tammy Jones, BIG seeks to inspire the next generation of minorities and women in commercial real estate.

The foundation's education programme also saw 82 high school students of colour admitted to the REEX (Real Estate Exchange) Summer Program in 2022, bringing the total number of programme graduates to approximately 700. The REEX Summer Program, which works with eight universities including Georgia State University, Columbia University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology aims to help increase diverse representation in commercial real estate.

BIG believes that these initiatives benefit the whole industry by increasing diversity of thought.

"Basis is committed to setting and exceeding their ESG goals and being a trailblazer in an industry that has been ripe for change for decades," said Jones. "ESG is a core pillar of Basis' strategy, and we hope to inspire others in the industry to join us in our mission of valuing diversity and inclusion at all levels of the industry."