Sustainable Company Awards 2023

Large enterprise of the year, Americas; Net zero progression of the year, Americas: Harrison Street

US alternative real assets investment firm Harrison Street impressed the judges in two categories of the 2023 Environmental Finance Sustainable Company Awards.

Harrison Street assesses new investments in line with its ESG framework and investments are regularly evaluated for potential ESG impacts.

The firm also publishes a quarterly impact dashboard which tracks several metrics. Between 2020 and 2022, Harrison Street reports $556 million has been invested in renewable energy generating 2,625 GWh of renewable energy production, resulting in a 17% reduction in energy intensity and a 21% reduction in carbon emissions.

The firm has an asset level target of a 70% reduction in Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions by 2025 while remaining true to its fiduciary duty.

Harrison Street's net-zero pathway for its assets includes ensuring buildings are energy efficient, procuring green electricity, installing on-site solar panels, and engaging tenants. 20 MW of solar panels are anticipated to be deployed over more than 90 rooftops across its investment portfolio over the next three years, which is expected to lead to a 20% emissions cost reduction.

Close to 8,000 smart meters have been installed in student and build-to-rent properties, which allows management to monitor unit and building energy use, and initiate tenant engagement programmes to further reduce asset carbon emissions.

As part of its broader strategy to meet resident and tenant demand for certain amenities, and to position its assets for the future, the firm also intends to install electric vehicle (EV) chargers at 10% of the parking spaces at the assets it manages.

Outside of its energy targets, social-focused metrics of the impact dashboard show the proportion of diverse individuals in senior management stands at 32%. The firm also reports 258 Fitwel healthy building projects in its portfolio. Fitwel is a third-party building certification that evaluates the health and well-being of tenants and residents.

Jill Brosig, chief impact officer at Harrison Street commented: "The firm's goal is to implement pioneering ESG practices to deliver superior risk management and positive value creation for stakeholders and the world. This recognition validates that we continue to drive positive impact through our strategic initiatives."

The firm has over 900 investments and $56 billion in assets under management (AUM).

Harrison Street Headquarters, Chicago