At Simon, we define and implement sustainability initiatives that consider all aspects of our business. This approach enhances the communities in which we operate and also generates long-term shareholder value by embracing opportunities, improving the bottom line, and mitigating environmental and social risks.
Our sustainability vision is to be recognized as a leader in sustainable retail real estate development and operations in the U.S. In 2020, we updated our sustainability strategy towards ‘Creating Sustainable Centers’ and set new focus areas and long-term commitments to increase our socio-economic impact while reducing our environmental footprint. The four key areas of our sustainability framework are:
Simon’s Sustainability Office is led by the Head of Sustainability, a full-time dedicated employee responsible for managing the company’s ESG programs. Our Head of Sustainability leads the ESG Executive Committee (formerly named the Sustainability Executive Committee), which includes C-suite executives from core functions of the Company, including the General Counsel, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Administrative Officer, President of Development, EVP of Simon Management, and SVP of Human Resources. The ESG Executive Committee supervises our sustainability performance, including monitoring climate-related issues, and reports directly to the CEO and Board of Directors. This committee provides leadership and oversight to encourage and assure sustainability opportunities are supported and recognized at the highest level of the company.
As a company, our priority remains to provide a healthy and safe environment for our employees, shoppers, retailers, and the communities we serve. It is our vision to be the epicenter of commerce and community, Simon is investing in our properties to become the ultimate live, work, play, stay, and shop destination in each of our markets. Some of our most exciting projects feature state-of-the-art residential opportunities and ultra-modern office and commercial spaces.
At Simon, we are committed to building strong communities by promoting development activities and social initiatives at the local level. We have supported Simon Youth Foundation for over two decades, and by investing in individual lives through education we have demonstrated the positive impact that is achievable when people are motivated and empowered to believe in a future greater than themselves.
In 2020 we began to revamp our environmental policies and procedures to elevate our standards and to reduce operating expenses in energy, water, and waste. By elevating our own standards, and by educating local teams on environmental best practices, we aim to minimize our impact on the environment, while providing a safe and comfortable environment for all of our stakeholders, and our employees.
Science Based Targets
- * Reduced our direct energy consumption
- * Reduced our carbon footprint by 32%
- * Committed to reducing absolute Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 68% by 2035, from a 2019 base year
The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) is a joint initiative by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), the United Nations Global Compact, the World Resources Institute, and the WWF.
We will work to meet or exceed the following environmental management goals:
■ Reduce carbon emissions associated with Simon’s energy consumption by 68% (baseline 2019), and by 20.9% for emissions associated with tenant energy consumption by 2035 (baseline 2018).
■ Reduce water consumption by 20% by 2025
(baseline year 2013).
■ Increase recycling rates across our portfolio with the aim of minimizing waste sent to landfills.
■ Incorporating sustainable development guidelines in all new developments and redevelopments.
■ Increasing the number of green building certifications annually.
Our employees are the driving force behind our success. Their commitment, creativity, and ability to deliver consistently outstanding results are what keep Simon ahead of the competition and at the top of our sector year-after-year. To ensure we continue to attract, develop, and retain the best talent across the organization, we invest in our employees and provide equal opportunities.
A study conducted by Simon and Deloitte Consulting has shown physical shopping to be up to 60% more environmentally sustainable than digital shopping. Consequences of digital shopping that have a negative impact on the environment are increased returns, expedited shipping, and the additional packaging of e-commerce. The lower emissions associated with brick and mortar were driven by shoppers making a greater number of purchases per trip and combining their physical visits with other activities as part of their ‘trip-chain.’