ESG Report 2020/2021

Page 1



Table of Contents Letter from the CEO. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Company Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 CORPORATE GOVERNANCE ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������4 Our Management Approach ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 5 Responsible Development and Investment Strategy ����������������������������������������������������������������� 6 Corporate Governance Policies ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������7 Ethics and Internal Audit. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Environmental Management System ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 8 ENVIRONMENTAL. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Environmental Leadership. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Pre-Construction Design and Review Guidelines ����������������������������������������������������������������������15 Property Development and Environmental Preservation ��������������������������������������������������������16 Environmental Performance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Portfolio Performance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 SOCIAL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 An Equitable Workplace. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Commitment to Our Tenants. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Commitment to Our Community ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 33 Partnerships & Memberships . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 APPENDIX. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Global Reporting Initiative. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Data Verification. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Report Profile. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Disclaimer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38

Letter from the CEO

Letter from the CEO Thank you for your interest in Rockefeller Group’s 2020/2021 Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) report. As a national real estate developer, we maintain a sharp focus on the quality of the built environment. Through all that we do, from owning and operating premier office space, to developing new buildings across the country, we aim to deliver extraordinary properties and exceptional experiences. These objectives – quality, extraordinary properties, exceptional experiences – require a commitment to ESG initiatives. As you’ll discover in this report, there are a wide range of areas related to real estate ownership and development that together can have a positive effect on both the environment and society at large. We are committed to continuous improvement in ESG to make a meaningful impact over the near- and long-term. As a company, we firmly believe real estate has the power to improve lives, and to promote growth and renewal in cities and communities. On a day-to-day basis, this can be achieved at the property level, where people live and work. On a longer-term basis, property development affords the opportunity to positively impact communities by revitalizing unused real estate, creating greater tax revenue that can be reinvested in local municipalities, and by adding local jobs. With a track record that spans nearly a century, we are proud of our heritage and inspired by the transformative power of real estate. We aspire to be good stewards of the environment, to make positive contributions to society, and to create and maintain a fair and equitable workplace through sound governance that upholds the highest ethical behavior. As such, we participate in a wide variety of ESG benchmarking initiatives to help us keep tabs on our progress and raise our sights for the future. These include participation in LEED certification – targeting energy efficiency and sustainability – as well as Energy Star ratings and the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB). Over the past year, we are proud to have been recognized in various ways for our collective ESG efforts. This includes acknowledgement for the second consecutive year as a Best Place to Work in New York City by Crain’s New York Business. In addition, we completed our first WELL-certified office building, and increased our overall GRESB score by seven points, earning the “Green Star” status. Throughout this report you will learn more about these programs, as well as others that are helping Rockefeller Group and the real estate industry improve its performance in the most critical areas of ESG. I look forward to keeping you apprised of our accomplishments and aspirations in the future.

Daniel J. Moore President & CEO 1

Company Overview

Company Overview Since 1928, Rockefeller Group’s work has transformed skylines, created economic value, and improved lives in cities throughout the United States. We develop, own, and operate extraordinary properties, backed by a team of passionate real estate professionals located in six U.S. regions. The company’s portfolio spans the development of multifamily, office, industrial and mixed-use projects, and an ownership interest in approximately six million square feet of world-class office space in Manhattan. Our people define our competitive advantage. We empower each of our employees to bring their own perspective, share diverse experience and knowledge, and drive new opportunities. We share a commitment to maintaining the highest standards of integrity, and to giving back to the communities in which we live and work. In all that we do, we uphold five guiding principles: 1. A LOVE FOR PEOPLE, A LOVE FOR THE CITY – THIS UNDERPINS OUR BUSINESS AND GUIDES OUR VISION OF IMPROVING PEOPLE’S LIVES AND THE CITIES WHERE THEY LIVE AND WORK. WE WORK HARD AT WORK WORTH DOING. 2. INTEGRITY & FAIRNESS – THESE ARE THE HALLMARKS OF OUR BRAND AND REPUTATION, EMBODIED BY OUR EMPLOYEES AND REFLECTED IN OUR RELATIONSHIPS WITH COLLEAGUES, CLIENTS, PARTNERS AND THE COMMUNITIES WHERE WE WORK . 3. QUALITY – IN ALL OF THE PROPERTIES WE DEVELOP, OWN OR MANAGE, THE DETAILS MATTER. 4. ONE TEAM – WE VALUE A DIVERSE WORKFORCE, AND AN EQUITABLE WORKPLACE, WHERE ALL TEAM MEMBERS HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO REALIZE THEIR FULL POTENTIAL. 5. GROWTH MINDSET – WE’RE FUTURE FOCUSED WITH AMBITIOUS GOALS FOR GROWTH. WE ANTICIPATE CHANGE AND EMBRACE OPPORTUNITIES FOR CONTINOUS IMPROVEMENT.

These principles integrate with and support our Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance initiatives. While ESG has been a key component of our business operations, new developments, and owned and operated portfolio for decades, we recognize the growing role of ESG initiatives in our future success. Our corporate sustainability team seeks to improve our ESG performance through the implementation of a robust and expanding program. These efforts support our vision to enhance human well-being through our passion for real estate and the built environment.



$4 Billion

9 Offices

6 Million


Across the U.S.

Invested in acquisitions & development

Square feet of owned and operated assets

12 Million *as of July 1, 2021

Square feet of commercial real estate delivered in past 5 years


Corporate Governance

Corporate Governance

Our Management Approach In conducting its business activities, Rockefeller Group seeks opportunities to incorporate economic, social and environmental benefits for all stakeholders. The company is governed by a Board of Directors, with oversight of day-to-day functions led by our President and CEO, senior managing directors, and departmental leaders. Rockefeller Group’s Chief Legal Officer is head of the ESG Committee and leads the integration of ESG efforts into our operations. The CEO is provided with regular updates from the head of the ESG Committee and annual updates are provided to the company’s Board of Directors. 1901 L STREET Washington, DC



Corporate Governance

Responsible Development and Investment Strategy Rockefeller Group develops real estate projects in multiple asset classes throughout various regions of the United States. We believe that commercial real estate development can benefit both the environment and the communities in which we work, and that strong ESG efforts can enhance marketability and the overall value of our investments. In recognition of our commitment to ESG and in response to an ever-increasing movement to mitigate negative impacts on the environment, we design, construct and operate our buildings to achieve sustainable outcomes, optimize conditions for occupants and reduce net operating expenses. Our developments factor in environmental principles and often seek to satisfy industry measurement standards such as the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) framework. We employ a due diligence checklist for all prospective development projects. The checklist examines topics across five key areas: Existing Site Conditions (topography, drainage, etc.), Environmental (site remediation, soil/groundwater contamination, natural resources, water resources, threatened and endangered species, among others), Geotechnical (soil characteristics, infiltration, etc.), Zoning/Land Use, and Legal (due diligence studies). We employ responsible development strategies in our projects including design enhancements such as active circulation (which includes aesthetic elements for hallways and stairs); the inclusion of on-site amenties such as outdoor restorative spaces, water features and walking paths; and stormwater on-site capture and retention to replace outdoor potable water usage. SPOTLIGHT: CHARTER MEMBERS OF FEDERAL ENERGY STAR BUILDINGS Rockefeller Group’s New York City office buildings, 1221 and 1271 Avenue of the Americas, were selected in 1998 to become the first Energy Star Buildings recognized by the federal government for having achieved energy efficiency levels in the top 25% of all commercial buildings. As part of their broad drive to cut greenhouse gas emissions, the Energy Department and the Environmental Protection Agency launched the Energy Star building program to provide incentives for improved efficiency and to recognize the country’s top performers. “If all commercial buildings in the U.S. participated in the Energy Star program,” President Clinton said at the time, “we would save $25 billion a year and achieve over 10% of the carbon dioxide reduction needed” to keep the promises made in the Kyoto Protocol of 1997.



Corporate Governance

Corporate Governance Policies Rockefeller Group is driven by its five guiding principles. Integrity and fairness are hallmarks of our brand, serve as pillars of our reputation and inform our relationships with colleagues, clients, partners, and the communities where we work. We are one team; we value a diverse workforce and an equitable workplace where all team members have the opportunity to realize their full potential. Our principles and values are reflected in Rockefeller Group’s wide variety of policies and procedures, including the following:

Compliance with Laws, Rules, and Regulations • Antitrust laws • Bribery

Business Gifts • Receiving gifts • Giving gifts

Competition and Fair Dealing • Improper payments

Political & Lobbying Activities • Contributions to political parties • Lobbying activities • Employee involvement in political activities

Conflicts of Interest • Financial interests in real estate entities and other companies • Companies competing with Rockefeller Group • Direct ownership of real property and other outside business activities • Relationships with vendors contractors, or consultants

Business Continuity • Confidential information and insider trading • Recordkeeping, financial controls, and disclosures • Emergency preparedness

Sexual and Other Harassment • Discrimination practices • Co-workers’ relationship expectations

Ethics and Internal Audit Rockefeller Group’s Integrity Hotline permits employees to anonymously report conduct that may be fraudulent, questionable, unethical, illegal, in violation of professional standards, or otherwise inconsistent with the company’s Code of Conduct. The Integrity Hotline consists of a toll-free call center and an anonymous website administered by an independent third-party host, EthicsPoint. The Ethics Committee addresses all concerns reported to the Integrity Hotline or to members of the Ethics Committee. The Ethics Committee is made up of representatives from Executive Management, Controllers, Human Resources, Internal Audit, and Legal. It is chaired by the head of Internal Audit, who reports to the Audit Committee on the status of all significant issues. Fraud cases are analyzed and reported to legal authorities, if necessary.


Corporate Governance

Environmental Management System At a corporate level, Rockefeller Group follows an ISO 14001–aligned Environmental Management System (EMS), with the intent of tracking and managing environmental performance and responding swiftly to issues that arise. This system organizes our ESG objectives, plans, implementation, and monitoring strategies into a holistic framework that guides our overall ESG strategy through ISO 14001’s Plan-DoCheck-Act approach.

PLAN MISSION AND VISION, TARGETS AND GOALS, STRATEGIC PLAN Rockefeller Group’s sustainability and corporate social responsibility strategy includes a mission, vision, goals, and short- and long-term performance targets. Rockefeller Group employs a sustainability team that is tasked with implementing the mission and vision. Rockefeller Group’s holistic ESG program incorporates sustainability practices at the corporate and property levels. We adjust our initiatives and implementation processes to maintain progress to continually improve our efforts. New property development projects and significant alterations to existing commercial properties typically begin with a careful engineering study of a given project’s impact on the environment. The environmental studies are performed by independent engineering firms on behalf of Rockefeller Group to comply fully with the requirements of governing jurisdictions applicable to each development project.


Corporate Governance

DO POLICIES, CERTIFICATIONS, COMMUNICATION Rockefeller Group has various environmental policies in place for our Core Holdings portfolio (1221 and 1271 Avenue of the Americas). We work with our key stakeholders to increase engagement with regard to our sustainability and corporate responsibility efforts. These policies provide employees, tenants, and vendors with tools they need to create efficient, healthy, and safe work environments, while simultaneously enhancing building performance. We are currently working to enhance these policies (see “Sustainable Operations on page 31). Our policies have enabled us to benchmark our Core Holdings portfolio with ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager and pursue LEED and other green building certifications where feasible.

CHECK BENCHMARKING, DATA MANAGEMENT, REPORTING, DISCLOSURE Rockefeller Group believes in the importance of transparency and, accordingly, we voluntarily report our annual utility consumption data to several third-party organizations, including the following: The Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) is an investor-driven organization assessing the sustainability performance of real asset sector portfolios and assets. Each year, we work on our GRESB performance standards by formalizing additional policies and programs to help drive projects and increase our GRESB performance compared to our peers. This year marks Rockefeller Group’s second GRESB submission. We are thrilled to have increased our score by seven points this year, 2021, earning us our first Green Star designation. ENERGY STAR Partners are organizations that agree to 1) commit to measure, track, and benchmark energy performance, 2) develop and implement a plan to improve energy performance, adopting the ENERGY STAR strategy, and 3) educate staff and the public about our partnership and achievements with ENERGY STAR. Rockefeller Group was one of the first companies to sign on as an ENERGY STAR Partner in 1998 and continues to promote the use of the ENERGY STAR platform.


Corporate Governance

The NYC Carbon Challenge is a voluntary leadership initiative and public-private partnership between the New York City Mayor’s Office of Sustainability and leaders in the private, institutional, and nonprofit sectors who have committed to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions by 30% or more over 10 years. Challenge criteria require us to submit annual updates to the NYC Mayor’s Office of Sustainability regarding the company’s progress toward meetings the 30% reduction goal. The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system is an internationally accepted standard for the design, construction, and operational performance of green buildings. It was established to address a wide range of development types, including New Construction and Major Renovation, Commercial Interiors, Existing Buildings, and Neighborhood Development.

ACT STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT, PROJECTS, IMPLEMENTATION To “act” on the initiatives outlined in our Environmental Management System, our company conducts stakeholder and tenant engagement initiatives that help build relationships and create quality spaces. For our Core Holdings portfolio, current efforts include educating our tenants on what it means to lease space in a LEED-certified buildings via our building Standards, Specifications and Guidelines. We also educate our tenants on decarbonization efforts in accordance with the NYC Local Law 97 goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 40% by 2030 and 80% by 2050.




Environmental Leadership With 40% of all CO2 emissions attributed to the built environment,* our company is committed to the ongoing evaluation of strategies to reduce our building emissions. Developing responsibly is not only good for the environment but also increases the marketability and overall value of our assets. The following are some of the benefits that have come from our firm’s environmental commitment. Reduced Operating Costs: A building that operates efficiently and uses fewer resources can offer significant savings in total operating costs and immediate bottom-line results. Typically, the cost of utilities is as much as 20–30% of total operating costs. Lower operating costs and improved environmental performance are desirable both to ownership and to current and prospective tenants. Enhanced Asset Value: When you reduce a property’s operating expenses or achieve higher rents as a result of sustainable building features, there is a positive impact on net operating income (NOI). In addition, investors find increasing value from green certification programs such as LEED that can contribute to higher asset values at sale. Competitive Advantages: Buildings with sustainable features and green initiatives distinguish themselves from other offerings in the market. These are features that tenants value for the positive impact on their own employees, such as increased productivity, reduced absenteeism, higher morale, and lower turnover. Since the mid-1980s, our company has undertaken numerous capital improvement projects in our Core Holdings portfolio which have resulted in substantial increases in building efficiency. Today, we work with third-party energy management consultants to reduce our carbon footprint and impact on the environment and have posted Energy Star grades above the New York City average. All properties in our Core Holdings portfolio are LEED Certified. Our efficiency retrofits and many of our new developments are designed and informed by LEED building standards and, thus, incorporate energy conservation measures such as LED lights and sensors, water fixture upgrades, additional insulation, and improved air sealing. A data-driven approach is also utilized to uncover further energy and water efficiency opportunities.

* IEA (2019), Global Status Report for Buildings and Construction 2019, IEA, Paris



DECARBONIZATION AT 1221 AND 1271 AVENUE OF THE AMERICAS Rockefeller Group recognizes our company’s impact on the built environment. In 2021, Rockefeller Group committed to material decarbonization of our Core Holdings portfolio. The process of decarbonization reduces the intensity of one of the most common greenhouse gases (GHGs) found in the built environment, carbon dioxide. Decarbonization often takes the form of implementing carbon reduction measures (CRMs) such as reducing energy consumption and planning for the greening of the electrical utility grid. “Greening the Grid” refers to converting the electrical grid to renewable energy sources,1 including solar thermal or photovoltaic panels, geothermal heat pumps, and wind2. This allows organizations to balance unavoidable carbon emissions with equivalent emission reductions using carbon-reducing projects. Because decarbonization drives reductions in CO2, this strategy is a key element in reducing these assets’ environmental impact. In 2021, our Core Holdings portfolio underwent a decarbonization study with the following objectives: •

Identify carbon reduction measures that will assist in meeting Rockefeller Group’s emissions reduction goals

In alliance with the NYC Carbon Challenge, achieve 30% GHG emissions reductions by 2030

Perform an ASHRAE Level II energy audit and conduct seasonal retro-commissioning of base building mechanical systems

1 2




In conducting the study, calculations were performed in accordance with New York City’s Local Law 97 (LL97), legislation passed in 2019 in alignment with the Climate Mobilization Act (CMA). New York City’s Local Law 87 (LL87) and LL97 require the real estate industry to improve asset performance. LL87 specifically addresses the energy efficiency of large buildings by establishing requirements such as conducting energy audits, retro-commissioning, and submission of Energy Efficiency Reports every 10 years.3 LL97 directly targets GHG emissions by defining an absolute limit on emissions based on a building’s use classifications and the amount of floor space dedicated to each classification.4 Calculating and understanding Rockefeller Group’s carbon footprint at 1221 and 1271 Avenue of the Americas is an important step toward reducing its impact on the environment. In partnership with consultants, we have examined our carbon footprint to gauge areas for improvement and progress toward achieving our emission goals. From 2018 to 2019, 1221 Avenue of the Americas achieved a 5% reduction in carbon emissions. During that same time period, 1271 Avenue of the Americas was undergoing a significant renovation so relevant data is not available.


3 4


Corporate Governance

Pre-Construction Design and Review Guidelines Rockefeller Group provides a copy of our building Standards, Specifications and Guidelines to all tenants of our Core Holdings portfolio upon move-in. In the Guidelines, we recommend that tenants make a strong effort to be environmentally responsible in every phase of their build-out and to comply in accordance with LEED building standards. The guidelines include the following measures that tenants must employ in their space: 1. Employ strategies that result in 30% less water use than the water use baseline calculated for the tenant space and specify WaterSense-labeled products. 2. Optimize HVAC energy performance through the implementation of the following strategies: a. Equipment Efficiency In addition to compliance with the New York Energy Consumers Council (NYECC), tenants are encouraged to select HVAC systems that comply with efficiency requirements outlined in ASHRAE Energy Design Guides for Office and Retail (as applicable). For all ENERGY STAR–eligible equipment and appliance installations, Rockefeller Group recommends that 70–90% be ENERGY STAR rated. Lastly, all LED fixture systems must be Design Lights Consortium (DLC) listed and LED bulbs ENERGY STAR listed. b. Appropriate Zoning & Controls Interior private office spaces and non-densely occupied specialty use spaces should provide a separate thermal control for each space, at a minimum. Perimeter office and non-densely occupied specialty use spaces should provide a separate thermal control for each space paired with a CO2/occupantsensing device. Lastly, densely occupied specialty use spaces should provide a separate thermal control for each space paired with a CO2/occupant-sensing device.

3. Address and secure Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) through the implementation of the following plans: a. Construction IAQ Management Plan– Before Occupancy The Plan requires the installation of new filtration media and building flush-out as soon as construction ends and once all interior finishes have been installed. If not feasible, we request a baseline IAQ assessment, once construction is complete and prior to occupancy, using testing protocols consistent with the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s “Compendium of Methods for the Determination of Air Pollutants in Indoor Air.” b. Construction IAQ Management Plan– During Construction This plan requires the development and implementation of an Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Management Plan for the construction and pre-occupancy phases of the tenant space. The Plan’s design approach must meet or exceed the requirements set forth by the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association (SMACNA) IAQ Guidelines for Occupied Buildings under construction. 4. Replace all filtration media immediately prior to occupancy.



Property Development and Environmental Preservation Environmental preservation is an important consideration when Rockefeller Group is planning a new development. Favorable environmental impact study findings are an essential consideration in a governing jurisdiction’s decision to permit a proposed development project to proceed. We typically have an independent engineer conduct an environmental study at the outset of new property development projects as well as significant alterations to existing properties. These environmental studies comply with the requirements of governing jurisdictions applicable to each development project. The following are representative of elements which may be examined and assessed in these environmental studies: • • • • • •

Existing structures Topography Surface hydrology Floodplains & buffers Vegetation Soil types and characteristics

• • • • •

Geologic characteristics Climate Wetlands Wetland buffer - wildlife Cultural and historical features

These studies also examine potential impacts of proposed developments, which may consider the following: • • • • • •

Soil & erosion Flooding Floodplain disruption Surface water quality Reduction in groundwater capabilities Vegetation destruction

• • •

Disruption of wildlife habitats and endangered species Disruption of cultural and historical features Disturbance of wetlands and wetland buffers



Environmental Performance LEED CERTIFICATION Rockefeller Group has achieved LEED certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) for many of its development projects across the country. We also achieved LEED certification for the office towers at 1221 and 1271 Avenue of the Americas in Manhattan. The LEED certification is formal recognition of a building’s compliance with a rigorous suite of standards for environmentally sustainable construction and operation. The LEED program, begun in 1998 and managed by the nonprofit U.S. Green Building Council, is guided by a broad consensus of architects, engineers, developers, government agencies, builders, and product manufacturers. In addition, the company encourages its development professionals to pursue LEED accreditation. ENERGY/GHG EMISSIONS 1221 AVENUE OF THE AMERICAS New York, NY


At Rockefeller Group, we understand the impact energy consumption has on a building’s environmental footprint, and we work diligently to reduce overall portfolio energy use. In recent years, we have joined the NYC Mayor’s Carbon Challenge which works toward reducing our emissions by 30% by 2030 for our Core Holdings portfolio. We are also looking to leverage new technologies as we aim to further reduce emissions and are continually evaluating more complex and innovative projects to support our energy reduction efforts. Energy-Saving Measures Energy conservation measures are routinely undertaken to reduce our portfolio’s energy consumption. Rockefeller Group’s approach to energy efficiency includes, among other things, the installation of high-efficiency equipment and appliances and the use of wall and roof insulation. In 2020, we completed a facade replacement at 1271 Avenue of the Americas which involved replacing the entire skin of the building to improve the solar performance and thermal insulation, significantly enhancing energy efficiency.



To minimize the energy needs of its Core Holdings portfolio, Rockefeller Group strongly encourages the purchase of energy-saving electrical equipment and appliances through the installation of ENERGY STAR models at equipment end of life. Additional Rockefeller Group energy-saving tactics include lighting retrofits and motion sensors, the installation of white/reflective roofs, improvements to HVAC systems and chillers, and the replacement of outdated cooling tower components. Our Core Holdings portfolio incorporates various systems to monitor and control equipment such as ventilation, air conditioning, heating, lighting, alarms, and communications, ensuring that our systems are operating optimally and efficiently.

SPOTLIGHT: DEMAND RESPONSE PROGRAM Rockefeller Group is a longstanding participant in a voluntary demand response program, sponsored by the New York State Independent System Operation (ISO) and Con Edison. Demand response seeks to change the power consumption of an electric utility user to better match the demand for power with the supply. When asked by Con Edison to reduce the peak load, we reduce our peak load by reducing lobby lighting, shutting off down escalators, and taking other steps with minimal effect on tenants. If an energy emergency is declared, Rockefeller Group, with tenants’ cooperation, will take additional conservation steps.




WATER Rockefeller Group is committed to optimizing water efficiency in our Core Holdings portfolio, where all new fixtures must meet or exceed the Uniform Plumbing Code and the International Plumbing Code standards. Many of our other properties incorporate water saving initiatives including low-flow fixtures on toilets/urinals, installed aerators on bathroom and kitchen sinks and leak detection software for indoor water use reduction. Where landscaping is present, many of these properties strive to plant native and drought-tolerant landscaping and utilize smart irrigation.



Rockefeller Group believes that comprehensive disposal and recycling plans are essential to fulfilling our environmental commitments, and we continually educate building staff and tenants of our Core Holdings properties on its importance and give tips on how to improve recycling rates. Today, many Rockefeller Group properties have implemented recycling programs and include recycling infrastructure for tenants. We plan to continue increasing the number of properties with a recycling program. In addition to standard recycling, many properties recycle e-waste and construction waste. Construction & Demolition Waste Management Planning As part of our building Standards, Specifications and Guidelines, Core Holdings tenants are required to develop and implement a plan to establish diversion goals for at least five specific materials that are anticipated to make up the majority of the waste stream. The plan must establish which materials will be separated and describe a diversion strategy for each. In alignment with our corporate goal, we require that construction and demolition material for three of the primary material streams be diverted from the landfill.



SPOTLIGHT: OFFICE WASTE RECYCLING In the early 1990s, Rockefeller Group gave its full cooperation and support when New York City’s municipal government first launched an effort to get office building managers, tenant companies, and individual office workers to change their daily work routines so that wastepaper, plastic bottles, and metal cans could be recovered and recycled. Office waste recycling has since become a daily routine at Rockefeller Group-managed buildings and throughout the city with an ongoing campaign to raise tenant awareness; this is crucial to the company’s pursuit of LEED certification. We participate in single-stream office waste recycling. A 2018 recycling analysis for 1271 Avenue of the Americas concluded that the building generated 12.79 tons of recycling and 52.21 tons of trash, leading to a 20% recycling yield. This is equivalent to saving 89,530 gallons of water, 1,010 gallons of oil, and 217 trees.

MONITORING AND REPORTING DATA Data collection and analysis is integral to our Environmental Management System. By measuring and consistently reporting key performance indicators (KPIs) such as energy, emissions, water, and waste, companies are able to conceptualize their overall consumption for these KPIs. Each quarter, we collect environmental data from our Core Holding portfolio using CodeGreen Solutions’ sustainability data management tool, ProAct. Rockefeller Group also utilizes automatic meter readings (AMRs) to collect consumption, diagnostic, and status data from water meters or energy metering devices (gas, electric). This information is then transferred to a central database for evaluation. The analysis of this information better controls the use and production of electrical energy, gas usage and water consumption. Performance results are then reported back to top executives for review and revision of strategies.



Portfolio Performance The following tables and graphs showcase Rockefeller Group’s year-over-year performance in the categories of energy, water, waste, and utility spend. All calculations were made using CodeGreen-verified data.* ENERGY | TOTAL USAGE 2019


108,734,069 kWh

94,865,984 kWh

Energy Reduction





% Change





Natural Gas




District Heat + Cooling




Tenant Electricity




Tenant Natural Gas


Data not available






*Rockefeller Group’s 2020 key performance indicators were influenced by reduced occupancy caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.





26,867 mTCO2e

23,630 mTCO2e

GHG Emissions Reduction





% Change

Scope 1




Scope 2




Scope 3










90,838 kGal

26,099 kGal

Water Reduction







% Change

Waste (Landfill)




Waste (Diverted)




Total Waste Generated




Diversion Rate (%)




*Data provided by Waste Connections, 330 7th Avenue, New York, NY 10001 **1271 Avenue of the Americas is not included due to lack of data




An Equitable Workplace Our company makes a concerted effort in our hiring practices to identify women and minority candidates in roles that have been historically underrepresented by such groups. For example, the company’s senior leadership includes a significant number of women, one-third of whom are racially diverse.

2020 Organization 2020 Organization Gender Diversity Gender Diversity Female 44% Male 56%

2020 C-Suite 2020 Gender C-Suite Gender Diversity Diversity Female 18%

Female 44%

Female 18%

Male 56% Male 82% Female

Male Female


Male 82% Female

Male Female


Employee Pay Equity

Employee Pay Equity Employee Pay Equity

TheThe standard practices The standard we utilize practices to ensure weensure utilize pay equity to ensure in ourpay company take in our into company consideration into three consideration main factors: three external main factors: market da ex standard practices we utilize to pay equity in equity our company take intotake consideration three main andfactors: employee work andperformance. employee work We performance. gather market We data gather and market information data onperformance. competitive informationcompensation on competitive trends, compensation base salary, trends, and app bas external market data, internal pay equity, and employee workand We gather market data externally from sources externally including from sources real estate including compensation real estate consultants. compensation Pay consultants. equity among Pay ourequity peer groups among is our also peer internally groups is analyzed also int and information on competitive compensation trends, base salary, and applicable incentives externally from examined to assist examined our Human to assist Resources our Human team and Resources CEO inteam monitoring and CEO and inanalyzing monitoring company-wide and analyzingmerit company-wide increases, in merit addition increases, to pro sources including real estate compensation consultants. Pay among our as peer is also internally aligned pay adjustments. aligned pay This adjustments. process occurs Thisinprocess the same occurs timeframe in theequity same as our timeframe company’s annual ourgroups company’s performance annual review. performance review. analyzed and promotion rates are examined to assist our Human Resources team and CEO in monitoring and analyzing company-wide annual merit increases, in addition to promotional and market-aligned pay Employee Engagement Employee Engagement adjustments. Assessing employee Assessing engagement employee is a engagement key component is aof key understanding component ofthe understanding commitmentthe of our commitment employeesofand ourhow employees they feel and in how their t 2020 and 2021 Rockefeller 2020 and 2021 Group Rockefeller was recognized Groupamong was recognized the top 100 among best the places topto 100 work bestbyplaces Crain’s toNew workYork by Crain’s Business. New ToYork assess Busine em actively seek employee activelyfeedback seek employee in Rockefeller feedback Group, in Rockefeller the Best Companies Group, the Group Best Companies and Crain’s Group New and YorkCrain’s Business New conducted York Business an emplo con 2021 to get an understanding 2021 to get anofunderstanding how employees of feel howinemployees their workspace. feel in their We received workspace. a 55% Weresponse received rate, a 55%compared responseto rate, thecompare 66% nat for 150 out of 275 foremployees 150 out ofwho 275 received employees thiswho survey. received this survey.

Employee Survey Employee Highlights Survey Highlights


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96% 88%






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Employee Engagement Our people define our competitive advantage. We empower each of our employees to bring their own perspective, share diverse experience and knowledge, and drive new opportunities. We believe that keeping employees engaged emphasizes one of our guiding principles — one team. We value a diverse workforce and an equitable workplace, where all team members have the opportunity to realize their full potential. This principle is reflected in our employee engagement program, which we reassess each year. In 2020 and 2021 Rockefeller Group was recognized among the top 100 best places to work by Crain’s New York Business.






of respondents have confidence in Rockefeller Group’s leadership

of respondents are satisfied with their benefits package

of respondents feel safe in the work environment


of respondents feel recognized for the quality of their work contributions

of respondents are proud to work for our organization



Employee Programs All full-time salaried employees who have successfully completed six months of employment have access to our suite of employee programs, which seek to promote employees’ growth and support their health and well-being. Programs include the following: EMPLOYEE VOLUNTEER GRANT PROGRAM The Rockefeller Group Employee Volunteer Grant Program encourages employee volunteerism in local nonprofit organizations and institutions that make substantial contributions to the quality of life in their communities. The program provides supplementary financial support to eligible organizations at which active employees volunteer. The program’s priority areas are at-risk youth and community action. SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM ON-SITE CAFE - 1271 AVENUE OF THE AMERICAS New York, NY

An annual competition is held for the children of Rockefeller Group employees who are graduating from high school. College scholarships of up to $20,000 are awarded each March. MATCHING GIFTS The Rockefeller Group Matching Gift Program provides employees an opportunity to enhance their personal contributions to eligible not-forprofit organizations. Rockefeller Group matches up to a specified dollar amount per year.




Employee Benefits We provide a range of benefits for our employees after six months of employment including those outlined below. ADOPTION REIMBURSEMENT Employees are eligible for a financial reimbursement to support adoption of children under the age of 18. The benefit covers costs such as: • Application fees • Home studies • Parent, child, and family adoption counseling TUITION REIMBURSEMENT AND ONGOING EDUCATION •

To encourage professional development, Rockefeller Group offers a Tuition Reimbursement Program to all full-time salaried employees who wish to obtain a degree from an accredited college or university. The company also offers reimbursement for professional development courses and seminars.

HEALTH CLUB REIMBURSEMENT To support physical health and wellness, the company reimburses up to 75% of eligible fitness club expenses. EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (EAP) EAP provides consultation and referrals to treatment resources to assist employees with a wide range of personal issues, including emotional well-being, marital, family, and other personal relationships, financial problems, and substance abuse. Participation in the EAP program and all discussions with EAP counselors are held in confidence to the maximum extent possible and in accordance with applicable law.



Exceptional Care to Cover Fundamental Needs • • • • • • • •

Comprehensive medical, dental, and vision plans with employee advocacy resources Telemedicine Company matched 401K Health Savings (HSA), with employer contribution & Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) Life & Disability Insurance including Supplemental Insurance Benefits Group legal assistance Commuter benefits Employee Assistance Program for family/life needs

EMBRACING WELLNESS • On-site flu vaccination • JP Morgan Corporate Challenge • TD Bike Tour • Softball and volleyball teams


OFFICE AMENITIES • On-site café with complimentary beverages, healthy food and snack choices • Employee events throughout the year such as breakfasts, lunches, happy hours, ice cream socials, and holiday gatherings UNWIND AND UNPLUG • Competitive time-off practices • Corporate holidays • Summer hours program JP MORGAN CORPORATE CHALLENGE New York, NY



Commitment to Tenants At our Core Holdings portfolio, Rockefeller Group conducts various tenant engagement initiatives to educate and motivate tenants to participate in and continue to support and improve the sustainability initiatives outlined by the company. In so doing, we provide opportunities for tenants to pursue sustainability while improving performance across our portfolio. TENANT ENGAGEMENT EVENTS Rockefeller Group hosts sustainability-focused events to engage and educate Core Holdings tenants on our corporate sustainability program. These events present Rockefeller Group’s corporate sustainability initiatives, including strategies for how tenants can incorporate sustainability and efficiency into their own spaces. Events have explained the Environmental Management System and other relevant sustainability programs at the properties and demonstrated how tenant participation is essential to the success of these programs. We also present information on LL97, what this means for our tenants, and strategies on how to reduce carbon emissions. We dedicate efforts toward resource efficiency and wellness for tenants by focusing on topics such as: • Green cleaning • Green maintenance • Pest management • Lighting upgrades • Health and well-being, indoor air quality and ventilation We also engage with tenants through numerous communications including surveys, memos, monthly newsletters, and emails.



SUSTAINABLE OPERATIONS In 2022, Rockefeller Group will enhance the existing operational policies and implement new operational policies to align with our sustainability goals. The policies aim to drive consistent application of sustainability efforts across the portfolio, and the policies are slated for formal implementation by the end of 2022. In addition, Rockefeller Group is will update the building Standards, Specifications and Guidelines applicable to tenants of Core Holdings properties which includes requirements aligned with the LEED and Rockefeller Group’s sustainability goals. The overall goal of the guidelines and policies is to continue to reduce environmental impacts, optimize energy, enhance water efficiency, and support the health and well-being of the tenants. In accordance with our company’s sustainability strategy, the enhanced Operational Policies for 1221 and 1271 Avenue of the Americas will focus on the following: • • • • • • •

Energy Management Water Efficiency Waste Management Green Cleaning Indoor Air Quality Environmentally Preferred Purchasing Building Resilience and Climate Change

The new policies will be the basis for ongoing base building operations within the Core Holdings portfolio. Rockefeller Group will continue to engage and educate tenants on their responsibilities, and provide resources so they can reach beyond the buildings’ requirements.



TENANT HEALTH AND WELL-BEING One of our top priorities is our tenants’ health and well-being. To keep our building occupants of our Core Holdings portfolio healthy, we have put in place the following requirements for low-emitting materials. •

Interior paints and coatings applied on-site must meet stringent volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions requirements. A General Emissions Evaluation for paints and coatings applied to walls, floors, and ceilings is also requested. Interior adhesives and sealants applied on-site (including flooring adhesive) must meet stringent VOC emissions requirements.

In 2021, Rockefeller Group evaluated the current HVAC systems equipment and operation as it relates to indoor air quality, the system’s ability to adopt new indoor air quality technology and operations and investigated monitoring and reporting options. We studied document management upgrades and revised operating procedures for air-side systems in response to ASHRAE Epidemic guidelines. We intend to identify and evaluate additional measures that can be implemented at the base building level for air-side systems, including filtration, UV, and operational adjustments.

1901 L STREET Washington, DC



Commitment to Our Community Rockefeller Group is committed to integrity and fairness — these are the hallmarks of our brand and reputation, embodied by our employees and reflected in our relationships with colleagues, clients, partners and the communities where we work. In addition to charitable support that we provide to community organizations, we are committed to giving back through projects that benefit the larger community. Rockefeller Group encourages employee participation in local charitable organizations in which we and our employees have a vested interest.


COMMUNITY GIVING & PHILANTHROPY One of Rockefeller Group’s guiding principles is a love for people, a love for the city. This underpins our business and guides our vision of improving people’s lives and the communities in which our employees live and work. The company has participated in fundraising campaigns for organizations including MakeA-Wish (which raised over $300,000), United Way, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Urban Pathways, Elizabeth Seton Children’s, Nazareth Housing, and Phipps Houses.


SPOTLIGHT: BE THE LIGHT CHALLENGE In 2020 Rockefeller Group decided to provide financial support to a number of local organizations in communities that were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our employees were involved in the selection of 40 local organizations within the communities in which they work and live. In total, we donated $240,000 to local groups. Some of the charities included in the Be the Light Challenge are: Arlington (VA) Partnership for Affordable Housing; Atlanta Community Food Bank; Bracken Kitchen; City Harvest; Feeding America; God’s Love We Deliver; Hoboken Relief Fund; Island Harvest; Light House Mission; Phipps Community Builder Fund; Robin Hood Foundation; St. Francis Food Pantry; United Food Bank; Wesley House and World Central Kitchen.



INDEPENDENCE WAY AT THE GREEN In 2020, Rockefeller Group, in partnership with Bergen County’s United Way (BCUW), Madeline Housing Partners, and the Borough of Florham Park in New Jersey, saw a need for affordable housing in the region. With eight acres of available land at The Green at Florham Park, Independence Way was developed to serve this need. Independence Way is comprised of 62 independent living units, a mix of 26 one-bedroom units and 36 two-bedroom units throughout seven separate buildings, and one group home for residents who may require around-the-clock assistance. This community is situated within Rockefeller Group’s 268-acre master-planned community, the Green at Florham Park, and is located only one mile from downtown Madison, NJ. Independence Way offers residents access to local employment, shopping, exercise, and medical care. By bringing an at-risk population into the center of a thriving community, Independence Way not only succeeded in fulfilling an affordable housing obligation to the Borough of Florham Park, but also in redefining and exceeding expectations surrounding supportive housing in suburban communities.


Partnerships and Memberships Industry partnerships are an important way to stay connected with industry leaders on ESG topics that are material to the real estate industry. In addition to the organizations outlined in the Environmental Management Systems section, we participate in the programs below. All these programs help provide research, education and a path forward for many of the sustainability and diversity challenges that Rockefeller Group and other commercial real estate companies face and strengthen career opportunities for women and minorities. For example, our employees participate in ACE Mentor Program, whose mission is to engage, excite, and enlighten high school students and encourage them to pursue careers in architecture, engineering, and construction through mentoring and continued support for their advancement into the industry. We are also involved in CREW and WX, two real estate organizations who’s mission is to advance women in the field.




Reporting and Disclosure GLOBAL REPORTING INITIATIVE GRI is a not-for-profit international organization that promotes the use of sustainability reporting as a way for organizations to disclose the economic, environmental, and social impacts of their activities. The GRI guidelines facilitate greater transparency through their Sustainability Reporting Framework, which includes the 2016 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines. GRI’s 2016 indicators were developed through a global multistakeholder process and offer reporting principles, standard disclosures, and an implementation manual for preparation of sustainability reports. This report has been aligned with the GRI Standards. This report contains material that references GRI Standard 102: General Disclosures 2016. The index displays the referenced GRI Standards disclosure numbers and titles, the location in this report of material that references each GRI disclosure, and the title of each section in this report that contains GRI-referenced material.




Organizational Profile 102-1

Name of organization


Activities, brands, products and services

Cover; Letter from the CEO


Ownership and legal form


Markets served


Scale of organization


Information on employees and other workers


External initiatives

Partnerships & Memberships


Membership of Associations

Partnerships & Memberships


Statement from senior decision maker

Letter from the CEO


Key impacts, risks, and opportunities

Responsible Development and Investment Strategy; Climate Change

Company Overview


Mitigation Through Decarbonization; Property Development & Environmental Preservation; Sustainable Design & Construction Guidelines Ethics and Integrity 102-16

Values, principles, standards, and norms of behavior

Company Overview; An Equitable Workplace


Governance structure

Our Management Approach


Executive-level responsibility for economic, environmental, and social topics

Our Management Approach


Consulting stakeholders on economic, environmental, and social topics

Our Management Approach


Conflicts of interest

Governance Policies








Role of highest governance body in setting purpose, values, and strategy

Mission and Vision, Targets and Goals, Strategic Plan


Evaluating the highest governance body’s performance

Governance, Employee Engagement


Identifying and managing economic, environmental, and social impacts

Responsible Development Investment Strategy


Review of economic, environmental, and social topics

Partnerships & Memberships


Stakeholder Engagement 102-40

List of stakeholder groups

Environmental Management Systems


Collective bargaining agreements

Employee Programs


Approach to stakeholder engagement

Stakeholder Engagement, Projects, Implementation


Key topics and concerns raised

Partnerships & Memberships

Reporting Practice 102-46

Defining report content and topic boundaries

Global Reporting Initiative


Reporting period

Report Profile


Contact point for questions regarding the report

Report Profile


Claims of reporting in accordance with the GRI Standards

Global Reporting Initiative


GRI content index

Global Reporting Initiative

Management Approach 103-2

The management approach and its components

Our Management Approach


Evaluation of the management approach

Responsible Development and Investment Strategy

Environment (Energy, Water, Emissions) 302-1

Energy consumption within the organization

Energy Usage per Type


Reduction of energy consumption

Energy Usage Total


Direct (Scope 1) GHG emissions

GHG Emissions per Type


Energy Indirect (Scope 2) GHG emissions

GHG Emissions per Type


Reduction of GHG emissions

GHG Emissions per Type


Waste generated

Waste + Recycling Management


Waste diverted from disposal

Waste + Recycling Management


Waste directed to disposal

Waste + Recycling Management


Benefits provided to full-time employees that are not provided to temporary or part-time employees

An Equitable Workplace


Programs for upgrading employee skills and transition assistance programs

An Equitable Workplace


Diversity of governance bodies and employees

An Equitable Workplace


Operations with local community engagement, impact assessments, and development programs

An Equitable Workplace


GRI G4 Sector Supplement: Construction and Real Estate G4 CRE1

Building energy intensity

Energy Usage per Type


Type and number of sustainability certification, rating, and labeling schemes for new construction, management, occupation, and redevelopment

Letter from CEO



DATA VERIFICATION CodeGreen Solutions conducted a third-party, limited-assurance review of energy, water, waste, and greenhouse gas emissions calculations for the 2019 and 2020 calendar years. Greenhouse gas verification followed the methodology of ISO 14064-3, and a parallel methodology was used for energy, water, and waste data. Under this methodology, CodeGreen found nothing causing the reviewer to believe that the values in this document were presented in an unfair manner or other than in accordance with the relevant criteria. REPORT PROFILE This report details the key aspects of our Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility program, including performance targets, operations and stakeholder engagement strategies, policies and benchmarking, and reporting efforts. This report is organized into three main sections: Governance, Environmental, and Social. The performance data in this report covers Rockefeller Group’s sustainability efforts through the end of the 2020 calendar year (unless otherwise noted). This report summarizes data from across the portfolio and is compiled in reference to the Global Reporting Initiative’s (GRI) G2016 Guidelines. For more information about Rockefeller Group, please visit our website at To provide feedback, please email Gerald W. Blume, Senior Vice President, Chief Legal Officer & Secretary, at DISCLAIMER Rockefeller Group makes no representation or warranty regarding the information contained in this report and has no obligation to update it. Market and industry information throughout the report has been provided by independent sources believed to be reliable but has not been independently verified. To the extent this report references future goals or events, Rockefeller Group gives no assurances that our expectations will be achieved. This report does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any securities and may not be used or relied upon in evaluating the merit of investing in a Rockefeller Group-sponsored fund or product.


1271 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020 212 282 2000

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