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Press Release, October 15, 2021

ARA's Core Fund Receives 5-Star GRESB Rating in 2021 Assessment

Los Angeles, CA (October 15, 2021) – American Realty Advisors’ core real estate commingled fund has earned a 5-star rating from the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB). The fund scored a 91 in its 2021 assessment, which grades environmental, sustainability, and governance performance data for over $6.4 trillion assets under management. The rating highlights ARA’s commitment to integrating ESG+R (environmental, social, governance, and resiliency) best practices into its investment strategy as part of its pursuit of attractive long-term returns for investors and aligning its business activities with the broader interests of society.  

This is the eighth year ARA’s core fund has participated in the assessment; the 91 score reflects an 11-point improvement over 2020. ARA’s core fund outperformed its peer group average in over 15 scored categories including risk management and assessment, data monitoring and review, and building certifications. The fund also received a perfect score for the social and management categories of the rating. ARA is ranked second nationally out of 48 diversified core funds and fifth out of 246 participating diversified core funds worldwide.   

According to Dominique Hargreaves, Director of Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility at ARA, the high score and star increase can be attributed to ARA’s early adoption of ESG+R principles. She said the firm has embraced a holistic approach toward employing environmental practices in asset management, prioritizing stakeholder engagement, examining climate risks in the due diligence process, and supporting responsible labor practices.  

“Our strong GRESB performance celebrates the leadership and contribution of every ARA employee and demonstrates the success of our ESG+R program. It showcases our ability to apply collective action to achieving sustainability objectives across the firm,” Hargreaves said. “We are continuously evolving our program for the future and expanding our ESG+R reach through innovative strategies, new partnerships, and increasing stakeholder engagement to ensure we are on the cutting edge of sustainability and corporate social responsibility.”  

ARA has certified more than 5.8 million square feet of its core fund portfolio as LEED and over 5 million square feet as Energy Star. The entire portfolio is utilizing the U.S. EPA ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager to track energy use. ARA is currently outpacing the fund’s 10-year energy, water, emissions, and waste reduction goals, highlighted by an 18% reduction in energy use intensity in the past year.  

Social initiatives in the ESG+R program include ARA’s “Tomorrow’s Real Estate Leaders” undergraduate program, a DEI initiative focused on promoting diversity in the real estate industry, as well as a robust tenant engagement program, and a continued focus of the ARA Charitable Foundation in supporting efforts to address homelessness, food insecurity, and social justice.  

Stanley Iezman, Chairman and CEO of ARA, says the firm maintains its steadfast commitment to effecting positive environmental change, serving clients in an ethical manner, and promoting gender diversity, equity, and inclusion.  

“ESG+R is at the heart of our corporate identity, and this increase in our GRESB score and rating are a confirmation of the success of our efforts. It’s a source of pride for our employees and creates positive impact in the communities we serve,” Iezman said. “We continue to build on these initiatives while remaining focused on programs that create value for our investors.” 

ARA is a signatory to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), has aligned with six of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and has partnerships with sustainability groups and organizations including US Green Building Council, ENERGY STAR, Global Reporting Initiative, Institute of Real Estate Management, Center for Active Design, Carbon Lighthouse, Black Bear Energy, Aveole, and Coastal Risk, among others. The firm’s Tomorrow’s Real Estate Leaders program was honored with a Trailblazer Award by Verdical Group at their Net Zero Conference in September. The awards celebrate leaders who are creating paths for others to follow through their work in climate, carbon, energy, water, waste, transit, and equity. 

More on ARA’s ESG+R initiatives can be found in, the firm’s ESG+R Annual Report.  

ABOUT GLOBAL REAL ESTATE SUSTAINABILITY BENCHMARK (GRESB) 

GRESB is a mission-driven and industry-led organization providing standardized and validated Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) data to financial markets. Established in 2009, GRESB has become the leading ESG benchmark for real estate and infrastructure investments across the world, used by 140 institutional and financial investors to inform decision-making. For more information, visit GRESB.com 

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