SL Green Adopts IBM Technology to Operationalize Sustainability Initiatives Across Extensive NYC Real Estate Portfolio
ARMONK, N.Y and NEW YORK, June 2, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Today IBM (NYSE: IBM) and SL Green Realty Corp. (NYSE: SLG), Manhattan's largest office landlord, announced that SL Green is leveraging IBM sustainability software to help advance their company's environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategy. SL Green will use software from Envizi, an IBM Company, to better understand and report on its environmental initiatives, identify opportunities for greater efficiency and further drive sustainability across its extensive real estate operations.
As the largest owner of office real estate in New York City, SL Green is focused on effectively managing its portfolio of Manhattan commercial properties, with interest in more than 70 buildings totaling 34.9 million square feet. In the face of climate change and quickly evolving societal challenges, SL Green is committed to a broad set of sustainability initiatives and goals – from environmental efforts such as optimizing energy, water and waste management, to sustainable development of new properties, and programs to benefit the health and safety of both tenants and the local community. In 2021, SL Green aligned with the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Net Zero by 2050 goal of carbon neutral building operations and remains committed to setting a Science-Based Target for greenhouse gas emissions.
Having access to the right data is crucial for many organizations to make meaningful progress toward their sustainability goals but this data is often highly fragmented across various formats and locations, making it difficult for all relevant parties to leverage. In a recent IBM study, 44% of surveyed CEOs cited "lack of insights from data" as a leading challenge to achieving their sustainability objectives.1 In January, IBM acquired Envizi to offer organizations technology to help streamline and automate their collection, analysis and reporting of ESG data, with simplified dashboards and visualizations that can make these insights more accessible to stakeholders of all types.
"As the largest owner of office real estate in New York, we have been pioneers in ESG, taking action to support the City's vital sustainability initiatives," said Laura Vulaj, Senior Vice President & Director of Sustainability at SL Green. "Being committed to making data-driven decisions has been a crucial differentiator for us, and Envizi's advanced technology can enable us to further streamline these initiatives in a transparent and measurable way for our stakeholders."
Working with IBM, SL Green will use Envizi software as a service (SaaS) to help manage and accelerate sustainability initiatives across its portfolio. For example:
- Create a single system of record for sustainability and ESG data: Envizi can help SL Green streamline the collection of data from a wide range of sources such as utility data, renewable energy certificates, waste data, business travel, purchased goods and services, in order to provide all stakeholders with consistent data for reporting, analysis and decision making – for example, to support Scope 1, 2 and 3 GHG emission calculations.
- Analyze data to inform sustainability decision-making: SL Green can apply Envizi's advanced analytics to transform this data into insights on the performance of its portfolio, which can help drive better decisions and meet sustainability goals. For example, Envizi could help SL Green calculate greenhouse gas emissions, set decarbonization targets and track progress towards its emissions reduction goals.
- Streamline ESG and sustainability reporting: SL Green is committed to transparent ESG disclosures and reports its performance under a wide variety of ESG reporting frameworks including CDP, SASB, TCFD, GRI, CSA (DJSI) and SBTi. Envizi's ESG reporting capabilities can make it easier for SL Green to streamline these reporting processes, with all reporting questions and responses managed within a single software interface.
"The ability to transform widespread operational and environmental data into insights that business leaders and stakeholders can understand is a foundational step towards making sustainability initiatives effective and scalable," said Kareem Yusuf, Ph.D., General Manager, IBM Sustainability Software. "By taking a 360-degree approach, supported by connections between data, technologies and processes, companies can operationalize sustainability initiatives across their organization."
This collaboration between IBM and SL Green comes on the heels of the recent announcement that IBM has signed on as an anchor tenant for One Madison Avenue, SL Green's 1.4 million square foot, state-of-the-art redevelopment scheduled for completion in November 2023.
SL Green Realty Corp., Manhattan's largest office landlord, is a fully integrated real estate investment trust, or REIT, that is focused primarily on acquiring, managing and maximizing value of Manhattan commercial properties. As of December 31, 2021, SL Green held interests in 73 buildings totaling 34.9 million square feet. This included ownership interests in 26.9 million square feet of Manhattan buildings and 7.1 million square feet securing debt and preferred equity investments.
IBM's extensive portfolio of AI software can help organizations turn sustainability ambition into action. IBM is focused on helping companies harness the power of data, connecting environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals with broader business operations and systems – such as intelligent facilities and physical assets, resilient IT infrastructure and circular supply chains. These solutions are underpinned by environmental intelligence, operational data, and AI, designed to transform disparate data sources into insights that can help companies drive smarter, sustainable decisions every day.
1 Source: IBM Institute for Business Value, CEO Study: Own Your Impact, May 10, 2022