The SL Green leadership team is consistently raising the bar for commercial office space and the tenant experience. We are committed to thoughtfully maximizing value for our shareholders while keeping environmental, social, and governance principles at the forefront of our business strategy.
A message from our Chairman & Chief Executive Officer.
At the start of 2020, New York City was poised for a record-breaking period of prosperity. As the year comes to a close, we find ourselves facing an unexpected set of challenges and global economic uncertainty. COVID-19 continues to impact businesses across cities and industries around the world. It has tested the resilience of companies and challenged them to adapt to unprecedented guidelines and restrictions. It has shaken the faith of many New Yorkers and forced us to reprioritize. Yet, with all of this change and unpredictability, one thing remains certain for SL Green – ESG is a top priority, and the link between corporate performance and employee, environmental, social, and governance initiatives has never been clearer.
“The principles of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) are integral to our success.”
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
People are the backbone of our business – they are our employees, our tenants, our suppliers, our partners, our investors, and our neighbors. SL Green is home to organizations that employ thousands of people in medical offices, health care companies, major media outlets and broadcast studios, and governmental agencies, making our ability to adapt to this environment essential to the economic vitality of New York City. With an unwavering commitment to our people, we have successfully met the challenge of creating a safe and sanitary workplace for these businesses to operate.
COVID-19 has also reinforced the importance of the physical workplace as a catalyst to cultivate human interaction. The reality is that work from home has its limits. Companies need workspaces that foster collaboration, creativity, and connection. SL Green’s portfolio is equipped with state-of-the-art technology and modern resources. It offers unique spaces where innovation meets convenience, with over 95% of our portfolio located in immediate proximity to major commuter hubs. As we build the workplace of the future, our pipeline of transit-oriented development will continue to create sustained value for our stakeholders.
While New York City was brought to a standstill in March, we were relentless in executing our vision for a revitalized Midtown East. On September 14th, we cut ribbon to the doors of One Vanderbilt, celebrating a new era of modern office space. This development represents SL Green’s most ambitious endeavor – everything we have learned, practiced, and instituted has culminated to create an iconic landmark. We are proud that New York will be home to one of the most advanced, cutting-edge skyscrapers in the world.
The completion of One Vanderbilt is just an example of the strength of our business resilience and the leadership of an experienced management team. Throughout the pandemic, we successfully maintained momentum on our premier development projects. Our buildings remained fully accessible and we immediately implemented provisions to adapt to evolving COVID-19 guidance. We also hold our supply chain accountable for uninterrupted and socially responsible operations, and this year we introduced third-party supplier assessments to validate our vendors and contractors.
We understand that stakeholders want visibility into how SL Green adapts to challenges and addresses operational and financial impacts. Our transparency and adaptability are demonstrated by our release of updated financial guidance and our securing of substantial cash reserves during the height of COVID-19. As New York City works towards recovery, we are prepared for investment opportunities that will continue to grow our business.
Our ability to adapt to the COVID-19 landscape is a direct reflection of our employees – the heartbeat of SL Green. They bring passion, ingenuity, and practical solutions to our organization each and every day. As the past has shown, we are not immune to adversity, but we have always overcome substantial business disruptions. We train for situations like this, and our response to COVID-19 was swift and comprehensive. We recognize that our employees are front-line workers ensuring that our buildings are safe and accessible to tenants. We also understand our obligation to promote the health and well-being of our employees, so this year we introduced a suite of benefits to support work-life balance.
In response to COVID-19, SL Green took action to help the most vulnerable New Yorkers throughout the pandemic by launching Food1st, a 501(c)(3) not-for- profit organization established in partnership with acclaimed chef and restaurateur Daniel Boulud. Despite the challenges we faced as a company, Food1st was established to feed emergency service workers and food-insecure New Yorkers while reactivating restaurant kitchens across the five boroughs and beyond. In only eight months, Food1st raised $4 million, which helped provide nearly 500,000 meals to over 100 locations. The funds reactivated 20 restaurant kitchens and helped bring over 150 food service professionals back to work at the height of COVID-19 restrictions.
I am confident that New York City will emerge from this crisis stronger than ever, and SL Green will continue to support the businesses that keep this great city running. Our company was built to withstand these moments of uncertainty, and our strategic management will allow us to thrive in the aftermath of COVID-19.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
SL Green Realty Corp.
A message from our team.
With the eighth release of our annual sustainability report, the principles of our ESG program have strengthened our business practices and better prepared us to face this year’s unique challenges. COVID-19 tested the resilience of our supply chain, the perseverance of our employees, and the agility of our operations. We have emerged with a reinforced sense of strength and a continued commitment to material Environmental, Social, and Governance issues.
It takes a dedicated team to develop and execute a comprehensive ESG program. While our core values, principles, and policies are rooted in this organization, our team is responsible for ensuring we have a pulse on emerging trends, reporting guidelines, and new legislation. SL Green is built on transparency with our stakeholders, so we prioritize voluntary disclosures and data verification for Environmental, Social, and Governance topics. We thoughtfully select initiatives and reporting frameworks that are most relevant to our business operations. We engage directly with representatives from a dozen rating agencies to verify the accuracy of our ESG assessments and to understand how we can continue enhancing our reporting.
This approach also allows us to continually examine our program and make meaningful changes that improve how we operate. It is a strategy we have been deploying for the better part of a decade, which has enabled our organization to quickly adapt to recent challenges.
The events of COVID-19 have had a tremendous impact on New York City. As real estate leaders, SL Green is responsible for setting the example, and we encourage employers to rise to the challenge and equip employees with the tools necessary for a safe return to the workplace. When ESG decisions are thoughtfully integrated into business operations, the challenges of today can be successfully managed and overcome.
“Our environmental objectives must be equally balanced with our economic goals.”
Senior Vice President and Director of Sustainability
Our stakeholders can count on us, and we lead by example in environmental, social, and governance leadership among real estate investment trusts.
“By managing our energy in real-time, we’re able to communicate with the Grid, our tenants, and ConEd, and equip our engineering staff with the ability to be responsive to the dynamic needs of New York City.”
Senior Vice President and Director of Engineering
“Central to SL Green’s mission to improve the city in which we invest is a conscious effort to minimize our carbon footprint.”
Assistant Director of Sustainability
“Operating with the highest sustainability standards and maximizing efficiency while ensuring tenant comfort is always the primary goal.”
Chief Engineer of 11 Madison Avenue
“Over the past two decades, we have focused on market-leading sustainability initiatives by developing standardized operating procedures, completing energy efficiency projects, and implementing cutting edge technologies to maximize peak performance. As best-in-class operators, we remain committed to creating the most sustainable footprint to reduce energy consumption and minimize environmental impact.”
Senior Vice President, Operations
“We recognize that the materials we procure during construction have a large impact on SL Green’s overall carbon footprint. We are committed to implementing responsible sourcing practices in partnership with our suppliers to uphold our responsibility to our tenants and the city.”
Senior Vice President, Construction
We’re delivering real results for the people under our roofs and, through our energy-efficiency initiatives, we’re providing extra value.