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Corporate Responsibility

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UDR Corporate Responsibility

Our Commitment to Environmental, Social, and Governance Responsibilities

At UDR, we understand the impact our business can have on the environment and upon our stakeholders. ESG assists us in identifying and managing our sustainability risks and opportunities. Our ESG improvements are designed to improve operational quality, improve Associate and resident retention, and reduce our impact on the environment.

The 2020 Corporate Responsibility Report describes our work in environmental sustainability, our commitment to community and relationships, and our dedication to sound corporate governance.

Download the Full Report


CEO Thomas Toomey

UDR’s culture is one based on innovation, inclusion, empowerment, adaptability, and execution. I start with our cultural cornerstones, as without them, the successes we have realized implementing and reporting on a wide variety of ESG objectives would not have been possible. These days, ESG influences and contributes to our day-to-day and long-term growth and risk mitigation strategies, both of which benefit our stakeholders in intangible (e.g., being part of a company that promotes strong corporate citizenry) and in tangible (e.g., better net operating income and cash flow growth, etc.) ways.

In 2019, and to date in 2020 I am proud to write that our Associates continued to progress our ESG objectives, many of which are reported in this Report.

For “E,” we installed over 831,000 kilowatt hours of solar generation capacity at our properties, increased our purchase of Renewable Energy Credits, continued to retrofit our buildings with energy management systems and LED lighting, reported our emissions and carbon footprint for the first time, analyzed our portfolio against a variety of climate change risks, and committed to sector-leading energy, water and emissions-reduction goals – to name a few.

For “S,” we enhanced mandatory training for Associates, greatly expanded opportunistic Associate training that can lead to career advancement, increased our efforts to ensure our pay standards are not discriminatory due to race, ethnicity, or gender, paid our Associates for 2,558 hours of their time donated to charity (as actions speak louder than words), worked with residents who experienced financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and ensured that our Associates understood their value during the pandemic by offering additional time-off, one-time bonuses for our front-line workers, flexible work schedules, and vacation buyouts – along with other benefits.

For “G,” we continue to believe we have a strong governance structure in place, but we are consistently validating this view through conversations with UDR’s investors and governance rating firms. During 2019, we directly engaged with 345 shareholders, representing approximately 79% of our shares outstanding. In general, our investors share our enthusiasm for advancing our ESG objectives and better understanding how UDR fits within their ESG investment frameworks. As such, continuing to improve how we report our ESG objectives and successes is paramount. In this Report, we enhanced our ESG disclosures, so they comply with the GRI Standards (core), the SASB standards, and the TCFD framework. We want to ensure that stakeholders understand what we are doing from an ESG perspective and can easily access the information we provide.

We believe that ESG is growing in importance and is key to being a strong corporate citizen, which is why we remain committed to consistently driving new ESG-related initiatives and further improving the transparency of our disclosures. In 2020, we have expanded our sustainability initiatives by installing Smart Home technology across an additional 10,000 apartment homes, again participating in the annual Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (“GRESB”), installing an incremental 840,000 kWh of solar energy production, and doubling our procurement of renewable energy to reduce the Company’s carbon footprint. Looking ahead, UDR and the apartment industry face a variety of challenges. Risks such as the potential spread of rent control, future carbon tax legislation, changing customer preferences, climate change threats, cyber security threats, the long-term impact from Coronavirus, and sourcing and retaining talented Associates all will affect how we operate our business. When confronted with this laundry list of risks, I remind myself that our innovative, adaptive culture, which is driven by our diverse, dedicated group of Associates, will find a way to drive UDR’s business and commitment to ESG forward.We welcome your feedback on our progress towards our ESG goals, our transparency, and this Report.

Thomas W. Toomey
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer


ESG Highlights

ESG Highlights

Recognized by Logical Buildings & NAA for innovation/implementation of new building energy & water management technology
Installed over 831,000 kilowatt hours of solar generation capacity
Procured over 12M kWh of Green-e Certified Renewable Energy Certificates
Green Bond issued
Installed smart irrigation at properties resulting in an over 5-million-gallon reduction in water usage
of leases completed online
of associates are proud to work for UDR
Associate community service hours
11% increase in resident loyalty scores
> 30%
Board of Directors are women
Interactions with our shareholders, representing ~79% of our ownership

Transparent and Measurable ESG Targets

We have established ambitious yet realistic targets and goals to improve our ESG performance in the coming years and to create long-term value for our stakeholders.


  • Reduce energy consumption by 15% between 2015 and 2025
  • Procure 10% of common area electric load through renewable energy sources by 2025
  • Reduce water consumption intensity by 10% between 2015 and 2025
  • Obtain sustainability certification for new developments
  • Reduce GHG (Scope 1 and Scope 2 Market Based combined) emissions by 15% between 2015 and 2025
  • Increase the Company's recycling diversion rate to 15% between 2015 and 2025
Our Commitment to the Environment


  • Maintain an Associate Engagement Score above the average for high performing companies
  • Increase Associate volunteer hours by 10% between 2017 and 2020
  • Install Smart Home Program across more than 70% of our portfolio by year end 2020
  • Continue to increase our average resident engagement score year over year
Our Commitment to Social Responsibility


  • Confirm 100% of Associates acknowledge the Company’s Code of Ethics Policy
  • Provide workplace harassment and information security awareness training annually to all Associates
  • Perform internal and external compliance screening for all new vendors
  • Participate in the annual Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) survey
  • Further evaluate the risk of climate change as part of our Enterprise Risk Management process
Our Commitment to Corporate Governance

In the News

Latest Press Releases and Awards

Green Bond Use of Proceeds
Read statement

UDR presented with "Smart Buildings Innovator of the Year" award in Samsung suite at CES 2020.
Read UDR press release

UDR named finalist for NAA's 2019 Technology Innovation Award and Silver Sustainable Living Innovation Award
Read NAA press release