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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 2018 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

Why is UDR focusing on Environmental, Governance and Social (“ESG”) issues now?
UDR has been keenly focused on ESG related issues for quite some time now, but we have not been as transparent in publicly reporting our pursuits and successes over the years. Being a good corporate citizen is important to our Board of Directors, management team, Associates and shareholders. We are proud of what we have accomplished to date with regard to ESG and we look forward to incremental improvements in the years to come.

In 2018, we put in place a framework that ensures that we can accurately track our ESG pursuits and report them in a timely fashion. As such, in 2019 we will participate in the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (“GRESB”) survey and we will publish our inaugural Corporate Responsibility Report formatted to Global Reporting Initiative (“GRI”) standards. Both of these efforts, and others that may arise in the years ahead will help to publicly showcase UDR’s ongoing commitment to improving the ESG-related aspects of our business.

In this Corporate Responsibility Report, we outline where UDR has come from with regard to ESG topics and set targets for where we expect to be in the years ahead. In addition, we address how we intend to minimize our environmental footprint, increase Associate engagement, improve the experiences of our workforce and residents, and make decisions that help to ensure an enduring governance framework.

How is ESG integrated into UDR’s overarching Strategy?
ESG touches many aspects of UDR’s overarching strategy. It helps our operations grow and improves profitability, it influences how we grow our Enterprise through “green” development, and it drives our interactions with our Associates, residents, financial stakeholders (i.e., shareholders and debt holders) and non-financial stakeholders (i.e., vendors, technology partners, etc.). Promoting a culture that keys in on innovation, accountability, and inclusivity is a core driver of our focus on ESG. A more engaged workforce that feels a sense of ownership in what they do and how they contribute to the whole drives better top-and bottom-line results, better service for our residents and better TSR for our shareholders.

An example of this, is the progress we have made over the past four years in limiting UDR’s utility expense growth, which has been one of the lowest in the multi - family space. Significant investments in energy reporting systems, Light Emitting Diode (“LED”) lighting retrofits, building management systems (“BMS”), and soon, solar, have helped us to better monitor real-time energy usage, reduced our per home carbon footprint, improved our margins and generated strong returns on the dollars invested. At UDR, we have and will continue to incorporate ESG goals for the benefit of all of our stakeholders.

Who benefits from incorporating ESG metrics and targets in to the Company’s strategy?
Our Associates, residents and financial and non-financial stakeholders benefit from UDR incorporating ESG principles into much that we do. UDR is a company that cares, it’s that simple. As a for-profit company, the bottom-line will always be a primary focus, but we are well aware that our bottom line is enhanced when we have buy-in from our Associates, a resident base that is provided the absolute best service, and a shareholder base that understands that having a profit motive and being a strong corporate citizen are not mutually exclusive.

How do you measure ESG performance?
In 2018, our Corporate Responsibility Committee, which is responsible for assessing and evaluating enhancements to our ESG efforts decided that greater focus was needed with regard to how we report on our past ESG successes and future goals. The Committee is comprised of key executives and senior management team members. Throughout the year, Committee members performed a “deep dive” across all aspects of UDR’s business to ensure that key ESG performance results were being met and that future targets conformed to and enhanced the Company’s strategic and financial goals. Many of these are reported on via the GRESB survey or in this Report.

Personally, I am heavily invested in the Committee’s continuing development of and subsequent reporting on ESG efforts and metrics. For UDR, “ESG” is not merely a catchphrase, but rather a framework that can improve what we do, how we do it, and why we do it. I am convinced that operating responsibly in conjunction with achieving our financial goals, is one way to create lasting success.


ESG Highlights

ESG Highlights

Corporate Responsibility Committee to oversee key ESG performance metrics
41 LED lighting retrofit projects completed
19% reduction in electric consumption where LED projects were completed
of Associates would recommend UDR as a great place to work
2018 Outstanding Employer Award received
$809M completed LEED Silver developments
Associate community service hours
43% increase in resident loyalty scores
Board of Directors are women
$45M of affordable homes completed
Interactions with our investors representing 80% 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 Net Promoter Score greater than 90%
  • Increase Associate volunteer hours by 10% between 2017 and 2020
  • Install Smart Home Program across 50% of the portfolio by year end 2020
  • Increase our average resident engagement score by 19% in 2019
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

2019 Information
Environmental Metrics

In the News

Latest Press Releases and Awards

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