UDR ESG — Elevating Excellence
Our Commitment to the
We remain committed to our ESG goals as demonstrated by our accomplishments and refreshed targets. Environmental governance and management are critical to our ESG efforts as we expect additional focus on climate-based targets from investors, regulators, and our peers as the broader implementation of net-zero emissions continues.
In the 2015 Paris Agreement, a multitude of countries committed to limiting average global temperature rise to below +2°C versus pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit warming to below +1.5°C. UDR has a responsibility to do our part. We are in the process of committing to set a science-based target in 2022 through the Science Based Target initiative. We believe that by setting science-based GHG emissions reduction targets and incorporating action to meet those targets into our environmental governance, risk management, and business strategy, UDR will become more resilient against climate-related physical, transitional, and regulatory risks and will continue to uphold our high standards for transparency, sustainability, and corporate responsibility. Once our targets are approved, they will be integrated into our long-term environmental strategy and goals.
While our EMS has historically aligned with the ISO 14001 standard, in the spring of 2022, the Company achieved third-party certification of our EMS to the ISO 14001 standard. The Company’s EMS, in tandem with our updated Environmental Policy, provides a systematic governance approach to: (1) identify climate-related risks and opportunities (including those outlined in the SASB Climate Risk technical bulletin), (2) evaluate the economic and environmental effects in both mitigating these risks and investing in new technologies and other opportunities, and (3) assesses the results achieved through our EMS processes against our environmental goals.
To request a copy of the Scope of UDR’s Environmental Management System or a copy of UDR's Environmental Policy, please contact Investor Relations at [email protected]
- Committed $20 million to ESG and Climate Technology Funds including funds led by Fifth Wall and co-lead investment in the first closing of the ESG Innovation-Focused “Housing Impact Fund” launched by RET Ventures.
- Utilized smart building technology across our portfolio, which helped reduce annual common area energy consumption as well as Scope 1 and 2 emissions. When compared to pre-installation levels, properties that use smart building technology have shown a more than 17% reduction in common area energy consumption.
- Achieved ISO 14001 certification for our EMS.
- Continued to invest in air quality sensors to measure micrograms of dust per cubic meter of air for all smart building properties, increasing our coverage by over 70% since 2020.
- Reduced electricity demand in 2021 by 1,000 kilowatts ("KW") through demand response programs resulting in over $150,000 in additional NOI. Cumulatively since 2018, demand response programs have reduced electricity demand by over 7,440 KW and resulted in nearly $650,000 in additional NOI.
- Continued enrolling eligible resident apartment homes in demand response and Grid Rewards programs, which promote and in some cases reward residents for lower energy consumption, thus lowering our Scope 3 emissions. We are working to scale their utilization across additional markets and communities.
- Utilized on-site solar generation that has generated a cumulative 3.2 million kilowatt hours (“kWh”) of renewable energy since 2019. We continue to assess onsite renewable energy technology and have started pilot programs for onsite wind energy and further investment in solar technologies.
- Retired (i.e., claimed the environmental attributes of) Green-e certified renewable energy certificates ("RECs") representing 31,971,000 kWh of energy usage in 2021 reducing the Company's aggregate carbon footprint. This is equivalent to preventing the GHG emissions associated with powering 2,984 homes annually.
- Obtained sustainable building certifications for five of our existing communities in 2021, with five additional certifications in-progress in 2022 (two development, three operating), thereby making progress towards our Sustainability Certification ESG goal.
- Used over 24 million gallons of reclaimed water for irrigation in 2021, thereby reducing our consumption of potable water.
- Smart water metering technology provides daily monitoring across our portfolio at over 22,000 water meters in leased spaces to detect and mitigate leaks. This technology provided high usage alerts that prompted investigation and remediation to correct for potential damage.
- Continued our resident environmental outreach initiative and education. As part of our portfolio-wide resident sustainability campaign, we distributed more than 158,000 environmental related communications in 2021. Additionally, we communicated opportunities to residents to lower consumption during times of high demand, such as the California Independent System Operator "ISO” flex alerts, and shared Grid Rewards in multiple regions.
- Exceeded our waste diversion goal of 15% four years ahead of schedule with a diversion rate of 19% across 2-year stabilized properties. UDR achieved this goal through increased monitoring, resident education, and optimization of our waste programs. Additionally, our total metric tonnage of recycling capacity increased by more than 30% in 2021 compared to 2020.
- Increased by more than 30% the number of charging ports at Electric Vehicle (“EV”) charging stations since 2018. This includes 44 new ports installed in the first half of 2022 and construction on a community where over 30% of the community’s parking stalls have EV charging stations.
Progress Towards Environmental Goals
Smart Building Technology
UDR utilizes smart building technology to monitor energy usage in real-time, create alerts when equipment malfunctions, and control smart, common area thermostats from a single centralized dashboard. These activities help us achieve our environmental goals and improve our bottom line financial and environmental results by lowering our energy costs, providing opportunities to identify potential new streams of revenue, and reducing our GHG emissions. Versus pre-installation baselines, our communities have collectively reduced their annual common area energy consumption by over 17%, resulting in annual avoided emissions of over 3,600 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (“MT CO2e”).
Resident Leak Detection
Smart water metering technology provides daily monitoring across our portfolio at over 22,000 water meters in leased spaces to detect and mitigate leaks. We receive daily emails that alert us to unit-specific high usage and repeated high consumption across these properties, providing actionable data to investigate potential leaks. Smart metering devices contribute to more effective and proactive maintenance by identifying water leaks in near real time. This can help mitigate potential effects from leaks such as higher than usual utility and insurance costs and high water consumption over the duration of the leak if left unresolved.
Solar and Onsite Renewable Energy
Since 2019, UDR has utilized on-site solar generation that has generated a cumulative 3.2 million kWh of renewable energy. When compared to 2019, the Location-Based Scope 2 emissions at these ten communities have been reduced by over 32%. Investments in onsite solar, as well as additional investments in onsite renewable energy technology, are economically sound and environmentally responsible as they lower the electricity pulled from the grid and reduce our GHG emissions. We have continued to assess opportunities to deploy solar where economical and have begun several pilot programs for other onsite renewable energy technologies including wind.
In 2021, UDR enrolled 14 additional communities in demand response programs, bringing total participating communities to 19. Since 2018, UDR has generated nearly $650,000 in additional NOI while reducing electrical demand by over 7,440 KW by partaking in demand response events. Our participation has eased the strain on local power grids during high-demand periods. We continue to assess demand response opportunities with local municipalities and utility providers in additional markets. Additionally, we are encouraging our residents to engage with programs like Grid Rewards and California’s ISO Flex alerts to help lessen their environmental footprint and our scope 3 emissions.
We embrace LEED or an equivalent green certification when possible for significant new developments and existing properties, demonstrating the high aspiration we have to create innovative communities with minimal environmental impact. Since 2010, UDR has developed or redeveloped 19 communities and acquired 1 community that have obtained sustainability certification. In addition, in 2021 UDR obtained green building certifications for 5 existing assets.
100 Pier 4 | 369 homes | LEED Silver
1301 Thomas Circle | 292 homes | Fitwel Certified
13th & Market | 264 homes | LEED Silver
21 Chelsea | 209 homes | Fitwel Certified
3033 Wilshire | 190 homes | Green Globes
345 Harrison | 585 homes | LEED Silver
399 Fremont | 447 homes | LEED Silver
95 Wall | 503 homes | Fitwel Certified
Andover House | 171 homes | Fitwel Certified
Beach & Ocean | 173 homes | NGBS Silver
Capitol View on 14th | 255 homes | LEED Platinum
Channel Mission Bay | 315 homes | LEED Gold
CityLine | 244 homes | LEED Silver
CityLine II | 155 homes | LEED Silver
Fiori on Vitruvian Park® | 391 homes | LEED Silver
Leonard Pointe | 188 homes | LEED Gold
Los Alisos at Mission Viejo | 320 homes | LEED Silver
Savoye | 394 homes | LEED Silver
Savoye2 | 351 homes | LEED Gold
Station on Silver | 400 homes | NGBS Silver
The Residences at Pacific City | 516 homes | LEED Silver
The Residences on Jamboree | 381 homes | NGBS Silver
Verve Mountain View | 155 homes | LEED Silver
View 14 | 185 homes | Fitwel Certified
Vision on Wilshire | 150 homes | LEED Silver
Vitruvian West | 383 homes | LEED Silver
Vitruvian West II | 366 homes | LEED Silver