Federal Realty Keeps the Faith in Traditional Industry Wisdom — but Adds Emphasis to Eco Issues

US property firm Federal Realty applies strategy and smarts in environmental oversight.

In an industry known for “location, location, location”, investment trust Federal Realty has added a new mantra: “resilience, resilience, resilience.”

Founded in 1962, Federal is recognised for the ownership, operation, and redevelopment of retail-based properties, primarily in major US coastal markets. With a diverse portfolio ranging from small neighbourhood shopping centres to urban and mixed-use properties, Federal’s enduring success is testament to a sound business strategy.

“As a long-term owner of real estate, we have always had an intense focus on protecting and enhancing the value of our assets,” said Federal Realty CEO Don Wood. “That means aggressive management and continual reinvestment to ensure our properties can withstand climate-related disruption, while supporting a transition to a low-carbon economy.”

Aggressive management starts with strategic investment. Federal maintains a competitive advantage with properties in markets where public and private sectors are investing in infrastructure to improve resilience and manage greenhouse gas emissions. More resilient communities mean less financial loss, and reduced human impact from climate events. Recovery is quicker with restoration of utility services, and the availability of transit and other critical services and infrastructure.

Federal’s strategic expertise is accompanied by sound diligence and effective mitigation strategies. It conducts climate-risk analysis as part of due diligence on all acquisitions. Asset-level operating plans address the physical risks particular to each asset, and emergency response plans are in place.

Resilience strategies are incorporated in design and construction to maximise efficiency and minimise emissions over the lifetime of an asset. Greenfield development gives way to urban revitalisation, using existing structures and onsite materials wherever possible, and relying on Federal’s proprietary Green Box™ standard for the build-out of tenant spaces.

The company continually improves energy efficiency to preserve natural resources and protect the environment. Efforts include portfolio-wide LED lighting, white and green roofs to reflect heat, on-site renewable energy, and EV charging stations. Of the 4.6 million-square-feet of buildings constructed and delivered over the past decade by Federal, some 80 percent have earned LEED certification.

Federal Realty has implemented water-management techniques to conserve the vital resource, particularly in areas at risk of water stress. Tools include real-time data-monitoring via automatic meter-readers, which have been installed at almost half of Federal properties. Other conservation methods include smart fixtures and irrigation controls, while drought-tolerant native plants are used in landscaping.

The driving force behind Federal’s investment and reinvestment actions is the mission to deliver long-term, sustainable growth — a mission that can’t be achieved without that emphasis on resiliency.

“Building resilience is not just about withstanding,” said Wood. “It’s about having the capacity to thrive and create further value. By investing in decarbonisation and our communities, we’re securing our future, and creating a cycle of prosperity for stakeholders.”

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