At Duke Realty, Sustainability Means Planning for Future Generations

Steve Schnur, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

As a company built around American communities—and the businesses that sustain them—Duke Realty has a long tradition of stewardship and planning for the future. As Duke Realty’s chief operating officer, you might say I’m chief steward.

With nearly 50 years in the commercial real estate business, Duke Realty’s outlook extends far beyond five or even 10 years; we know the decisions we make today will affect our communities and stakeholders for generations to come, which is why corporate responsibility and sustainability have long been priorities for us.

We own and operate many large buildings, so we’re always looking for ways to make a positive impact on our environment and in the communities we serve. We have not only committed to constructing all of our new developments to LEED® certification standards, but have also begun the process of retrofitting our older projects to make them more sustainable.

We’re also exploring ways to use our resources even more creatively. We recently completed a rooftop solar project in New Jersey that makes us one of the largest community solar project hosts in the state. And across the country, our solar projects help to generate 28.2 megawatts of clean energy each year.

All of this is not just good stewardship; the business community demands it. Our tenants and customers increasingly expect green buildings and environmentally conscious development. And investors are looking for environmentally responsible investments. In 2019, we closed a $400 million green bond offering—the first of its kind by a U.S. industrial REIT-and followed it up with a second green bond in January 2021, bringing our total issuance of green bonds to $850 million. The net proceeds will help finance recently completed or future eligible green projects.

As employees of Duke Realty, we each have our own stake in this. We want to leave a better world for our children, our grandchildren, and future generations. That’s why, today, we’re particularly focused on identifying carbon neutrality goals for the near and long term.

For Duke Realty, corporate responsibility means looking out for our people, our customers and the world. It’s a responsibility that truly falls on all of us, as individuals and as a company. And it also requires working in partnership with others in our industry to measure our impact and set more meaningful goals.

In addition to our sustainability initiatives, we’re also strengthening our efforts to include and empower a diverse group of associates and partners. We’re stepping up to do more outreach in our community. And we’re renewing our commitment to transparency and oversight in our corporate governance. What we’ve learned through this process is that corporate responsibility is not just compatible with good business—it actually plays a central part. This Earth Day, we’re proud to play a small part in leading change for the better.