Fulfilling our corporate responsibility requires vigilance; that’s why we’ve established a Corporate Responsibility Council to drive, monitor, and assess Duke Realty’s efforts to protect the environment, support our communities, and ensure ethical business practices. Accountability is a large part of the process, so we share the results of our environmental, social, and governance (ESG) activities annually in our Corporate Responsibility Report.
Among the highlights of the past year is the success of Duke Realty’s “Living Our Best” initiative. Since 1998, our goal has been to educate, communicate and promote health and wellness at Duke Realty. As part of this program, we encourage associates to participate in Vitality, an educational and results-based program designed to enhance our associates’ health and well-being. Duke Realty associate participation hit 84 percent in 2018—far above the average 52 percent participation for companies that participate in Vitality wellness programs.
An equally important element of healthy teams is encouraging diversity within our own organization and among the suppliers with whom we choose to work. Our diverse supplier spend rose from 6 percent in 2017 to 10 percent in 2018, and new-hire diversity hit 32 percent in 2018—up from 24 percent in 2017.
Corporate responsibility extends beyond our own walls into the communities we touch. Last year, corporate giving reached $2.56 million, and our associates’ volunteer time topped 7,800 hours.
Because assessment is a critical element of progress, we took steps in 2018 to improve our performance measurement processes, including joining the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) and improving utility usage monitoring.
We also updated our building standards and guidelines to include specific sustainability solutions that reflect industry best practices and ensure energy efficiency. We received LEED certification on two of our buildings and started construction on seven that we’re working on to ensure certification—including our new corporate headquarters where we are pursuing LEED Silver® and Fitwel certifications.
Duke Realty’s progress toward environmental, social, and governance goals depends upon our adherence to a code of conduct that requires principled, honest corporate citizenry. Our Governance Quality Score puts us in the top 20 percent of firms in the S&P 500 and is a direct result of our Board structure, shareholder rights, takeover defenses, compensation/remuneration, and audit and risk oversight.
“None of our ESG accomplishments could have happened without the work of our Council and the commitment of our associates,” said Jim Connor, Chairman and CEO. “We’re a stronger, more effective company, and we’re making an impact that we can be extremely proud of.”