Because we know our developments will impact communities well into the future, we are taking additional steps to ensure they meet the highest standards. Beginning this year, all new Duke Realty industrial projects will be developed to attain LEED® certification. LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a registered trademark of the U.S. Green Building Council® and its certifications come through a stringent independent, third-party verification system. LEED-certified projects are designed and built using strategies intended to result in energy savings, water efficiency and reduced C02 emissions.
The pledge is significant because Duke Realty is one of the industry’s most prolific developers of logistics space in the United States. Over the past three years, Duke Realty’s new logistics development starts have surpassed 29.6 million square feet, an investment of $2.8 billion.
“Though many of our previously developed buildings incorporate sustainability practices or are LEED-certified, we believe that it’s appropriate for us to take a more definitive stance on the importance of only adding buildings that reduce waste in landfills and conserve resources,” said Jim Connor, Duke Realty’s Chairman and CEO.
The new measure follows Duke Realty’s announcement, late last year, of a $400 million green bond to finance future or refinance green projects, making Duke Realty the first Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) to source funds solely for environmental-friendly development in the United States.
“We are excited about this next step in our commitment to environmental responsibility. Duke Realty has been a longtime environmental steward, incorporating sustainable practices in new buildings we develop and retrofitting our existing properties for energy and water savings,” said Connor. “We also have been successful in redeveloping properties around the country, transforming under-utilized sites and functionally obsolete or environmentally contaminated properties into state-of-the-art logistics facilities. Undertaking LEED certification on all new development projects was a natural next step for us.”