The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) has released its inaugural ESG+R Report, highlighting the association’s top sustainability accomplishments in 2021 within four categories: environment, social, governance and resilience. In the coming years, this annual report will offer a snapshot of NAR’s current state of sustainability activity—existing programs, resources and services—while tracking the association’s progress over time on stated goals within the context of NAR’s multiyear Sustainability and Resilience Plan, the organization has announced.
“Leading by example, NAR is driving the real estate industry toward a more efficient and sustainable future,” said NAR CEO Bob Goldberg. “As part of this responsibility, we are strengthening the association’s support of sustainability efforts and increasing engagement on policies and programs that prioritize viability, resiliency and adaptability. We are working to generate meaningful, lasting change that will benefit both current and future generations.”
Some of NAR’s major sustainability achievements in 2021 included the following (by category):
Environment—Actionable items that brought specific and positive impacts, reduced energy use and environmental footprint and helped raise awareness among stakeholders through reports and educational opportunities.
- The Chicago Headquarters’ Master Vision Project: Initiated in 2018, this project has brought forth the most significant updates to the building in 60 years. Under normal operations, these changes will bring up to 25% in energy savings from the installation of new mechanical systems and a 75% reduction in energy consumption from the new elevator system. Materials, resources, and waste tracking all aim to meet LEED standards.
- The Incorporation of Sustainability into C2EX: NAR members earning their C2EX Endorsement will now have enhanced opportunities to learn about sustainability concepts and how they relate to real estate.
Social—Activities, initiatives, and events the association undertook to engage employees and communities promoting the growth of sustainability by unlocking opportunities for health, equity and well-being.
- NAR’s New Core Value for All Employees—Advance Diversity and Inclusion: This new Core Value established for all NAR employees solidifies NAR’s commitment to respecting diversity throughout the organization and supports the commitment to an inclusive workplace environment where everyone feels safe to express their authentic self.
- NAR Partnership with the Food Recovery Network: In 2021, NAR continued its partnership with FRN to donate any unused food portions from major meetings to those most in need. To date, NAR has provided more than 4,170 pounds of unserved meals to local organizations. NAR is asking state and local Realtor® associations to join this effort by pledging to donate unserved meals at events in their local communities.
- The Home Performance Counts joint initiative with NAR and NAHB: This initiative connects Realtors® and builders and provides first-hand experience and resources on collaboration and working with clients on high-performance homes.
Governance—Introducing the concepts of sustainability to members, state, and local associations, using an approach that integrates sustainability into all areas of the association.
- Partnership with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: NAR and NOAA developed a partnership that keeps members informed on how weather events affect housing and markets.
- 2021 Sustainability Summit: This event was hosted virtually in 2021 and included members, industry affiliates and external partners. Select sessions were streamed to make content more available, accessible, and transparent.
- Changes to Sustainability Advisory Group: This group now includes all Chairs who sit on the Public Policy Coordinating Committee and NAR’s Vice Presidents of Advocacy and Association Affairs.
Resilience—Short- and long-term actions that help Realtors® and communities respond to and prepare for extreme weather and a changing climate.
- Flood Factor on Realtor.com®: Realtor.com® now includes flood risk data from Flood Factor on each listing to help assess flood risk on individual properties, allowing property owners to accurately assess their risk and better prepare for future flooding events.
- NAR’s Smart Growth Grants and Placemaking Program: This program supported state and local associations in the creation of parks, trails, and community gardens. The natural surface of these projects enhances stormwater absorption and the gardens can provide a source of food in times of need, improving a community’s resiliency.
- NAR Supports FEMA’s Risk-Rating 2.0: On October 1, FEMA began phasing in a new flood insurance pricing system called “Risk Rating 2.0: Equity in Action.” NAR supports this new system, which prices flood insurance for each home individually rather than by flood zone. By adopting modern insurance industry technologies, standards, and practices, FEMA can rate more precisely and accurately by using more flood risk factors and property-specific characteristics—allowing consumers to make better, more informed decisions about the risks and costs of insuring a property.
For the complete list of 2021 achievements, view NAR’s ESG+R Report here: https://www.nar.realtor/sustainability/ESGR.
For more information on NAR’s sustainability efforts, visit nar.realtor/sustainability.
For more information, visit nar.realtor.