Research shows that consumers are increasingly interested in the green features of residential and commercial buildings. The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) has responded to this consumer interest by creating a robust Sustainability Program that provides leadership and strategies for sustainability that benefit members, associations and communities.
For the past two years, NAR has created initiatives that reduce the association’s operational impact and engage our membership to adopt sustainability conversations and committees, hosted annual Sustainability Summits to continue progress of sustainability initiatives around the industry, conducted the annual REALTORS® & Sustainability report to gauge the extent and nature of sustainability in real estate, and adopted 15 Sustainability Strategic Priorities to integrate sustainability throughout the association. NAR aims to increase awareness about sustainability for REALTORS®, demonstrating the business case for sustainability and highlighting the business opportunity for agents who better understand property performance, valuation and sustainable development.
NAR recently released its inaugural ESG+R Report, highlighting the association’s top sustainability accomplishments in 2021 within four categories: environment, social, governance and resilience (ESG+R). Some of NAR’s major sustainability achievements in 2021 included:
- NAR’s Chicago Headquarters’ Master Vision Project: These changes to NAR’s building will bring up to 25% in energy savings from the installation of new mechanical systems and a 75% reduction in energy consumption from a new elevator system.
- The Incorporation of Sustainability Into C2EX: NAR members earning their C2EX Endorsement will now have enhanced opportunities to learn about sustainability and how it relates to real estate.
- NAR’s New Core Value for All Employees – Advance Diversity and Inclusion: This new Core Value solidifies NAR’s commitment to respecting diversity throughout the organization and supports the commitment to an inclusive workplace environment.
- NAR Partnership With the Food Recovery Network (FRN): 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.
- 2021 Sustainability Summit: This annual event brings together industry and volunteer leaders to explore progress and market transformation that affects real estate associations and professionals. Hosted virtually, 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.
- Flood Factor on realtor.com®: realtor.com® now includes flood risk data on each listing to help assess flood risk on properties and allow owners to better prepare for future floods.
- NAR’s Smart Growth Grants and Placemaking Program: This program supports state and local associations in the creation of parks, trails and community gardens.
NAR will continue to raise awareness about sustainability for REALTORS®. For more information, visit nar.realtor/sustainability.
Russell Riggs is NAR’s senior policy representative for environmental issues.