Reit Magazine - March/April 2021 - 66

Credit: KREF

theDNAofESG

Baylor Scott and White Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center in Dallas.

Physicians Realty Advances
Sustainability Across Medical
Office Building Portfolio
BY LIZ WOLF

P

hysicians Realty Trust
(NYSE: DOC) is working to be a sustainability
trailblazer in green initiatives
across its portfolio by setting
aggressive goals, emphasizing
accountability, and adopting a
building certification platform
particularly well-suited to the
assets in its portfolio.
John Thomas, president and
CEO of Physicians Realty, says
the organization has always
had a focus on implementing
environmental stewardship " in
a way that has a direct financial
benefit for our tenants, and
ultimately, contributes to better
health care for the communities
we serve. "

66 |

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While sustainability has
long been a company priority,
Physicians Realty, which has
built a $4 billion-plus portfolio
that includes 269 outpatient
medical buildings, surgery
centers, and cancer centers
across 36 states, undertook an
initiative in 2018 to develop and
launch a formal environmental,
social, and governance (ESG)
program.
Under the helm of Mark
Theine, Physician Realty's
executive vice president of asset
management, the company's
ESG team collected years of
data, creating a baseline of
sustainability metrics across
its portfolio. To reach its

sustainability goals, Physicians
Realty analyzes areas of highest
energy usage, emissions, water,
and waste at its buildings to
both enhance operations and
plan for future system upgrades. 
All of Physician Realty's environmental projects adhere to
what the company has coined a
" G2 Sustainability " philosophy,
resulting in positive returns for
tenants and investors.
" Our 'green' initiatives lead
to 'green' money savings for
our tenants, and ultimately,
that improves the quality of the
buildings, " Theine explains.
" It creates a better facility
for patient care, the hospital
systems are able to operate

those buildings cost-efficiently,
and that keeps them committed to those buildings long
term, which of course, helps
Physicians Realty and our
shareholders. It's a win-win. "
Based on 2018 performance,
the company set aggressive
goals for the next three years,
including a 10% reduction in
energy, emissions, and water
usage along with a 10% increase
in waste diversion. To publicize
results, the company released its
first interactive ESG Report in
June 2020.
" We made great progress in
our first year, " Theine notes.
" Utilizing 2018 as our base
year, we recorded about a 2.5%
progression toward our energy,
emissions, water, and waste
targets. "
Thomas adds that under
Theine's leadership, the company has seen " fantastic results. "
By putting the annual ESG
Report online, the organization
wants to be " held accountable to
achieve those results and exceed
those goals, " Thomas says.

ADOPTION OF IREM CSP
Among its various ESG
initiatives, Physicians Realty
adopted a building certification
program that complemented
other programs it was already
utilizing, including LEED and
ENERGY STAR. The program
it selected, the IREM Certified
Sustainable Property (CSP)
program, has become a cornerstone of Physician Realty's green
initiatives.
IREM allows for the certification of properties not covered
by other programs. For example, LEED-the world's most
recognizable green building
certification program-isn't



Reit Magazine - March/April 2021

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