American Campus Communities (NYSE: ACC), the nation’s largest owner, manager and developer of high-quality student housing communities in the United States, released its 2020 Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Update, providing information on the long-term social and environmental initiatives ACC continued to drive even in light of the pandemic.
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LightView is ACC’s sustainable student community at Northeastern University, which achieved LEED Platinum certification. (Photo: Business Wire)
“We are committed to doing the right thing for the people and the planet,” said Bill Bayless, chief executive officer at American Campus Communities. “As we continue to navigate the challenging times this past year has brought everyone, we are looking forward to the brighter days ahead to continue to support our employees, residents, university partners, and communities and drive long-term value for shareholders while delivering healthy, sustainable homes where students love living.”
As outlined in the 2020 American Campus Communities' ESG Report, ACC earned a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification for LightView at Northeastern University in Boston. This is the company’s 38th completed or tracking LEED certified project. In addition, the company completed its first greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions inventory to inform future target-setting and entered into renewable energy contracts at six communities for a projected 11.4 million kWh annually. Additionally, the company published employee demographic data with approximately half of team members being female and half being minorities.
Other top achievements listed in the report include:
- Completing 28 LED lighting retrofit and 11 plumbing retrofit projects.
- Establishing a Diversity and Inclusion Task force to further drive company-wide initiatives and becoming a signatory of the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion pledge.
- Focusing on student mental health by expanding its partnership with the Hi, How Are You Project, a mental health focused nonprofit, and training staff at more than 200 communities to provide peer-to-peer support.
- Continuing to prioritize proximity to campus as a criterion of development and acquisition, with 93% of ACC-owned communities located within a half mile from campus. This walkable and bikeable distance promotes health and wellness and reduces emissions and noise.
- Assisting residents financially impacted by the global pandemic by providing $32.9 million of assistance through its Resident Hardship Program and university partnerships during 2020.
- Showing appreciation by paying $1 million in bonuses to on-site employees who provided ongoing essential services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Partnering with RB, the makers of Lysol, to set a new standard and formalized approach to cleanliness and disinfection at our student housing communities through the “Be Safe. Be Smart. Do Your Part.” resident responsibility program.
- Refreshing ACC’s board of directors, with women now comprising 30% of the board including the incoming chair position.
- Strengthening Board oversight of key areas including ESG, compensation, diversity, equity and inclusion and management succession planning.
“ACC’s student housing communities have always served many roles, from fostering academic achievement to nurturing health and wellness,” said Bayless. “While the pandemic disrupted our industry just as it did every industry worldwide, we were laser-focused on making our communities an anchor of well-being and security during these challenging times.”
For more information on ACC’s ESG ongoing commitment, please visit www.esg.americancampus.com.
About American Campus Communities
American Campus Communities, Inc. is the largest owner, manager and developer of high-quality student housing communities in the United States. The company is a fully integrated, self-managed and self-administered equity real estate investment trust (REIT) with expertise in the design, finance, development, construction management and operational management of student housing properties. As of December 31, 2020, American Campus Communities owned 166 student housing properties containing approximately 111,900 beds. Including its owned and third-party managed properties, ACC's total managed portfolio consisted of 206 properties with approximately 141,100 beds. Visit www.americancampus.com.
In addition to historical information, this press release contains forward-looking statements under the applicable federal securities law. These statements are based on management’s current expectations and assumptions regarding markets in which American Campus Communities, Inc. (the “Company”) operates, operational strategies, anticipated events and trends, the economy, and other future conditions. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve certain risks and uncertainties, which are difficult to predict. These risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward looking-statements include those related to the COVID-19 pandemic, about which there are still many unknowns, including the duration of the pandemic and the extent of its impact, and those discussed in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020 under the heading “Risk Factors” and under the heading “Business - Forward-looking Statements” and subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. We undertake no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statements, including our preleasing activity or expected full year 2021 operating results, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.
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