Mona Benisi, vice president for corporate sustainability at Simon Property Group, Inc. (NYSE: SPG), participated in a video interview at Nareit’s ESG Forum 2019 at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point in Bonita Springs, Florida.
Simon has achieved almost all of its 2020 sustainability goals, Benisi said.
As an example, Benisi noted that Simon has realized “incredible results” in energy management, having reduced electricity consumption by 38 percent since 2003. In the last four years, the REIT has reduced electricity consumption by 13 percent, along with about a 20 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
Simon has also been focusing on on-site solar projects and currently has six active projects, according to Benisi. In some states, the cost of solar-generated electricity is now cheaper than electricity obtained from the grid, including in the Northeast, she noted.
Benisi also highlighted Simon’s focus on battery storage, and the increasing role played by artificial intelligence.
Meanwhile, Benisi discussed Simon’s recent study into the socioeconomic impacts of shopping malls. The report highlights the sheer impact that retail destinations continue to have, she said, and “shows how you can have in-person experiences in an ever-growing digital time.”