The White House has released the text of the President’s new Executive Order strengthening the Federal Government’s commitment to taking new actions to enhance and promote environmental justice. The Order was published in the Federal Register on April 26, 2023 at 88 FR 25251. President Clinton’s pioneering 1994 Executive Order remains effective, but the Federal Government must, as part of a whole-of-government approach to environmental justice, “build upon and strengthen its commitment to deliver environmental justice to all communities across America.”
Design professionals, real estate developers and builders alike are advocating for a relatively new way of using one of the world’s oldest building materials—wood—in large-scale commercial and residential construction projects. Mass timber, or structural timber, touts such benefits as carbon reduction and seismic durability—all with a lower construction time. With ESG on the minds of clients, investors and tenants, mass timber projects present an attractive construction option for the integration of sustainable resources and these various benefits.
This week’s round-up explores President Joe Biden’s recent State of the Union address and plans for the Build America, Buy America Act, the feasibility of real estate companies achieving their ESG goals, and how developers, lenders, and tenants are partnering with universities to solve real estate challenges.
This week’s round-up features virtual land marketplaces, proposed sanctions from the European Commission against Russia, ESG reporting and transparency in the real estate industry, and more.
This week’s round-up features the intersection of real estate and energy efficiency, including state efforts surrounding clean energy legislation, Inflation Reduction Act tax credits, hotel & hospitality sectors creating sustainable initiatives to reduce carbon emissions, and more.
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Pillsbury Litigation partner and former federal prosecutor Kimberly Jaimez was featured in the GlobeSt.com article, SEC Ready To Clamp Down On ESG Investment Claims, offering insight on the increased awareness of environmental, social and governance (ESG) concerns in commercial real estate. With ESG now being viewed by most CRE investors as a top priority in business operations, a new source of risk has resulted: increased SEC scrutiny over overinflated or otherwise false ESG claims. This could mean CRE investment funds, REITs, and other real estate entities will have to increase compliance vetting on marketing and communications. Jaimez presented the following comments:
Cybersecurity becomes an increasing concern when buying digital land, a significant property tax break in New York is set to expire, climate disclosure mandates in commercial real estate are on the horizon, and more.
Though ESG has been around for a while, with roots that extend back to the environmental sustainability movement, the script for current ESG litigation and investigations is still being written. ESG efforts have expanded to include diversity within companies and an increased focus on compliance and governance within organizations. Regulatory oversight, especially from the SEC, has swiftly come to the fore to monitor those compliance efforts. As with many areas where the precise regulatory and enforcement regime is still coming into focus, it is crucial to recognize the importance of being both proactive and pragmatic.