NAIOP, in conjunction with the Commercial Real Estate Diverse Supplier (CREDS) Consortium, has debuted the commercial real estate industry’s first collaborative supplier diversity initiative, helping to advance member companies’ environmental, social and governance (ESG) objectives. NAIOP chapter leaders from across North America had the opportunity to learn more about the program this week at the Chapter Leadership and Legislative Retreat in Washington, D.C.
“We talk a lot about ESG as an element that guides corporate policies and investing strategies,” said Duane J. Desiderio, senior vice president and counsel for The Real Estate Roundtable, who spoke at the session. He said most companies are familiar with the ”e” in ESG – company policies related to environmental regulations, energy usage, pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, etc.
But when it comes to the “s” or social aspect of ESG, “That’s where we heard from our members we needed to get involved,” Desiderio said. “What are the metrics for social impact in a company?”
The Real Estate Roundtable is one of seven real estate trade associations participating in the CREDS Consortium, joined by NAIOP, ICSC, Mortgage Bankers Association, NAREIT, National Multifamily Housing Council and CREW Network.
SupplierGateway proved to be the perfect partner for the Consortium in addressing the need for increased supplier diversity, creating a supplier management platform that enables commercial real estate to search for, identify, and connect to over six million minority- and women-owned business enterprise (MWBE) suppliers across the U.S., as well as access benchmarking and reporting tools.
Desiderio was joined by Rock Irvin, chief commercial officer, SupplierGateway, who demonstrated the capabilities of the platform, including advanced search functions that allow users to identify suppliers down to the zip-code level; the ability to generate economic impact reports for a project; track company-wide diverse supplier spend by MWBE category; and much more.
NAIOP member companies can access the online supplier management platform for $10,000/year through 2024 as part of a pilot program, significant savings compared to the typical annual membership price of $18,500.
The aggregated, anonymized data from the CREDS Consortium portal will help provide valuable insights on supplier diversity trends across the commercial real estate industry (individual, specific company information remains confidential.)
“The CREDS Consortium has brought together companies across asset classes,” said Desiderio. “This is the first time we believe an entire industry has come together to do this. Not the tech sector, not the agricultural sector.”
“If something like this has happened before, we don’t know about it,” Irvin confirmed.
With the launch of the CREDS Consortium’s portal, commercial real estate takes an important step in bringing together the diverse and myriad skills, services, assets and materials that allow the industry to thrive.