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Duke Realty (DRE) to Develop Only LEED-Certified Buildings

Zacks Equity Research

Given its efforts to construct projects that are sustainable and environment friendly, Duke Realty Corporation DRE recently announced that it will only develop LEED-certified buildings, commencing this year. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, commonly known as LEED, is a registered trademark of the U.S. Green Building Council.

LEED certification is an independent, third-party that verifies whether the developing project meets the highest performance standards. Also, it works to ensure that the strategies used during the development are aimed to save energy, reduce carbon dioxide emissions, improve water efficiency, enhance indoor air quality, effectively use resources and check environmental sensitivity.

Coming to Duke Realty, the announcement is all the more important because it is an eminent domestic-only, logistics property REIT in the United States. While many of the company’s previously developed buildings are LEED certified, the move will further increase its emphasis on reducing waste in landfills and conserving resources, as it will have to adhere to the stringent criteria of LEED certification, going forward.

Per the company’s management, the REIT has remained committed to environmental responsibility for a long time. Its eco-friendly efforts include incorporating sustainable practices in new buildings, modifying the existing properties for energy and water savings, and altering under-utilized sites and functionally obsolete or environmentally contaminated properties into the best possible version of the logistics facilities.

Earlier, in November 2019, Duke Realty had closed a $400 million green bond offering, becoming the first industrial REIT in the United States to do so. The bond, due in 2029, raised funds in order to finance future or refinance the recently completed Eligible Green Projects.

Apart from the corporate sustainability aspect, Duke Realty is likely to enjoy a number of tangible and intangible benefits. With LEED certification, the company’s image will get enhanced, enabling it to retain higher property values. Also, as certification increases the lease-up rates for such buildings, the company can enjoy better pricing.

Shares of this Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) company have rallied 29.2%, outperforming the industry's growth of 19.6% in the past year.

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