A focus on ESG has the potential to reduce business risks. CARROLL focuses on societal and sustainable impact through its approach to business. Interwoven into the company’s fabric of investing in people and communities, CARROLL seeks to incorporate ESG into its practices every day. We believe that to articulate who we are is to expand our impact in sustainable, social, and controlled strategies. Our integrity-driven culture requires a focus on ESG in each stage of an investment – described in the details below – from underwriting to management to sale, to boosting employee motivation, attracting customers, and positioning the company as a responsible world citizen that can strategically allocate capital for a long-term sustainable impact.
Investing in sustainability enables CARROLL to favorably impact the environment and enhance financial returns while mitigating environmental risks.
A CARROLL Social Mission: A commitment to improve living for residents, to invest in local communities and to develop high performing teams who contribute positively to society.
CARROLL takes its responsibility to minimize risk to the enterprise through proper checks and balances. The Company’s rigorous processes ensure the highest standards in ethical conduct, employment practices, risk management, and investment oversight.
IN ENERGY, WATER, AND RECYCLING INITIATIVES
The process starts during due diligence of the acquisition. Our team gathers and analyzes environmental data leveraging third party due diligence vendors to analyze water, energy and waste trends. Once important improvements are identified and underwritten, the team creatively finances the projects over the term of the hold and plans for implementation by its in-house construction team. The iterative process continues after acquisitions as our team continues evaluating working to identify and implement new opportunities to maximize impact to the investment. With a focus on value creation, our process allows us to be creative and adapt to changing standards.
Since 2011: invested ~$3M to install LED lights on ~15% of our communities (7,800 units) to reduce energy consumption by up to 75% and to reduce common area utility expense by 25-50%. In aggregate we saw a ~$500K in savings per year and ~1M kWh usage decrease each year (3.8% decrease of total usage).
Started an installation program for Energy Star Rated appliances in 4,300 units, which use up to 25% less energy and result in ~$151K in savings per year or ~302K kWh usage decrease.
In 2019: Invested ~$1.2MM to implement water saving devices (aerators, low-flow toilets, and eco-friendly irrigation systems) on 9 communities, saving ~120M Gallons each year.
In 2020: Invested over $1MM in Smart Tech to install leak detection devices aimed at mitigating water waste at over 1,000 units
CARROLL partners with Rubicon to handle waste and landfill diversion efforts at all our communities. Rubicon recently signed The Climate Pledge by Amazon and Global Optimism, working tirelessly to move away from landfills and toward a more circular waste model. Through our Rubicon partnership we are working towards emission level targets and our goal to increase recycling 15% annually by 2025.
IN CHARITABLE DONATIONS
Since 2011, we have invested more than $2.6 billion in equity in 21 U.S. markets with immediate and direct impact on local communities. Our commitment continues. CARROLL’s community involvement program, CARROLL Community Impact, provides opportunities for all employees from each local community and corporate office to get involved in their immediate community by giving time and resources in 6 key areas: children and schools, environment, animals, first responders, elderly, and people in need. Our commitment to a positive social impact is also driven by an imperative to invest in people – both our employees and our customers, emphasized by the CARROLL Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council.
Every day our operations team strives to remove barriers renters typically face in apartment living to provide the highest standard in living. Each month, CARROLL makes one-on-one connections with hundreds of customers through its Experience ARIUM surprise and delight program, resulting in 3,400+ gifts being given in 2020. During Covid, we gave away free rent grants to those affected by the pandemic and held a national talent competition with The Voice Finalist, Dave Fenley, that awarded 8 residents with free rent and $1,500, and reached more than 1 million people.
Our highly diverse employee base operates with a laser focus on customer satisfaction. To foster and promote an open and inspiring place to work by celebrating our differences and similarities while driving equity for all CARROLL employees, we created the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council. Made up of 17 employees with varying ages, races, ethnicities, religions, sexual orientations, genders, languages and backgrounds. CARROLL is a zero-tolerance employer regarding discrimination and makes employment decisions on merit with the goal of having the highest performing staff in the industry.
CARROLL recognizes our responsibility not just to our own people but to those in the communities we serve. We partner with Toys for Tots at the local level across all our communities and The Ronald McDonald House in Atlanta for nearly 10 years to provide time and resources assisting those in need. Our corporate and on-site teams regularly identify opportunities to make a difference in the lives of people through giving initiatives that exceed monetary donations greater than $2MM and annual participation in the world’s largest food drive that provides over 1MM meals each year.
IN CHARITABLE DONATIONS
We engage internal and external expertise, combined with transparent processes and communication. We evaluate and elevate accuracy, efficiency, innovation, and process improvement by conducting thorough audits of accounting, financial and operational practices. We are relentless in our pursuit of an inclusive environment free of discrimination and harassment collectively driven by our core values. All governed through a rigorous policies and procedures framework and overseen by a Governance Committee that reviews, maintains, and updates all policies according to changes in business practice, regulation, and risk management.
Our IT Team provides educational security information and training to employees, monitors and deploys email spam filters to detect viruses, blank senders and keeps all computer systems current with the latest security patches and updates. System antivirus and malware programs are updated regularly, and malicious websites are blocked at the network level. All systems are backed up to a secured repository. Our IT Team consistently monitors network security and logs information regarding network traffic and activity to ensure detection of breaches and immediate response.
CARROLL proactively assesses a wide array of data provided via multiple sources including industry experts, audits, resident surveys, business intelligence data, trend analysis and incident reporting. We review trend data and sentiment via weekly Operations Meetings and conduct a risk analysis at our monthly Portfolio Review Committee meeting and institute change management to adjust and mitigate exposure accordingly. In response to large disasters, such as hurricanes or COVID-19, we have developed an in-depth Business Continuity Plan that is implemented and overseen by the Carroll Emergency Response team.
Vendors desiring to provide services to CARROLL must meet certain compliance requirements. Services and projects are put through a detailed multi-vendor bid process. Final awards are given only to those able to meet certain insurance, ethical and legal requirements. Compliance is reviewed and required to be updated at least annually.