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The Pension Real Estate Association, (PREA) announced the winners of the 2022 PREA Real Estate Investment Management ESG Awards at its Spring Conference in Beverly Hills on March 23. 

This is the second year of ESG awards from the US real estate funds trade association, with awards in five categories. Greg MacKinnon, director of research at PREA, said: "Society is built on real estate and to be successful as an investment in the long run, real estate needs to reflect the broader needs and concerns of society. 

“All of the 2022 winners of our ESG awards show that, appropriately designed, a real estate investment program can have significant positive impacts on society and the communities in which it operates, while at the same time providing competitive investment performance. At PREA, we are proud to recognize these real estate investment managers at the vanguard of incorporating ESG considerations into their investment strategies."

PREA Emerging Manager ESG Award: SoLa Impact

LA-based SoLa is focused on providing affordable housing in black and brown communities in the US. Martin Muoto, CEO of SoLa Impact, said: "SoLa Impact is demonstrating that when it comes to social returns and financial results, we don't have to choose one or the other—you can do well by doing good.”

PREA Open-End Fund ESG Award: Hines European Core Fund 

The Hines European fund has more than €2 billion of assets under management. Fund manager Simone Pozzato said: "I am confident that our continued efforts to respond to communities' social needs, carbon neutrality and innovation in asset management will create long-lasting impact on the neighbourhoods we serve and to provide benchmark-leading financial performance for our investors."

PREA Closed-End Fund ESG Award: Welput 

The London office fund, managed BentallGreenOak, recently announced funding for an all-electric London office project. Ker Gilchrist, Managing Partner for Welput at BGO, said: "Welput continues to challenge the boundaries for what can be achieved to develop sustainable office buildings that will respond to ESG demands now and into the future. I'm delighted by and grateful for the recognition that this award brings to our work, as we remain steadfast in our ambition to make Welput net zero-ready in the short term."

PREA ESG Momentum Award: Jamestown Premier Property Fund

This award recognises industry-leading and innovative approaches to ESG issues among and significant recent advances in ESG outcomes. Jamestown has improved the fund’s ESG performance with a range of measures and increased its commitments to emission reduction.

PREA Social Impact ESG Award: Turner Multifamily Impact Fund I

The social impact award is a new category, won by Turner’s first multifamily fund, which has acquired and preserved thousands of units of affordable workforce housing in cities across the US. It provides homes for workers who do not qualify for subsidised housing but who could not otherwise afford homes near their workplace.

Asia Capital Real Estate (ACRE) has hired Linda Isaacson as the real estate private equity firm’s first head of ESG and Impact.

Isaacson joins from Ferguson Partners, where she was global head of innovation and technology. She is based in ACRE’s New York office and will oversee the firm’s ESG initiatives and investment strategy for a forthcoming venture and impact capital strategy.

Founding partner Les Menkes said: “As ESG initiatives take on greater importance to investors and other stakeholders around the globe, the addition of a globally recognized leader in the space such as Linda will be critical as we expand our portfolio and broaden our strategic playbook to include emerging technologies. We are extremely excited to welcome her to our firm as we begin a new era of growth and success in the months and years to come.”

ACRE’s forthcoming venture capital vehicle will invest in early-stage companies and technologies “aimed at creating social impact and disruption related to the built environment”, including sustainable communities, climate technology and health technology.

The company was founded in 2011 and has around $2.9 billion in debt and equity real estate assets under management, primarily in the US but also in Southeast Asia and the UK, with a primary focus on workforce and affordable housing assets.