COLUMBUS, Ohio--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Washington Prime Group Inc. (NYSE: WPG) today announced that the Company’s Board of Directors formed a Sustainability Committee to further establish sustainability as a key business driver as it relates to how the Company redevelops and operates its retail properties, conducts business with its guests, engages with its communities and creates a productive and positive work environment for its associates.
Lou Conforti, CEO and Director, stated: “We believe that reducing the Company’s carbon footprint is plain and simple the right thing to do from an environmental standpoint. It is our objective to incorporate such practices while making certain the financial base case provides for a suitable ROIC. Several of my Board members and colleagues have focused upon the efficient use of energy, and I thank them for getting me up to speed regarding this important mandate."
The Sustainability Committee will review, assess, monitor and evaluate the Company’s sustainability efforts. Sheryl von Blucher will chair this new standing committee, with J. Taggart (Tag) Birge and John Dillon III also appointed to serve as members.
Sheryl von Blucher, Director, stated: “The formation of the Sustainability Committee will allow Washington Prime Group to innovate even more so in the future. Some examples of the Company’s focus on sustainable investments in its retail properties include energy efficient LED lighting projects, charging stations for electric cars, exploring potential opportunities for solar energy and many more innovations. We know sustainability is important to our stakeholders, and it is important to Washington Prime Group.”
As it relates to new projects, the Company will initially be focused on the area of energy reduction. The Company is currently working with local and state municipalities to expand the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) model promulgated by the U.S. Department of Energy to help finance energy efficiency projects at its retail properties.
The Company continues to install efficient LED lighting at approximately 27 of its retail properties in 2017 and intends to expand the installations across other properties in the future.
In addition, the Company is currently working with a third party to implement operational and technology improvements at the property level. This initiative includes technical communications, Wi-Fi design and implementation, as well as analytics and reporting in order to make informed future energy management decisions.
About Washington Prime Group
Washington Prime Group Inc. is a retail REIT and a recognized leader in the ownership, management, acquisition and development of retail properties. The Company combines a national real estate portfolio with an investment grade balance sheet, leveraging its expertise across the entire shopping center sector to increase cash flow through rigorous management of assets and provide new opportunities to retailers looking for growth throughout the U.S. A trademark application has been filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for the name “Washington Prime Group”. Learn more at www.washingtonprime.com.
This news release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 which represent the current expectations and beliefs of management of Washington Prime Group Inc. (“WPG”) concerning the proposed offering of the notes, the anticipated consequences and benefits of the offering of the notes and the targeted close date for the offering of the notes, and other future events and their potential effects on WPG, including, but not limited to, statements relating to anticipated financial and operating results, WPG’s plans, objectives, expectations and intentions, cost savings and other statements, including words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “confident,” “plan,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “will,” “should,” “may,” and other similar expressions. Such statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of WPG’s management, and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance, or achievements of WPG to be materially different from future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such factors include, without limitation: changes in asset quality and credit risk; ability to sustain revenue and earnings growth; changes in political, economic or market conditions generally and the real estate and capital markets specifically; the impact of increased competition; the availability of capital and financing; tenant or joint venture partner(s) bankruptcies; the failure to increase enclosed retail store occupancy and same-store operating income; risks associated with acquisitions, dispositions, development, expansion, leasing and management of properties; changes in market rental rates; trends in the retail industry; relationships with anchor tenants; risks relating to joint venture properties; costs of common area maintenance; competitive market forces; the level and volatility of interest rates; the rate of revenue increases as compared to expense increases; the financial stability of tenants within the retail industry; the restrictions in current financing arrangements or the failure to comply with such arrangements; the liquidity of real estate investments; the impact of changes to tax legislation and WPG’s tax positions; failure to qualify as a real estate investment trust; the failure to refinance debt at favorable terms and conditions; loss of key personnel; material changes in the dividend rates on securities or the ability to pay dividends on common shares or other securities; possible restrictions on the ability to operate or dispose of any partially-owned properties; the failure to achieve earnings/funds from operations targets or estimates; the failure to achieve projected returns or yields on development and investment properties (including joint ventures); expected gains on debt extinguishment; changes in generally accepted accounting principles or interpretations thereof; terrorist activities and international hostilities; the unfavorable resolution of legal or regulatory proceedings; the impact of future acquisitions and divestitures; assets that may be subject to impairment charges; significant costs related to environmental issues; and other risks and uncertainties, including those detailed from time to time in WPG’s statements and periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including those described under “Risk Factors”. The forward-looking statements in this communication are qualified by these risk factors. Each statement speaks only as of the date of this press release and WPG undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances. Actual results may differ materially from current projections, expectations, and plans, if any. Investors, potential investors and others should give careful consideration to these risks and uncertainties.