While slow and steady, as cities like New York crawl out of the COVID-19 pandemic, Denis opens by describing the tangible shift in momentum he believes is returning to cities like New York: “I think that the same reasons people gravitated to living in big cities before the pandemic will remain the reasons after the pandemic, and we’re starting to see that now.”
The article goes on to discuss the successful topping out of Claremont Hall, before highlighting the acquisition of Brooklyn waterfront project, 1 Java, and why Lendlease felt drawn to the diverse communities that surround it: “…there’s a deep history of regeneration there, and there’s uniqueness in the culture and the diverse communities that live on that waterfront.”
The resilience and developmental prowess Lendlease has shown during the pandemic quickly takes a back seat, as Denis shifts focus instead to the companies ESG commitments, and the inspiration behind our sustainability agenda: “Our founder was very mindful of the need for corporations to be giving back to communities and giving back from a social agenda and an economic perspective. So, this approach runs deep through Lendlease, and we have a real sense of legacy about what we create.”
Our ambitious goal of being absolute zero carbon by 2040, Mission Zero, is a major commitment for the company – but as Denis explains, it’s a challenge we’re already tackling: “We’ve been doing a lot with our supply chain, thinking about how energy is consumed in the fabrication of materials and the concrete, steel, what labor is used… we’re fully committed.”
With such great commitments, comes even greater responsibility. As industry leaders, Lendlease has identified an increasing need for transparency and accountability when carrying out sustainability objectives – from the materials we use, to the capital we source: “You’re now seeing capital being held accountable for its role in the production of real estate and management of real estate. Whether they’re investment managers, banks, funds, you’re really seeing an awareness around their contribution to society and the environment.”
This paradigm shift is particularly evident in the demands of younger generations, and Lendlease intends to listen to them: “…Corporations needs to be more accountable to society as a whole, and I think the young kids are demanding that, whether it’s in consumerism, or whether it’s in their work choices, or whether it’s in their accommodation choices. It’s a much bigger driving factor than ever before.”
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