Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Achievements, Initiatives, and Objectives

Urban Edge seeks to drive financial performance while engaging in environmentally and socially responsible business practices grounded in sound corporate governance. We believe that disclosure around our ESG practices allows our stakeholders to see our company holistically and understand its trajectory beyond fundamentals and financial metrics. In addition to a dedicated team of professionals, we have a robust suite of environmental, social, and governance policies that inform and guide our ESG approach and drive our ESG goals forward.

Environmental

It is our goal to implement strategies to support the continued reduction of energy, greenhouse gas water, and waste production across the portfolio. We are committed to maintaining sustainable operations and believe that our long-term sustainability goals will provide positive financial and environmental outcomes for shareholders, tenants, employees and the communities in which we invest. Urban Edge has undertaken a number of initiatives that conserve energy and reduce waste in an effort to make our portfolio both high-performing and sustainable.

  • LED Lighting Retrofits. In 2016, we began an initiative to upgrade site lighting throughout the portfolio, installing LED lighting technology to replace metal halide or high-pressure sodium fixtures, and lighting controls with photocell sensors, which enable lights to be on only when needed. As of December 2020, we have upgraded over 25 properties at a cost of approximately $2 million.
  • Energy Efficient Roofing. Since 2013, we have required the use and installation of white roof membranes, which provides a significant reduction in energy consumption, on all new construction and roof replacements. As of December 2020, we have upgraded over 40 properties at a cost of approximately $14 million.
  • Alternative Energy. We have installed a one megawatt photovoltaic (solar cell) system at our largest property by gross leasable area, The Outlets at Bergen Town Center in Paramus, New Jersey, reducing the mall’s energy consumption by approximately 900,000 kilowatt-hour on an annual basis. We are currently reviewing additional solar energy opportunities in hopes of reducing the overall energy consumption across the portfolio.
  • Waste Reduction and Management. We provide recycling containers through the common areas at all mall properties and contractually requires all waste vendors servicing strip centers to sort bulk trash and separate recyclable materials.

Social Initiatives

Our employees drive our success, and we are committed to investing in their professional and personal development. We strive to create a dynamic environment where all employees can achieve and contribute.

Our employees enjoy excellent subsidized health and wellness benefits, professional training and development workshops, on-site meals, ergonomic office equipment, telecommuting opportunities and generous policies encouraging work/life balance. Through our Wellness program, recently launched volunteer platform and quarterly Town Hall meetings with all employees, among other initiatives, we continually strive to provide a workplace environment where employees are informed, engaged, feel empowered, and can succeed.  

We are also committed to engaging in and improving the communities we serve or are a part of. We have a robust community-giving program and encourage our employees to participate in a number of local and national charitable organizations by offering matched donations. Since 2015, we have donated over $600,000 to various charitable initiatives. We are also committed to using our properties to better our local communities. We have hosted more than 100 local organizations, non-profits, and community partners at our properties to support the wellness and prosperity of the communities we serve.

Governance Highlights

We are committed to sound corporate governance, which strengthens the accountability of our Board and promotes the long-term interests of our shareholders. We believe that our corporate governance standards and policies yield honest, transparent and accountable trustees and executive officers. The summary below highlights our board and leadership practices and notable shareholder rights.

Board and Leadership Practices

  • Majority of trustees are independent (7 out of 8 current trustees)
  • Board leadership structure where the Lead Independent Trustee has well-defined responsibilities separate from the Chairman of the Board
  • All Board committees are composed of independent trustees
  • Independent trustees conduct regular executive sessions
  • Trustees maintain open communication and strong working relationships among themselves and regular access to management
  • Trustees conduct robust annual Board and committee self-assessment process
  • Trustees and executives adhere to minimum share ownership guidelines
  • Executives are prohibited from pledging, hedging or engaging in short sales involving our securities
  • Executives are subject to a clawback policy—in certain circumstances, executives are required to reimburse the Company for excess compensation paid to them following a financial statement restatement

Shareholder Rights

  • Majority voting for the election of Trustees where Trustees are elected by a majority of the votes cast
  • Unqualified shareholder right to amend bylaws
  • All Trustees elected annually (declassified Board)
  • Annual say-on-pay voting
  • Shareholder engagement efforts