Slate Asset Management has appointed sustainable investment specialist Bozena Jankowska as managing director and global head of environmental, social and governance (ESG).
Hiring Jankowska was the next step in Slate’s ongoing ESG development. The company released an ESG report in 2020 detailing its highlights for the year, ongoing initiatives, sustainability journey and more.
Toronto-based Slate is a global alternative investment platform focused on real estate. It owns and operates a portfolio worth more than $6.5 billion and also has offices in Chicago, New York, London and Frankfurt.
“We believe the responsibility of a fiduciary is not limited to generating investment returns. We know we must be good stewards of the planet as well. Our planet is home to all our stakeholders, and we believe it is our duty to embrace and invest in sustainable design and management,” Slate’s founding partners, Brady Welch and Blair Welch, said in the announcement.
Jankowska joins Slate to advance sustainability, ESG
Slate hired Jankowska in part due to her extensive ESG experience. During her more than 15 years as global co-head of ESG at Allianz Global Investors (AGI), Jankowska developed several ESG strategies, established a global ESG team and helped grow AGI’s sustainable investment assets under management from $99 million to more than $42.5 billion.
Jankowska was responsible for integrating ESG across AGI’s entire investment portfolio. She also designed, managed and marketed AGI’s clean technology fund — Global Ecotrends — helping it grow from $10 million in seed funding to $1 billion in AUM, making it a global franchise for the firm.
Subsequent to her stint at AGI, Jankowska founded her eponymous women’s sustainable fashion label, during which time she partnered with non-governmental organizations focused on environmental sustainability.
“I am excited to join an organization that clearly understands how best-in-class ESG practices can play a critical role in long-term value creation,” said Jankowska in the announcement. “I look forward to working with the team at Slate to continue raising the bar on the firm’s ESG performance and identifying new and innovative ways to add further rigour to our ESG approach.”
Jankowska to assess Slate’s global assets
Jankowska will be based at Slate’s London, UK office, leading the development of its ESG policies and implementing its CSR strategy. She will also be responsible for integrating ESG into the firm’s investment and asset management processes. Jankowska will also handle stakeholder communications and reporting.
Throughout the next year, she will perform an ESG assessment of Slate’s global assets under management, starting with Europe.
“We are very pleased to welcome Bozena to our team,” said Brady Welch in the release. “From the outset, Bozena’s commitment to innovation and her entrepreneurial spirit set her apart from other candidates.
“She led the drive for sustainability in the finance industry well before it became mainstream, and her deep-rooted technical knowledge of complex global sustainability topics will be extremely valuable as we continue driving our ESG strategy forward.”
“We understand that having sound ESG practices underpinning our approach to investment and asset management benefits our tenants, our communities and our investors,” added Blair Welch in the same release. “Bozena’s appointment displays our deep commitment to embedding ESG principles across our business.”
Slate started its ESG initiatives 7 years ago
In its 2020 ESG report, Slate summarized the results of its greening real estate program which got underway in 2014:
– two million sq. ft. of white roofs completed at 30 U.S. grocery-anchored shopping centres;
– 8.5 million annual kWh saved across Toronto core portfolio (30 per cent savings from previous year);
– 50 per cent average decrease in energy consumption in 2020 resulting from LED conversation across U.S. portfolio;
– 50 per cent of German portfolio converted to LED lighting;
– installed solar panels on the roofs of seven German grocery assets and plans to continue the initiative throughout Germany and the U.S.;
– provided utility sub-metering for 75 per cent of its grocery-anchored real estate portfolio in the U.S.;
– participated in Toronto’s Energy Retrofit Loans initiative in 2020 to finance building upgrades and achieve energy savings across Toronto’s portfolio.
In Canada, 85 per cent of Slate’s GTA office portfolio has received BOMA Silver or higher certifications, and the company is pursuing more. Slate has been making improvements across its portfolio to improve its BOMA BEST status while reducing emissions and waste.
Currently its One Delisle Condos, being developed at the intersection of Yonge and St. Clair in Toronto, is targeting Toronto Green Standards, Tier 1. The condo will include electric car and bicycle parking, green and cool roofs, water efficiency and the incorporation of native species on site.