Wednesday, October 07, 2015

What's missing (again) from Forest City's corporate social responsibility report

Forest City Enterprises on Monday issued its third annual corporate social responsibility (CSR) report, Built on Purpose: Reinforcing Our Foundation, covering the year 2014 and, according to them, they are super-responsible, pushing for sustainability, charity, diversity, and other good things. (See press release at bottom.)

After all, according to the internationally recognized Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), they are fully compliant with nearly all the disclosures in the GRI Index. That means "Application Level B," which apparently (the GRI is rather murky) is not quite as transparent as "Application Level A."

What's missing: the details

Let me drill down. As with the previous years (my coverage of 2012, 2013 reports), there are some key metrics to social responsibility that they won't touch: operations with potential negative impacts; mitigation measures in response to actual/potential negative impacts; displacement caused by development, government assistance, and political contributions.

Unlike in the past years, there were no mentions of Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park, though I must admit the design of the website is a labyrinth.  (They did this past year agree to analyze risks related to Corruption, which was absent from previous reports.)

What's missing: the graphics

Oct. 5, 2015 -- Forest City Enterprises, Inc., (NYSE: FCEA and FCEB) today released its 2014 corporate social responsibility (CSR) report, Built on Purpose: Reinforcing Our Foundation. The 2014 report is Forest City's third annual CSR report and includes updates on the company's strategic management of environmental, social, economic and governance matters.
"At Forest City, our shared commitment to corporate responsibility is rooted in our core values and brought to life by our talented associates, who work every day to serve our residents, guests, tenants, partners and communities," said David LaRue, Forest City president and chief executive officer. "We sincerely appreciate our associates' innovative and consistent efforts to create shared value and stronger relationships with all of our stakeholders."
The 2014 CSR report details Forest City's efforts to expand stakeholder engagement and strengthen its governance and performance as it continues to own, develop and manage apartments, retail, office and mixed-use properties.
Among the company's notable achievements in 2014 was the formation of a Corporate Social Responsibility Advisory Council to engage subject matter experts from across the enterprise to provide strategic guidance, develop consistent methodologies, and embed CSR principles in daily operations.
In addition, Forest City's corporate and property management teams achieved significant reductions in both energy consumption (8.9 percent) and greenhouse gas emissions (10.5 percent) across the company's comparable portfolio.
Other 2014 highlights include:
  • Developing an enterprise-wide procurement strategy with CSR criteria
  • Adding two new associate resource groups: United Way Young Leaders, a skills-based volunteering group, and Unidos, a Hispanic associate group
  • Supporting Gay Games 9, an international sporting and cultural event, through direct financial support, associate volunteering and in-kind donations as a platinum sponsor
  • Ranking as a Top Workplace in Cleveland, rising from 18th to 11th in the category of large employers with more than 500 local employees
  • Participating in the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB), an industry-driven organization committed to assessing the sustainability performance of real estate portfolios around the globe.
To learn more and read the entire report, please visit
About Forest City
Forest City Enterprises, Inc. is an NYSE-listed national real estate company with $10.3 billion in total assets. The company is principally engaged in the ownership, development, management and acquisition of commercial and residential real estate throughout the United States. For more information, visit The company publically reports its sustainability goals and performance, along with a wide range of other metrics and activities, annually in a Corporate Social Responsibility report, available at

GRI has confirmed that this report has been prepared according to GRI Guidelines at Application Level B. Click here to review official documentation from GRI. For details about GRI’s Application Level Check Process, click here.
Information within this report reflects our CSR strategies and performance from January 2014–December 2014. Our last CSR report was published in September 2014 and we report annually.

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