Mack-Cali no more. On Dec. 7, Jersey City-based Mack-Cali Realty Corp. announced it rebranded as Veris Residential Inc., a move that it says reflects the firm’s new strategic vision and values.
The company is transitioning into a pure-play multifamily REIT.
In an announcement on the rebrand, Veris said it has been working toward simplifying its business, strengthening its balance sheet and enhancing its operating platform.
Those efforts included the offloading of suburban assets totaling more than $1 billion, repaying all corporate-level recourse debt, an internal reorganization producing $5 million in run-rate cash expense savings, and a renewed commitment to ESG best practices.
The company will dedicate itself to meeting “the sustainability-conscious lifestyle needs of its residents by operating in a socially, ethically, and environmentally responsible manner, while seeking to maximize value for all stakeholders.”
“Since the establishment of our ESG committee in July 2020, the board of directors and management team have worked tirelessly to intricately weave environmental and social considerations into the fabric of the company, serving as a compass to inform our current and future decision-making,” Chief Executive Officer Mahbod Nia said. “Our new brand, Veris Residential, encapsulates our responsible, transparent, and forward-thinking approach, underpinned by a unified culture grounded in equality and meritocratic empowerment.”
According to the company, energy efficiency and additional environmental considerations are already integrated into many of its existing properties and development projects.
The company is also launching initiatives at both the property and corporate levels that reflect its core values under the rebrand. Those include:
Formally endorsing global sustainability initiatives. According to the company it is the first U.S. real estate company to sign on to the Ten Principles of the United Nations Global Compact and the Climate Group’s EV 100.
Enhancing support for diverse and all-inclusive communities. The company said that includes increasing diversity, both gender and ethnic, with the company and its leadership; establishing employee affinity groups; company-wide diversity training; and signing on to the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion Pledge and the UN Women Empowerment Principles.
Reducing its overall carbon footprint. At it’s headquarters, the company said it has adopted 100% renewable electricity, as well as across the communal areas within its multifamily portfolio.
Adopting cutting-edge technology to improve energy consumption.
Improving the health and wellbeing of its residents and employees. That includes with selectively piloting sustainable technologies including hydroponic vegetable planting and net zero drinking water solutions.
Implementing a flexible, hybrid working structure.
Continuing to maintain a deep connection with the residents and communities it serves. Veris said it partners with national organizations, including Habitat for Humanity, American Red Cross and the National Forest Foundation, while also pursuing philanthropic initiatives locally with Jersey City Medical Center, New City Kids, Boys & Girls Clubs, among others.
“The decision to reposition Mack-Cali as Veris Residential is an important milestone following the transformative steps the company has taken since the reconstitution of the board of directors,” Board Chair Tammy Jones said.
“This integrated approach to the way we conduct our business – one that acknowledges the importance of all stakeholders, strong corporate governance as well as its responsibility to the communities we serve and the planet we inhabit – will be a strong competitive advantage and position Veris for future growth and success,” she added.
The company will continue to be publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under its new name and ticker symbol, VRE, effective Dec. 10, 2021.