US developer Hines has set up a dedicated global team to tackle environmental, social and governance issues under the leadership of European fund manager Peter Epping.
In his newly created role as global head of ESG, Epping will spearhead the Houston-based firm’s efforts to lead the industry in decarbonisation of the built environment, Hines said in a Wednesday press release.
For the past eight years, Epping served as fund manager for the Hines European Core Fund, a portfolio of income-producing assets in inner-city areas across major European cities. HECF was recognised by standards issuer GRESB as the most sustainable fund in Europe of all diversified portfolios.
“I’m honored to lead our new global ESG platform as we build on such a strong foundation,” Epping said. “We have a long-term commitment to ensure ESG leadership and innovation are at the heart of our entire business, enabling us to remain on the leading edge and meet the extraordinary challenges ahead of us.”
Big Apple Bound
Working with regional ESG leaders in Asia, Europe and the Americas, Epping will relocate to New York and report to global chief investment officer David Steinbach. Global sustainability manager Adam Slakman will report to Epping.
In addition to recent roles as senior managing director and fund manager for HECF, Epping oversaw the separate accounts of HV Trophy Mandate HV Mandate, the Hines BVK High Street Retail Mandate and the Hines CNP Mandate.
After joining Hines in 2001 as an assistant project manager in Munich, Epping moved to London in 2003 to serve as a fund analyst for the Hines European Development Fund. He became portfolio manager of the newly created HECF in 2006.
The 2000 graduate in business from the University of Mannheim holds an MBA from Union College in Schenectady, New York.
The new ESG team also includes a leadership council consisting of global head of management services Adil Noorani, chief people officer Steph Biernbaum, chief legal officer Richard Heaton and global sustainability officer Clayton Ulrich.
The council will work holistically to drive innovation and positive change, including new initiatives focused on addressing carbon emissions and social equity across the built environment, Hines said.
The privately held firm founded by Gerald Hines more than six decades ago is urging investors and developers to approach post-pandemic opportunities by creating more livable environments and contributing to better life experiences through new standards of flexibility in workplaces, homes and communities of the future.
“We all have a part to play in one of the largest challenges of our collective lifetime as we strive to create a healthier, inclusive and more sustainable planet,” said chairman and chief executive Jeffrey Hines. “Our long-term vision is to continue leading the industry by further embedding ESG excellence across the company — from our people, through our investments, construction, management and engineering around the globe.”
Hines has a presence in 240 cities in 27 countries and assets under management worth $160.9 billion, including $5.3 billion in Asia Pacific.