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NEW HYDE PARK, NY-We started hearing about corporate responsibility and responsible investing in the days of the run-up to the crash. Then the fiscal rug was pulled out from beneath us and talk of corporate responsibility seemed to disappear, washed away by more immediate needs, like keeping businesses afloat.

Locally based Kimco is one of the first CRE firms to resurrect the discussion of corporate responsibility post-recession, and has unveiled a new website focused specifically on that initiative.

Much of the focus is on sustainability and energy efficiency but embraces a wealth of initiatives the REIT has launched to, as it says, “give back,” and all geared to increase the awareness of investors, tenants and consumers. “We developed the site to create a dedicated forum for stakeholders to learn about our corporate responsibility program and the successes that we’ve had to date,” says Kimco sustainability guru Will Teichman.

“In the past few months, many stakeholders have inquired about what Kimco was doing in the corporate responsibility arena,” hecontinues. “Most were happily surprised to learn that we were doing so much but asked why we weren’t sharing our story in a more public way.”

Now they are in a four-pronged approach to spell out the REIT’s broad-based definition of corporate responsibility:

* REthink Business: details Kimco’s efforts to create new sources of value and address issues of concern to the industry;

* REnew Community: describes Kimco’s community-building and employee volunteer effort;

* REstore Environment: outlines Kimco’s environmental sustainability initiatives; and

* REsources: provides formal reporting, alliances and partnerships, and policies.

The story that the REIT had not publicly shared included such initiatives as its implementation of a utility management program to monitor resource use and reduce expenses at individual centers and its pioneering application of solar panels at shopping centers to reduce tenant energy costs. The REIT has also partnered with the International Council of Shopping Centers to develop a first-of-its-kind Property Efficiency Scorecard.