We know sustainability is important to our stakeholders, and it is important to Washington Prime Group. We believe in a strong commitment to the community and embrace opportunities to improve the lives of our guests, associates and the environment.
The Company’s Board of Directors formed a Sustainability Committee in 2017 to further establish sustainability as a key business driver as it relates to how we redevelop and operate our retail properties, conduct business with our guests, engage with our communities and create a productive and positive work environment for our associates. Washington Prime Group will continue to work diligently to find ways to manage our properties' carbon footprint and identify environmentally-friendly alternatives that reduce waste, maximize energy efficiency and improve recycling efforts.
Some examples of the Company’s focus on environmental sustainability investments in its properties include energy efficient LED lighting projects, charging stations for electric cars, exploring potential opportunities for solar energy and many more innovations.
As it relates to new projects, the Company is focused on the area of energy reduction. We are currently working with local and state municipalities to expand the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) model promulgated by the U.S. Department of Energy to help finance energy efficiency projects at its retail properties. The Company continues to install efficient LED lighting, including installations at nearly 30 of our retail properties in 2017, with plans to expand the installations across other properties in 2018.
In addition, the Company is working with a third party to implement operational and technology improvements at the property level. This initiative includes technical communications, Wi-Fi design and implementation, as well as analytics and reporting in order to make informed future energy management decisions. The formation of the Sustainability Committee in 2017 allows Washington Prime Group to innovate even more so in the future.
With about 105 town centers located throughout the U.S., Washington Prime Group focuses on outreach programs designed to enrich the community, aligning itself and its properties with non-profit and charitable organizations, as well as schools, civic groups and government agencies.
While all of our properties engage with local communities to give back, two of the Company’s signature causes include Pelotonia and Light the Night.
Founded in 2008, Pelotonia was established with the objective to fund life-saving cancer research. Pelotonia is a three-day experience that includes a weekend of cycling, entertainment, and volunteerism. Through its first nine rides, Pelotonia raised more than $157 million for cancer research. Thanks to its generous funding partners, Pelotonia is able to direct 100 percent of every rider-raised dollar to cancer research at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute.
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's (LLS) Light The Night Walk brings light to the darkness of cancer by funding lifesaving research and support for people battling cancer. Family, friends and co-workers gather together to celebrate, honor or remember those touched by cancer. Registration is free, but walkers are encouraged to raise funds to support the mission. These efforts culminate in inspirational, memorable evening experiences filled with music, fireworks and empowering ceremonies honoring survivors and remembering those we have lost. Nearly one million supporters join in the 200 walks across North America. LLS is the world's largest voluntary health agency dedicated to blood cancer. The LLS mission: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. LLS funds lifesaving blood cancer research around the world and provides free information and support services.