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First Industrial Realty Trust Sustainability Report

RESOLVED: that the shareholders of First Industrial Realty Trust (“First Industrial” or “the company”) request that the Board of Directors prepare a sustainability report that includes strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and addresses energy efficiency measures as well as other environmental and social impacts, such as water use and worker safety. The report should include objective quantitative indicators and goals related to each issue where feasible, be prepared at reasonable cost and omitting proprietary information, and be published and made available to shareholders by the end of 2014.
 
SUPPORTING STATEMENT
 
A growing number of investors view companies that are considered good employers, environmental stewards, and corporate citizens as more likely to generate stronger financial returns, better respond to emerging issues, and enjoy long-term success.  A 2012 Deutsche Bank review of 100 academic studies, 56 research papers, two literature reviews and four meta-studies on sustainable investing found 89% of studies demonstrated that companies with a high environmental, social and governance, or ESG, rating also show better performance.[1]  In addition, a 2011 study by Harvard Business School’s Robert Eccles and two co-authors found that “high sustainability” companies—early voluntary adopters of environmental and social policies- out-performed “low sustainability” companies over an 18-year period.[2] 
 
Accordingly, it is unsurprising that other major REIT’s and real estate firms such as Jones Lang Lasalle, Prologis, and Brookfield Office Properties have led in this area through the publication of comprehensive sustainability reports addressing environmental stewardship, water use, worker safety standards and other related issues.  As of December 2012 53% of the S&P 500 and 57% of the Fortune 500 published a sustainability report.  However, our Company has not to date produced a comprehensive sustainability report nor has a statement on its website detailing its position on sustainability issues.
  
We recommend that the company use the Global Reporting Initiative’s (“GRI’s”) Sustainability Reporting Guidelines to prepare the sustainability report. The GRI is an international organization developed with representatives from the business, environmental, human rights and labor communities; its guidelines provide a flexible reporting system that allows the omission of content that is not relevant to company operations.
 
We urge shareholders to vote for this proposal.
 


[1] “Sustainable Investing: Establishing Long-Term Value and Performance.” DB Climate Change Advisors, Deutsche Bank Group. June 2012. http://www.dbcca/EN/_media/Sustainable_Investing_2012-Exec_Summ.pdf.
[2] (Robert Eccles et al., “The Impact of a Corporate Culture of Sustainability on Corporate Behavior and Performance,” at 28-3 I (working paper Nov. 2011)