Business for a Better World: Prologis

2022-06-30 16:37:31 By : Mr. Michael Zhang

The Prologis logistics facility in Bolingbrook. Photo courtesy of Prologis

6250 North River Road, Suite 1100, Rosemont, Il, 60018

A: Prologis owns, develops and manages high-quality warehouses and logistics properties worldwide and is uniquely positioned to help our customers address their biggest challenges. Our facilities service approximately 5,800 customers, enabling the distribution of goods globally, including many products people rely on every day.

We own and operate 337 buildings in Chicago and the Western suburbs, totaling 63.9 million square feet and supporting over 550 customers.

We love this idea of "Businesses for a Better World." We are committed to sustainable development, innovative solutions and being a strong community partner -- as we live in the communities we invest and develop. We are particularly proud of our commitment to sustainable design and have set a global goal to achieve carbon-neutral construction by 2025.

We are also ranked No. 3 in on-site solar capacity in the United States, and our communities and customers are already reaping the financial and operational benefits of clean energy.

Q: Do you plan to hire any additional staff or make any significant capital investments in your company in the next year?

A: Chicago is one of our fastest growing markets, and we continue to seek top talent to support more than 550 customers, ranging from smaller to mid-sized businesses to major brands and third-party logistics providers. The people who work for Prologis are at the forefront of our exceptional customer-focused model.

Q: What will your company's main challenges be in the next year?

A: More than ever, companies -- in Chicago and worldwide -- recognize the critical role that logistics real estate plays in their supply chains and how being in the right location affects operations. Land for logistics real estate is scarce, while demand for space is high.

Our research shows that an incremental 800 million square feet of logistics space will be needed to correct the current inventory shortage. As such, businesses will face challenging conditions securing logistical space and having a strong partner such as Prologis will be imperative.

Q: What's the hottest trend in your industry?

A: Last mile delivery. In 2021, e-commerce represented 13.2 percent of all U.S. retail sales. As such, consumer expectation for faster delivery continues to increase and companies are locating their distribution facilities in Chicagoland for quick access to the region's consumer population. We expect logistics real estate that is within or adjacent to major cities worldwide to continue to be in high demand.

Q: Does climate change affect how your company does business?

A: Making rapid improvements to environmental performance is essential for addressing climate change and other global challenges. Our approach to Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) is integrated into every aspect of Prologis. In 2021 we made steady progress against our ESG goals and set ambitious new ones, including reaching carbon-neutral construction globally by 2025 and achieving third-party sustainable building certifications for new development projects.

Further, we partner with our customers and leverage our scale to help them contribute their ESG efforts. For example, Prologis has launched a new mobility offering to provide turnkey electric vehicle charging solutions across its property portfolio, enabling our customers to advance their renewable energy operations.

Q: What does your company do to reduce the effects of climate change?

A: Prologis is the No. 1 real estate investment trust (REIT) on the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World list -- and I'm proud to work for an industry leader in this sector. Prologis addresses climate change proactively.

In 2020 we set a goal that 100 percent of new developments and redevelopments will achieve sustainable building certification each year. We're also leading the logistics industry in decarbonization through cutting-edge solutions across our value chain.

For example, we're piloting low carbon concrete solutions, installing the infrastructure to accommodate the future EV trucks or autonomous yard tractors and incorporating automation-ready design features. By creating an operating environment within our warehouse facilities our customers can advance their own ESG goals.

Q: Does your company donate time or money to any philanthropic causes? If so, what causes?

A: We have an annual global day of service, IMPACT Day, when our employees worldwide step away from their desks and come together to give back to the communities where we live and work. This year in Chicago we supported Inspirations Kitchens, a local restaurant and catering business that houses a no-cost food service training program that benefits the homeless and working poor of the city.

The Chicago team collected outside debris and garbage, organized inside storage areas and prepared the garden for planting vegetables, which will be used to cook meals at the restaurant.

Also, we just helped 10 local fire departments conduct training exercises at one of our sites in Woodridge, where a building was being torn down and firefighters were able to practice roof cutting.

Another program, Space for Good, donates temporary, rent-free space in our buildings to organizations providing disaster relief or addressing short-term community needs. In Chicago, our Space for Good program has supported Chicago Toys for Tots, Greater Chicago Food Depository and United Way Chicago. Additionally, Prologis and our employees have been contributing to Ukrainian refugee assistance efforts, including providing space to local nonprofits under this program.

Q: Does your company do anything else to make your community better?

A: In 2018 we proudly launched the Prologis Community Workforce Initiative (CWI) that seeks help make our community better while solving a major pain point for our customers. The initiative trains individuals for the logistics industry and help boost economic growth in the communities where we do business.

We collaborate with local workforce programs to provide mentorship, skills training, internships and job placement services for people interested in pursuing careers in logistics, distribution and transportation to meet the booming demand of e-commerce.

Prologis has pledged to train 25,000 individuals by the end of 2025, for jobs in transportation, distribution and logistics. CWI is active in 15 markets in the U.S. and Mexico and has served more than 13,000 people to date, including here in Chicago.

Q: Do you have a business mantra?

A: At Prologis we strive to help our customers to stay "ahead of what's next" and offer products and services they need to drive business operations forward. For example, Prologis Essentials is the only offering of its kind with warehouse solutions that today's logistics customers need. We're leveraging our scale and relationships to help customers, specifically our small and medium customers, source the equipment, tools and services needed to set up their business and optimize operations. Products range from electric forklifts to energy solutions such as solar, storage and electric vehicle charging to workforce solutions.

Q: What is one interesting fact about your company that most people may not know?

A: Prologis Ventures, our venture capital arm, invests in emerging technologies that can address our customers' pain points in their supply chain, transportation, building digitization & infrastructure, energy and sustainability, workforce and real estate/construction needs. Since its founding, the team has made nearly 40 direct investments, totaling over $130 million in total investments.

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