Delivering Better Returns

The Company’s CSR initiatives and focus on sustainability have helped drive superior financial returns over the long run. Since our IPO 25 years ago through 2019, ESS generated a 17% compounded total return for shareholders. No other public REIT has generated higher returns for their shareholders over this period. Essex has grown its FFO per share and Dividend per share at compounded growth rates of 8.4% and 6.4%, respectively, and in 2019, the Company increased its cash dividend for the 25th consecutive year.
Essex has been recognized by the markets for our secure and robust Corporate Governance strategy which includes the best-practice listed below.
  • Board consists mostly of independent directors
  • Board Oversight
    • Separate Chairman and CEO
    • Independent Lead Director
    • Annual election for all directors
    • Regular Executive session of independent directors
    • Annual performance evaluations of directors and committees
  • Proxy access and shareholders’ right to amend bylaws
  • Executive compensation clawback policy
  • Executive compensation focused on alignment and pay-for-performance

Please see our CSR report and proxy for additional details.

At Essex, we believe it is critical to adhere to integrity and ethical values in our corporate culture. In 2019, every associate received business ethics training to increase awareness on acting ethically and to communicate Essex’s Code of Business Conduct. We monitor compliance for all associates, officers, and directors.
Our third-party hotline, AlertLine, provides an anonymous method to communicate issues to the Company. Significant and actionable calls are reported directly to our Board of Directors. Furthermore, because Essex employs a strict Anti-Retaliation Policy, associates have the space to come forward with a report or complaint in good faith.
We collaborate with a long list of vendors to keep our properties safe, clean, and well-maintained. Our Vendor Code of Conduct includes environmental and social standards that all vendors must meet.

Over 80% of the third parties we worked with in 2019 were local vendors, which helped support the communities and reduce the amount of travel time and associated carbon impact.