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.
  • Governance by independent trustees
  • 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.

We remain committed to our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics, which is applicable for every associate, officer, and director at Essex. And we expect all our associates, officers, and directors to support this commitment by acting honestly, fairly, and with full personal integrity in every aspect of their job.

In 2019, we rolled out a business ethics training for all associates, to increase awareness on acting ethically and to communicate the Essex Code of Business Conduct.
Throughout Essex we utilize a third-party hotline, AlertLine, to provide an anonymous method for issues to be communicated to the Company. Essex employs a strict Anti-Retaliation Policy, there is zero tolerance for any retaliation against any associate who comes forward with a report or complaint made in good faith.
We collaborate with a long list of vendors to keep our properties safe, clean, and well-maintained. In 2018 we updated our Vendor Code of Conduct that includes environmental and social standards that all vendors must meet.

Over 80% of the third parties we worked with in 2018 were local vendors, which helped support the communities and reduce the amount of travel time and associated carbon impact.