Delivering Better Returns

The Company’s CSR initiatives and focus on sustainability have helped drive superior financial returns over the long run and through 2020, Essex has generated among the highest total returns of all public U.S. REITs since its IPO in 1994. Over that period, we’ve grown FFO per share and dividend per share at compounded growth rates of 7.8% and 6.4%, respectively. The Company announced its 27th consecutive dividend increase in February 2021 and is among an elite group of companies included in the S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats Index.
RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
CORPORATE GOVERNANCE
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
    • Oversight on ESG matters
  • 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.

BUSINESS ETHICS
BUSINESS ETHICS
At Essex, we believe it is critical to adhere to integrity and ethical values in our corporate culture. In 2020, every new hired associate received ethics training on the Code of Business Conduct. Every associate receives an update on the business ethics training every two years to increase awareness on acting ethically and to communicate Essex’s Code of Business Conduct. We monitor compliance for all associates, officers, and directors.
ALERTLINE
ALERTLINE
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.
RESPONSIBLE PROCUREMENT
RESPONSIBLE PROCUREMENT
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 85% of the third parties we worked with in 2020 were local vendors, which helped support the communities and reduce the amount of travel time and associated carbon impact.