CRE Industry Leaders Announce World’s First Social Impact Certification for Commercial Real Estate

SEAM Certification™, a first-of-its-kind measure of corporate real estate social sustainability, provides guidance, resources, and certification for achieving positive social impact in the built environment

ATLANTA – (Nov. 15, 2022) SEAM, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization led by commercial real estate industry leaders Rainey Shane and Alex Demestihas, has announced the world’s first social impact certification, accreditation, and membership program. SEAM Certification™ will provide a roadmap for developers, property owners, and occupiers to maximize opportunities for positive social impact through the built environment.

 

“SEAM addresses a critical gap in understanding and metrics surrounding the social impact of commercial real estate,” said SEAM, Inc. co-founder Rainey Shane, a 15-year veteran of the commercial real estate and nonprofit industries. “With SEAM Certification, organizations can differentiate themselves and their developments by meeting rigorous international standards for positive social impact in their communities and beyond” she says. “Most importantly, SEAM offers a direct path to a more just and prosperous real estate industry over time” adds Demestihas, co-founder of SEAM, Inc. and also a 15-year veteran of the commercial real estate industry specializing in large corporate headquarters.

 

As a complement to green building certification programs like LEED, SEAM, Inc. sets the bar for social equity in commercial real estate through project certification, professional accreditation, and membership in a community of like-minded professionals.

 

The SEAM Standard™ focuses on a series of key objectives that support the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Following internationally recognized standards and reporting frameworks, SEAM Inc.’s reporting framework can plug directly into an organization’s ESG, DEI and CSR strategies, providing a more accurate and compelling picture of the impact of their development across the entire supply chain.

 

“At Interface, we continue to take bold steps to drive sustainability standards in the built space, prompting those around us to rethink their own business practices with all aspects of sustainability at the forefront,” said Christine Needles, Executive Director of DEI at Interface. “As both a founding sponsor and pilot project partner, the SEAM Certification provides us the opportunity to further inform our own social impact framework, as well as that of our customers. This is a powerful tool for increasing understanding, and we look forward to the continued collaboration with SEAM.”

 

Founded in 2018, SEAM, Inc. has spent the last two years piloting SEAM Certification™ on projects in the U.S., Canada, and Australia. Seattle-based Urban Visions was the first organization to register a SEAM Certification™ pilot project with their development, The Jack.

 

“A certification that solely focuses on social equity within the built environment is long overdue, and we are excited to support SEAM efforts on our projects and their continued success,” said Todd Lee, Executive Vice President at Urban Visions. “Urban Visions is honored to be completing the very first SEAM Certified building in the United States. The Jack, a 175,000 SF, 8-level building in historic Pioneer Square District in Seattle, will open mid-2023 and will have a SEAM Operations and Maintenance Certification. As a SEAM pilot partner, we have enjoyed the collaboration and constant learning from Rainey Shane and her team.”

 

Ahead of a formal launch of all programs in Q1 2023, SEAM, Inc. is accepting early adopter pilot project enrollments for the SEAM Certification™ as well as for the upcoming SEAM Accredited Professional education programs. Individuals and organizations can currently become members or Founding Sponsors as part of the group of initiators supporting the successful launch of SEAM, Inc. Current Founding Sponsors include JLL, Interface, HITT Contracting, Jamestown, L.P. and Leapley Construction.

 

To learn more, visit www.seamcertification.org.

 

About SEAM Certification™ boilerplate

SEAM, Inc. is a US 501(c)(3) nonprofit created to help businesses make a positive social impact on the world through their commercial real estate footprint. SEAM stands for social equity assessment method. This is a third-party standard for real estate projects that certifies an organization's actions toward social sustainability as measured against internationally accepted criteria. Through SEAM, organizations can leverage commercial real estate to make authentic, measurable gains in social responsibility beyond health and wellness to encompass matters like justice and equity. To learn more about SEAM Certification™, apply to be a pilot project, become a Founding Sponsor, member, or add yourself to the waitlist for the SEAM AP program, go to www.seamcertification.org.

 

 

 

 

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