press release faqs

1. What is SEAM?

SEAM is the world’s first social impact certification for commercial real estate.

SEAM stands for Social Equity Assessment Method.

The SEAM certification™ standard focuses on a series of key social sustainability objectives that follow internationally approved standards and align to recognize ESG and other social reporting frameworks.

SEAM is setting the bar for social impact in commercial real estate through a project certification, professional accreditations and memberships for interested individuals and firms.

2. Why is SEAM certification important?

Every real estate project has the potential to make a positive social impact. SEAM is on a mission to help companies leverage their real estate to make the world a better place.

SEAM aligns a company’s social goals (such as ESG metrics, diversity & inclusion goals, or other Corporate Social Responsibility targets) to their Commercial Real Estate footprints.

3. Why should CRE professionals and organizations participate in SEAM?

SEAM certification™ offers the opportunity for organizations to differentiate themselves and their developments through demonstrated actions of meeting rigorous standards for positive social impact.

The SEAM certification™ standard is aligned to internationally recognized reporting frameworks and can plug directly into a company’s CSR or ESG strategy, helping to effectively address the challenges of measuring social impact on their projects.

4. What kind of buildings can be certified under SEAM?

Any real estate project can be certified, whether it is a building, interior, park, infrastructure project, etc. It can also be a new build or an existing building or space. All real estate projects have a social impact because the built environment touches so many people.

5. Who started SEAM? And when?

SEAM was co-founded by commercial real estate professionals Rainey Shane and Alex Demestihas in 2018. When SEAM became a 501(c)(3) organization in 2020, Shane and Demestihas established pilot project partners between 2021-2022 and launched to the public in Nov. 2022.

6. Why was SEAM founded?

SEAM was founded to address the challenges of understanding, measuring and optimizing the social impact of developments on communities near and far. United by a shared passion for human rights, Shane and Demestihas founded SEAM to help industry leaders and stakeholders recognize the enormous impact of commercial real estate across communities and throughout the entire supply chain.

7. What is JLL's role in SEAM?

JLL, the commercial real estate firm, signed on as a founding sponsor to support the launch of SEAM in 2022.

8. What are Founding Sponsors and Pilot Project Partners saying about their participation in SEAM?

“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. 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.” – Christine Needles, Executive Director of DEI at Interface

“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. 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. At Urban Visions, a core value is Human Health and Wellness, and Social Equity is a critical component for our success.” — Todd Lee, Executive Vice President at Urban Visions