Blackstone appoints Global Head of Real Estate ESG

Blackstone has appointed Eric Duchon to the newly created position of Global Head of Real Estate ESG. 

Duchon will work closely with Real Estate Asset Management teams across the globe to build on existing environmental, social and governance efforts and scale them across the firm’s USD329 billion global real estate portfolio. He will also work with the Real Estate team’s portfolio companies to ensure that the firm’s commitment to sustainability and diversity and inclusion are fully integrated across asset classes and geographies.

Duchon will report to Giovanni Cutaia, Global Head of Real Estate Asset Management, and will coordinate closely with Blackstone’s corporate ESG leaders.

Cutaia says: “Sustainability, social engagement, and good governance have been core priorities for our business for many years, and we are committed to continually evaluating how we can do more. Eric brings more than a decade of real estate ESG experience to the table, and we’re thrilled to have him on board as we continue to find new ways to expand our impact.”

“The breadth and reach of Blackstone Real Estate is remarkable. I’m excited to work with Blackstone’s global team and build on their existing ESG efforts to further scale the positive impact,” says Duchon.

Blackstone has been focused on ESG for over a decade and recently announced a commitment to reduce carbon emissions by 15 per cent across all new investments where Blackstone controls energy usage. The firm also recently set a target of one-third diversity on portfolio company boards for new control investments in the US and Europe starting in 2021 as well as established a hiring program designed to identify, recruit and retain candidates from underserved communities for middle-skilled roles across our portfolio.

Blackstone Real Estate has achieved a number of significant milestones across its portfolio to date, including installing 10,000 rooftop solar panels at Stuyvesant Town and reducing carbon emissions by 30 per cent at Hilton between 2008 and 2018. Additionally, through energy consumption improvements, Blackstone’s Willis Tower became the largest building in the US to earn a LEED Platinum rating.

Prior to joining Blackstone, Duchon was the Global Head of Sustainability at LaSalle Investment Management, where he was responsible for the firm’s ESG strategy and policy implementation for the private equity, securities, and indirect businesses globally. During his time at LaSalle, Eric spearheaded initiatives that advanced the firm’s ESG program significantly, resulting in A+ UN PRI scores and GRESB score increases of ~30 per cent across global submissions, and led the adoption of the firm’s climate change and net zero carbon commitments globally. Previously, Duchon was also the Director of Sustainability Strategies at Cushman & Wakefield.

Duchon holds a BBA from Goizueta Business School at Emory University and a Masters in Real Estate Development from the Schack Institute of Real Estate at New York University.