Q&A with
Don Conover
Executive Vice President,
President of State Street
Bank Realty LLC (Retired)

A Conversation with the Head of Realty Services

As the former head of State Street Bank Realty Services*, Don Conover oversaw State Street's global site strategy and operations, and global procurement services. He was also a member of the Executive Corporate Responsibility Committee. He met with us to discuss ES and his department’s initiatives for 2011.

Q. What were your accomplishments in 2011 with regard to real estate?

A. Every year, our ultimate goal is to get more work done in less space. After all, less underutilized space is a good thing environmentally. In 2011, we ensured that new build-outs and reconfigured space were built to be more efficient, environmentally sustainable and even more comfortable for our employees. We increased clean power purchase and recycling efforts, secured Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) or other equivalent ratings for several buildings, implemented internal training sessions and continued partnerships with our global facilities managers. We also achieved ISO 14001 certification at our flagship buildings in Dublin, Edinburgh and London. As in years previous, State Street has received a lot of recognition for these efforts from environmental and government organizations around the world. For example, last year we received the US Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Green Power Leadership Award for green power purchasing, and were listed on its National Top 50 list and Fortune 500 list of top corporate buyers of renewable energy.

Q. Real estate data has always played a large role in our CR reporting. What about procurement?

A. ES has been ingrained in the realty side of our business longer than procurement. Real estate has historically produced strong metrics and opportunities for savings in power usage, recycling, air quality, etc. Across the industry, procurement is just getting started in terms of tracking and quantifying data. Once data sets have accumulated over time, we'll be able to deliver the information our stakeholders are looking for.

Q. What do you think could accelerate this process?

A. Procurement at State Street has a number of programs established and tools in place. I certainly see us as ahead of the curve. Also, many vendors have established programs, which present a great opportunity for business partner collaboration and the generation of metrics.

Q. What were your key procurement initiatives for 2011?

A. We created and approved a formal procurement policy called the Environ-mentally Preferable Purchasing Policy. This was a big step forward. Not only does the policy establish a strategic direction for the entire company in terms of procurement, it integrates sustainability in our RFP process. We are training our procurement staff, as well as our vendors, on what the policy means and how to best leverage it day to day.

*Don Conover retired in June 2012.