At Forest City, our associates create exceptional places where people live, work and shop, while also bringing these uses together in dynamic mixed-used communities. Everything we do is built on the foundation of our core values, and one of the primary ways we put those values into action is through our shared commitment to corporate social responsibility.



Forest City President and CEO David LaRue details the company’s efforts to increase accountability, empower associates, drive sustainable practices and maximize the benefits we deliver to our stakeholders and communities.



At Forest City, our core value of Sustainability & Stewardship states our commitment to proactive environmental responsibility, enhancement of economic vitality of the communities in which we operate and continued investment in the growth, development and well-being of our associates. This holistic approach to corporate social responsibility, or CSR, is brought to life through the daily efforts of our associates, who are committed to responsibly managing and developing exceptional places where people live, work and play.


We are proud to present our third annual CSR report and appreciate your interest in Forest City’s CSR activities and progress.


Forest City achieved strong portfolio performance in 2014. We continue to invest in projects with high growth potential in our core markets and divest non-core properties.


Forest City Enterprises, Inc. is an NYSE-listed national real estate company with assets of approximately $10.3 billion.


On Jan. 13, 2015, Forest City announced that our board of directors approved a plan to pursue conversion to REIT status, effective Jan. 1, 2016.


In 2014, Forest City introduced an enterprise-wide Procurement Policy designed to govern and standardize all purchasing decisions.


To ensure the safety of our tenants, we meet or exceed compliance with all local codes and have created design and operations standards.


View our CSR reports from previous years.



At Forest City, we operate by developing meaningful relationships and leveraging our entrepreneurial capabilities with creative and talented associates who embrace our core values. We create shared value by supporting important initiatives and forging lasting partnerships with non-profit organizations, local officials and community residents.


Forest City emphasizes philanthropic efforts that support local neighborhoods in our headquarter city of Cleveland, in our core markets, as well as in the communities surrounding our existing properties. We actively connect with communities through in-kind giving and skills-based volunteering with local organizations. Forest City promotes service opportunities to associates through MainStreet (the company’s intranet for associates), in-person events and associate resource groups (ARGs).

As a company, our goal is to fund organizations and initiatives that generate significant, enduring and positive impacts in our communities. Forest City has a robust process for giving responsibly and selects organizations to support by evaluating a potential recipient’s ratings, reputation, years of service, board member engagement and other various indicators. We ensure funds are used for their intended purpose by requiring quarterly or semi-annual reports.

Areas of philanthropic focus include civic, culture and art, education, economic development, health and welfare and diversity. In 2014, 9 percent of our charitable donations supported diversity initiatives across areas of giving.


Charitable CategoryOverall Contribution% Contribution Supporting Diversity Initiatives
Culture and Art16%5%
Economic Development9%28%
Health and Welfare37%35%


Forest City endorses policies, officials and candidates at the local through federal levels that are in alignment with our strategic objectives and core values, regardless of party affiliation.. To this end, the Forest City United for Sensible Government Political Action Committee, or FOCUS PAC, was formed by associates in 2008 and is supported by individual contributions.

In 2014, we focused our lobbying efforts on these issues and regions:

  • Affordable housing in San Francisco
  • Preschool in Denver
  • Safer Roads and Bridges in Boston

Candidates supported by FOCUS PAC in 2014 are influential in the areas of human and civil rights, entrepreneurship and small business and healthcare.


View our detailed GRI Index



As stated in our core value of Sustainability & Stewardship, we are not only committed to proactive environmental responsibility and the enhancement of economic vitality of the communities in which we operate, but also the continued investment in the growth, development and well-being of our associates.


Our associates are the foundation of our organization. By living out our core values and strategic drivers every day, our associates generate value for our shareholders, strengthen communities and make Forest City a top workplace.

We empower our associates by engaging them in our commitment to CSR, fostering an inclusive and dynamic workplace and providing opportunities for continuous learning and growth. Forest City’s culture of empowerment is fundamental to attracting and retaining skilled associates, who drive innovation, process improvement, business continuity and enduring success for our organization. Our performance planning system helps our associates set meaningful goals and achieve results.

In 2014, 98 percent of our associates and managers completed their performance reviews within the defined schedule, allowing for timely feedback on performance companywide. As part of our business planning cycle, Human Resources and department heads complete regular talent review meetings to align our talent pipeline with organizational strategy. These discussions help identify training, performance and development needs and inform our leadership succession plan, which is presented annually to our Board of Directors.


Full-Time Associates153810792,617
Part-Time Associates194968
New Hires278197475

Associate Resource Groups

Established in 2012 with the formation of WE LEAD (Women’s Excellence in Leadership, Education, Advancement and Development), associate resource groups (ARGs) were created to encourage an inclusive culture where diversity is celebrated. ARGs also generate tangible benefit for our organization by providing personal and professional development resources, education and engagement activities, increased opportunities for connectivity with tenants and communities and forums for collaboration and innovation between associates. Forest City currently has four ARGs:

Women’s Excellence in Leadership, Education, Advancement, & Development

African Americans Connecting and Creating Excellence and Leadership

The Hispanic Associate Resource Group

United Way skills-based volunteering Associate Resource Group

ARGs continue to be increasingly active and dynamic at Forest City. In January 2014, AACEEL and WE LEAD hosted their first-ever Joint Open House and Membership Drive, where group members participated in a panel discussion to share programming, accomplishments and the value of ARGs. During the holiday season, AACCEL and Unidos partnered to collect more than 30 Christmas toy donations for University Settlement, a local neighborhood center that provides social services to the residents of the Broadway-Slavic Village neighborhood. Recognizing the power of teamwork, all four ARGs came together to raise awareness and funds for the American Heart Association and meet Forest City’s team goal of $3,000 for the organization’s Heart Walk.

Engagement and Culture

According to the Workplace Research Foundation, engaged employees drive higher customer satisfaction, achieve above-average productivity and contribute to a more positive, innovative workplace. Forest City reinforces a culture of engagement by providing access to resources and tools that keep associates informed of opportunities for participation and growth. In addition to associate resource groups, MainStreet and Driving Forward are two tools available to all associates that encourage engagement at Forest City and help associates to meet their goals.

Our company intranet, MainStreet, is an interactive platform for managing professional development and sharing company news. The intranet includes capabilities for different departments and ARGs to create and maintain their own pages, blogs, videos and announcements, connecting associates with numerous engagement opportunities. For example, the IDS department leveraged MainStreet in 2014 to engage and educate associates around sustainability with the goal of fostering enterprise-wide knowledge on sustainable building development and operations. IDS created a MainStreet page and blog, Building Ideas, which received more than 3,000 views on its 18 blog posts. MainStreet also features news stories and resources to make associates more knowledgeable about our industry and core markets.

Driving Forward is a quarterly newsletter distributed to associates that provides updates on our Strategic Plan. The publication has designated sections to provide progress, best practices and goals related to our four Strategic Drivers and core values to inspire associates and empower them to take action. Associates are also invited to share case studies at companywide town hall meetings.

We believe recognizing associates for their hard work and advocating for them to recognize one another is a crucial element in fostering a culture of engagement. To this end, MainStreet features a Shout Out Board for associates to submit stories to congratulate and thank one another. These stories are also often shared companywide through our Driving Forward newsletter.

Associate Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity and Inclusion is one of our core values, and one that empowers our associates to generate positive change in our communities and workplace. A diversified workforce strengthens our capabilities for understanding our various stakeholders and delivering on their distinct needs. As such, we aspire to be industry leaders in our capacity to recruit and retain associates with different perspectives.

Forest City’s Diversity Statement acknowledges our commitment and aspiration as fundamental to the success of our organization and partners. In 2014, we revised the equal employment opportunity, anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies in our Associate Guidebook to include gender identity and expression, added language discussing the prohibition of retaliation and expanded reporting mechanisms.

For the second consecutive year, Forest City made DiversityInc’s list of top 25 Noteworthy Companies for our advancement in areas of workforce diversity, CEO and leadership commitment and supplier diversity. In order to make the list, companies are evaluated on more than 180 factors including workforce culture and demographics, engagement, personal and professional development and leadership support. Forest City also had a recurring appearance on the Commission on Economic Inclusion’s “Commission 50” for our progress in creating, enhancing and sustaining our diversity and inclusion strategies.

Learning, Development and Training

Forest City is committed to the personal and professional development of our associates. In response to feedback from the 2014 FC Voices survey, we introduced an associate orientation page on MainStreet, our company-wide intranet, to welcome new hires and familiarize them with our company and culture.


For the second consecutive year, Forest City made DiversityInc’s list of top 25 Noteworthy Companies, while also repeating as a member of the Commission on Economic Inclusion’s “Commission 50” for our progress in creating, enhancing and sustaining our
diversity and inclusion strategies.



Forest City’s commitment to sustainable design and high-performing properties starts with the first stages of development continues through day-to-day management. This proactive and intentional approach ensures that our high-quality portfolio of apartments, retail and office delivers value for all stakeholders.

Our Strategic Approach

Forest City recognizes that human contributions and the built environment are critical factors in climate change, energy and water use and waste creation and diversion. While we recognize these factors as a risk to our industry, we also see them as an incredible opportunity for our organization to drive innovation and leadership as we seek to minimize these impacts for the good of our business, our communities, our people and our planet.


We view sustainable design as intrinsic to our real estate development process as we strive to create mixed-use properties that encourage community engagement and vitality in our core, urban markets.


Our team of experts performs facility and systems engineering for major renovations, creates and supports technology platforms and manages energy and utilities.

Ensuring Green Building Accountability

Forest City is working toward managing the entire lifecycle of its properties, from development and construction through thoughtful, center-led processes and tools that ensure our design and construction and operational strategies are implemented. Across our portfolio, we use third-party certifications and reviews to increase accountability, validate our design and operations strategies and ensure we are producing and managing best-in-class buildings in alignment with emerging technologies. We build to LEED specifications, pursue the ENERGY STAR® label for our existing properties and seek BOMA 360 designation for sustainability accomplishments in building operations and management. These frameworks ensure we reduce our environmental impact and create healthy, quality spaces for our tenants. To help us track and communicate the impacts of our LEED certified and ENERGY STAR® portfolio, we began sharing our green building data through the Green Building Information Gateway portal. This U.S. Green Building Council product contains various portfolio-level dashboards to measure, compare and communicate our progress and performance.

Green Building Certifications

# of Projects188
Sq. Ft.3.328 M*803,214
*Excludes LEED for Homes and Neighborhood Development


percent reduction in energy consumption
percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions
water efficiency projects
percent recycled waste



Our associates and teams across the country drive our success at Forest City. Everything in this report is made possible through their commitment to our core values. Learn more about some of our proudest moments and accomplishments throughout the year by reading the stories below.