People, Places and Partnerships
A Message from
Steven B. Tanger,
I am pleased to present Tanger Outlets' 2017 Corporate Responsibility Report, covering results in calendar year 2017. At Tanger Outlets we firmly believe that corporate responsibility is directly tied to our success and the long-term well-being of our stakeholders. Environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles are now firmly embedded in the enterprise and provide Tanger's stakeholders with an additional perspective on the Company's performance. Transparent disclosure practices, governance and ethics policies, strong employee engagement and deep community commitment are all important factors that sustain our enterprise. We believe serving our communities and protecting the environment are not just a social good, they are also a competitive advantage. We must model integrity, seek top financial performance and environmental efficiency, and actively engage our team members and the communities we serve. Our focus on Place, Partnerships and People demonstrates our dedication to delivering long-term value to all our stakeholders including retail partners, shareholders, customers, community partners and employee team members. In our second year of formally reporting on our corporate responsibility programs, processes and policies, I am proud to share some key accomplishments and improvements that came to fruition in 2017. First, we continue to embed corporate responsibility into the fabric of our culture and our business, and deliver on our promise of transparency and public reporting of ESG matters. We've added specific goals for each of our Corporate Responsibility Framework pillars, and reported progress against those goals in each of the Place, Partnerships and People sections of the report.
Next, we believe we are positively impacting the environment as well as supporting stable operations relative to energy use, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and water conservation. In the Place section of the report, you will see that we continue to decrease electrical use and GHG emissions; 2017 electrical usage and GHG emissions both decreased by nearly 4% over 2016 for comparable properties in operation for the full year.
Long-term, trusting relationships and partnerships have always been the hallmark of our business. In the Partnerships section of this report, you will read about our cautious but steady growth, and how it has benefited Shareholders, with 2017 increased adjusted funds from operations of 3% and a dividend increase of 5%, and best-in-class occupancy among mall REITs of 97.3%. Tanger Outlets has provided substantial returns to our shareholders over the long term.
Our relationships with retailers, many of whom have been with us since the beginning, along with our support for the communities where we live and work are a critical link in our success. We care deeply about the health of each retail partner and have helped with retailer brand expansion through an array of innovative approaches. Community engagement is also about relationships, and has been a long-standing Tanger priority. You'll read about efforts across the enterprise, and in particular how the Tanger team showed up with financial support as well as hands-on volunteer efforts when Hurricane Harvey hit the Gulf Coast late in 2017.
Our customers and employee team members are the bedrock of our business. We have set a goal to be "First Choice" for Shoppers by providing them with the best brands, best prices and best customer experience. In the People section of this report you will see how we leverage technology with our mobile app for customers, as well as the random acts of kindness provided by our Customer Service Team. You'll also read about how we approach our goal to establish Tanger as a "First Choice" employer in geographies where we do business, and how we have been publicly recognized for those efforts.
These successes support our mission to deliver the Best Brands, the Best Prices and the Best Experience, and help us to achieve our vision to be First Choice with shoppers, retailers, employees, investors and nonprofit partners, as active members of the communities where we operate, work and live. We thank you for your continued support and look forward to positively impacting our communities and bringing long-term value to all our stakeholders.
STEVEN B. TANGER
Chief Executive Officer
Tanger Factory Outlet Centers, Inc.