ESG DATA QUALITY
The GRESB ESG Data Quality Standard is being developed to define the rules for high quality data reporting
Why are we developing the GRESB ESG Data Quality Standard?
Ever since our launch almost a decade ago, GRESB has been committed to providing quality ESG data on real asset investments to the capital markets. For 9 successive years the ESG benchmark has grown, with a record 903 real estate portfolios, worth $3.5 trillion in GAV, reporting to us in 2018. The GRESB Infrastructure Assessment is also growing rapidly, reaching ‘critical mass’ in 2018 with a 75% increase in the Asset Assessment compared to last year.
The reason behind this growth has been our commitment to evolve the benchmark in line with the needs of our stakeholders, ensuring it continues to serve the industry that relies on it. We’ve listened to the feedback from our investor members and participants, and it’s clear that with ESG driving ever more investment decisions, expectations around quality and validation of ESG data are increasing. While we already ensure the quality of our ESG data through a 3-layer validation process developed by PwC, we’re now seeing an opportunity to leverage new advances in technology to take the next step in bringing the quality of non-financial data on par with the quality of financial data.
That process begins with the creation of the new GRESB ESG Data Quality Standard to define the rules for high quality data reporting. The Standard will draw on best practices and principles in data quality used by experts across different industries, applying them to ESG data reported through GRESB. By providing clear guidance to the market, the Standard will seek to reduce reporting and validation costs, while at the same time improving the reliability and effectiveness of data collection systems used by the industry.
We’re introducing this Standard because we are committed to providing new levels of insight on ESG risks and opportunities and increased investor confidence in data quality. The sum of these efforts will not only improve transparency and engagement for our investor members but provide participants with more valuable market intelligence about the impact of their sustainability programs. We think this is a worthy investment in the long-term evolution of the GRESB Assessment offering newer analytics and better-quality data in the GRESB ecosystem.
How will the Standard be developed?
The GRESB ESG Data Quality Standard will be developed following GRESB’s usual process with oversight by the GRESB Benchmark Committees and Advisory Boards. The Technical Working Group (TWG) will define data quality rules and inform the content, structure and evolution of the Standard. Once a draft Standard has been developed it will be reviewed by GRESB’s Benchmark Committee and then submitted to the Advisory Board for approval.
The TWG will exist alongside GRESB’s other Industry Working Groups that are helping us to iterate and improve our Standards and Assessments. Taken together, GRESB’s Industry Working Groups are an integral part of the Assessment evolution process, ensuring that we move forward together as an industry to address topics relevant to achieving our shared vision of sustainable real assets.
What is the composition of the Technical Working Group?
Members of the TWG include GRESB Partners (1 person per organization) as well as industry experts who have relevant subject matter expertise, and the time and interest to participate fully. GRESB is convening the group to ensure that members have:
- High levels of technical expertise data quality assurance, software engineering and/or data science.
- Time to attend the working group meetings (see proposed timeline below).
- Competence and ability to share information, provide technical input and play an active role in Group discussions.
- Capacity to review documents distributed in advance of Group meetings and prepare inputs.
Members will be required to meet their own costs of attending meetings and contributing to the work of the TWG. They will not be paid consultancy or sitting fees. GRESB will chair the group and publish a summary of meeting outcomes on this page together with a list of TWG members (individual and organization).
GRESB Global Partner, Measurabl is Founding Partner of the TWG in recognition of their leadership in calculating and assuring ESG data quality.
What is the proposed timeline?
The first meeting of the TWG is foreseen for the December 2018. This will be followed by a meeting at the end of January 2019 and an in-person meeting in North America in March 2019.