GRESB Insights provides case studies on ESG integration in real assets, data-driven analysis into how the industry is responding to the sustainability challenge and educational articles exploring topics covered in the GRESB Assessments. Contribute to GRESB Insights.
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to sustainability reporting, but several key practices distinguish those who lead from those who struggle. Reflecting on the 2019 GRESB Real Estate results, there are over 1,000 responding property companies, and overall scores continue to rise as competition grows. To better the chances of coming out on top, here are a few tips to keep in mind throughout the reporting process – for this year and the next.
Managing the reporting and assurance process for your company’s ESG outcomes is difficult at the best of times, 2020 is set to become even more challenging.2019 will go down as the year the world announced a clear intent to move to a low-carbon economy. In 2020 governments, institutions and businesses will have to address how they manage this transition in order to ensure the long-term sustainability of their businesses.
Daniele Horton, founder and president of Verdani Partners, participated in a video interview at Nareit’s 2020 ESG JumpStart Workshop, discussing the changes that are being introduced to the GRESB Assessment in 2020.
Reporting on your environmental impact and sustainability initiatives can be a daunting exercise when you are a large and global enterprise. In effect, the greater your economic reach, the larger your governance portfolio, and subsequently the more pronounced – and more complicated – your impact on the environment and society.
Environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria are a set of standards for a company’s operations that socially conscious investors use to screen potential investments.
GRESB is a global organization that aims to ensure sustainable real assets- that meet current needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet the needs of their own.…
The future of ESG investing in North America will be driven by the carrot rather than the stick during the next few years, but don’t discount the possibility that governments may bring out the stick in the absence of tangible progress on climate change.
The GRESB Listed Infrastructure Public Disclosure Dataset covers 155 companies in the listed Infrastructure space – including all 139 constituents in the GLIO Index. The dataset provides information on levels…
According to The Sustainable Development Report 2019, though progress has been made over the past decade, our current status is still far away from meeting “leaving no one behind”, the central principle of the 2030 Agenda.
The 2020 GRESB Assessments are now available in Pre-release. Each year real estate and infrastructure managers use the Assessments to measure, benchmark and improve their sustainability programs and report to their…
GRESB assesses and benchmarks the ESG performance of real assets, providing standardized and validated data to capital markets. We were established in 2009 by a group of large pension funds…
As one of the most prominent factors of climate justice and sustainable growth, Stakeholder Engagement is a growing focus and concern for GRESB respondents.
Can PropTech help the UK achieve its Net Zero commitment?
How can real estate connect with and relate to global challenges? What is the motivation behind the bigger picture?
One thing the Australian summer fires have clearly demonstrated is the connection and interdependence of the natural environment, human wellbeing, community livelihood and economic productivity.
Released in 2012, Sustainable DC was the District’s first comprehensive sustainability plan, establishing the Mayor’s ambitions and bringing together integrated planning across government departments to define an action plan for the American capital to be the healthiest, greenest, and most liveable city in the United States.
Since its establishment 10 years ago, GRESB has been at the heart of a collaborative effort to build consensus on what constitutes ESG materiality in the real estate sector, define…
For many companies, aligning with SDGs is the next big way to make a positive impact as an organization and attract investment dollars from increasingly climate-active investors.
GRESB Premier Partner Goby hosts a webinar on the state of GRESB in 2020 with a cameo by Dan Winters, Head of Americas. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wPsruY6NE2c The new year is always a…
New tools and technology are making it easier to understand and manage real world occupant experience. Four specific strategies can turn technology into effective management.
As we enter the festive period, we will all be reminded to “keep our proof of purchase” should any of our gifts need to be returned, it is the evidence…
Making cities sustainable remains high up on the international agenda as the planet faces a climate emergency.
In recent years, the interests of tenants in green or sustainable occupancy have gradually grown in prominence, ranging from green and/or healthy building accreditations to optimization of resource management and mitigation of environmental footprints.
GRESB assesses and benchmarks the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) performance of real assets, providing standardized and validated data to capital markets. We were established in 2009 by a group…
Mainstreaming ESG benchmarking in real assets 10 years ago, APG, PGGM and USS came together with the University of Maastricht to design a real estate survey. They wanted more transparency…
Let’s explore four key milestones of an organization’s sustainability journey to see how stakeholder engagement can help:
You can have the best product, the most polished program, the most innovative project, if you have not taken the time to ensure the people impacted by your initiative are fully on board, you will fail. It’s about as certain as death and taxes!
Sustainability isn’t a threat to future business – it is the future of business, of a thriving economy and long-term prosperity.
The transition towards a low-carbon future is well underway, but for the past few decades, companies and governments have struggled to come to an agreement on the technicalities of measurement. Some of these disagreements have arisen from genuine concerns, but many have been based on an attempt to delay the inevitable.
Real Estate companies and investors have a clear responsibility in helping transition to a low-carbon economy. But what is the best approach to address this challenge…?
Predicting and budgeting for the lifecycle of a commercial building is traditionally viewed as straight forward. Historic data, an understanding of market conditions, good knowledge of how buildings behave and…
Establishing long-term ESG related objectives by different companies is essential to enable the transformation that the industry needs in order to achieve a sustainable future for all.
Modern society is managed and influenced by targets. Setting targets, it seems, is an innate human characteristic, a product of our curiosity and sense of adventure perhaps and certainly a tool for driving progress.
Climate change is increasingly becoming a risk to people and to assets. It is up to investors how they deal with these risks in the near and long term future. De-carbonisation of the portfolio and divestments of real-estate in flood prone areas are effective tools to decrease risks in the short term.
Although a sizeable proportion of the world’s companies have voiced their support and developed short-term responses to the Paris Agreement, an analysis shows that we all need to move faster.
The green building certification movement began with a focus on environmental sustainability. Addressing core environmental issues related to energy, water, and waste was the foundation for early green building rating systems like LEED, a program developed by the U.S. Green Building Council.
Amsterdam and London, November 12, 2019 – GRESB, the global ESG benchmark for real assets and Verisk Maplecroft, the leading provider of global ESG, climate and political risk analytics, have…
People spend around 90,000 hours at the workplace on average over their lifetime. A couple of researches have shown that the design of a workplace has a significant impact on the physical and mental health, well-being and productivity of its users.
The expectation of an easy, predictable, problem-free existence has never occurred in the lives of any of us It turns out that stress is the new manager in companies. Some…
As wellness rises up the corporate agenda, we are fast realizing there is real opportunity to add value to real estate assets, enhance human health, achieve excellence in general building operations and, from a business perspective, generate savings in employee costs.
It may not be feasible for every building to have its own pool or gym, but all Residential owners should be thinking critically about what health and well-being interventions could benefit their properties. And for owners who have already taken steps to improve their building’s energy performance, health and well-being can be approached with a similar process.
People do not often consider how the places where they spend their time affect their health. When asked how often they consider the health and environmental impacts of the buildings they spend time in, 39 percent said they never considered it or do not know.
The 2019 GRESB Results events period is almost over- with 22 events being held across 4 continents and 14 countries.
With so much time being spent inside buildings, it is no surprise that the indoor environmental quality (IEQ) has an effect on the building occupants’ health and well-being.
Most people know that the air we breathe outside can be polluted with harmful particles that affect our health. What is less often considered, is that this is no different and sometimes even worse in indoor environments.
Rising temperatures not only increase energy use, but also result in accelerated rates of heat-related illness and death. These concerns are especially relevant in urban areas, which often struggle to mitigate the impacts of heat island effect— a phenomenon where more urbanized areas are hotter than surrounding rural areas.
If we strive to achieve GRESB Green Star accreditation and do not make serious efforts to improve the health and wellbeing of the occupants why bother? Why go to all that effort and only reach half of the building’s potential?
Research continues to find links between air pollution and health effects; a recent study has associated short-term exposure to PM with increased symptoms of psychiatric disorders, such as anxiety, in children.
Incorporating health and well-being into real estate design takes time and investment. Why, then, do companies make the effort? To find out, we spoke with Elena Cernov, Sustainability Consultant at Schneider Electric Energy & Sustainability Services.
Three among many examples illustrate this underlying trend: real estate projects now include plenty of services to tenants, certifications focused on health and well-being gain in popularity, and research projects try to quantify the impact of wellbeing on productivity.
Industries across sectors are mobilizing around the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), responding to an urgent call to action for urban development to recognize the ties between human health, environmental sustainability, and socioeconomic equity.
This report utilizes findings from three years of data gathered by the GRESB Health & Well-being Module to provide real estate companies and investors with insights regarding the current state of practice and guidance on how to increase consideration of health and well-being within their approach to ESG.
Amsterdam, September 16, 2019 – An investor-led initiative launched today will help real estate investors and managers to assess, manage and mitigate climate risk and to develop climate scenario-based strategies.…
The real asset industry is under increasing pressure from investors and stakeholders to improve environmental, social, and governance (ESG) practices. According to BlackRock’s most recent Global Real Asset Outlook, the real…
GRESB, the environmental, social and governance (ESG) benchmark for real assets, has released the results for the 2019 GRESB Infrastructure Assessment.
GRESB, the environmental, social and governance (ESG) benchmark for real assets, has released the results for the 2019 GRESB Real Estate Assessment. The results are used by more than 100 institutional investors, representing USD 22 trillion in AUM, to monitor investments, engage with managers, and make decisions that lead to a more sustainable real estate industry.
Global Property Research (GPR), a specialized provider of benchmarking solutions covering the listed real estate sector, launches three index series containing real estate companies with an overlay provided by the leading real asset ESG data provider GRESB.
It’s up to all of us to start engaging wider audiences and convince the public of the reality of climate-related threats. And to do that, we need to illustrate the importance of small, everyday actions. We have to connect the dots between people and the planet they call home.
Canada is known as one of the most diverse countries in the world, but many of our industries have trouble reflecting Canada’s diversity in its workforce. This has certainly been the case with commercial real estate (CRE), which has traditionally had the reputation of being composed of mostly white, able-bodied males.
There are strong cases for organizational Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity (EDI) and action on climate change. Diverse and inclusive cultures bring about ideas, effective problem solving and, ultimately, greater chances of success.
We want to see more green finance unlocked in our industry. That’s why we are pleased to collaborate with the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA), NABERS and the Climate…
Gender lens investing is a relatively new concept that refers to investing with the intent to address gender issues. Gender lens investing is on the rise in Canada as responsible investors lean in to narrow the gap in corporate leadership.
How can one get inclusion, for the ultimate purpose of organizational unity? What is the key to unity?
Stakeholders’ engagement is becoming a key area for GRESB assessment and the ability to deal with stakeholders – clients, customers, occupiers, tenants (call them what you will) – has become a key skill for anyone in a client-facing role.
According to the Global Gender Gap Report 2018 published by Global Economic Forum, the global gender gap in 2018 has declined by 3.6% since 2006. Despite the fact that there’s a declination of gender gap, women are still underrepresented at all levels especially in senior management and the board.
AMSTERDAM, August 16, 2019 – Since our founding 10 years ago, the idea behind GRESB has never wavered: to provide investors with the data they need to make decisions for…
While slow momentum towards real change can be rooted in anything from a lack of ideas to a complete discount of the concept, there are three main barriers to adoption: data, awareness, and team balance.
Cities represent a great leverage to tackle inclusive growth. In particular, an inclusive real estate project could be defined as its capacity to include everyone’s rights and duties and to offer equal lifestyles for everyone, taking into account the climatic, environmental and social stakes.
AMSTERDAM, AUG 5, 2019: GRESB is pleased to announce that the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) has joined GRESB as an Investor Member and an Industry Partner. The collaboration intends…
We know that, at scale, human health and planetary health are the same thing. So it stands to reason that from a rounded and holistic world view, health and circularity are two sides of the same coin that need to be addressed together, particularly in the context of building products and material cycles.
Circular economy and the notion that we cannot continue to deplete resources indefinitely is now at the forefront of the discussion by those that design and operate buildings. The principles of designing out waste, keeping materials in use and regenerating natural systems are now more clearly understood and methods more readily available than ever before.
The 2019 Reporting period ended this month and we’re delighted to announce that we have hit another set of important milestones in our ESG coverage and reach. We’ll soon release full details to…
What has camel manure in common with landfills? Apart from being waste, both can also play a central role in driving the circular economy, a concept that is fast gaining significance in the UAE – along with the rest of the world.
2018 brought the circular economy into the spotlight in Australia – previously an under-the-radar concept, the waste management crisis brought about by China’s National Sword policies restricting waste imports has led to responses across all levels of government.
Energy security is the availability, accessibility, affordability, and acceptability of a sustainable energy supply. This is a key sustainability issue as demonstrated through the Sustainable Development Goal 7 to “ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all”.
Linear economies consume large quantities of virgin resources to make products, only to permanently dispose of them at the end of their use. This represents a colossal loss of value in terms of the resources that the products contain and the extraction, energy and processes invested in them.
As the number of individual product components and actors in its construction process rises, the supply chain rapidly becomes more complex as well, as it describes the network of resources and actions that to produce and distribute a product to its final buyer.
Sustainable procurement is nowadays of growing importance for real estate companies. It has evolved into a core issue for businesses, particularly in terms of cost reduction, mitigation of business risks, brand reputation and innovation.
Watch Dan Winters, GRESB Head of Americas, in this video webinar from S&P Global Market Intelligence on the impact of ESG on commercial real estate. This webinar explores the connection…
Businesses and organisations are becoming increasingly aware of the need to monitor and manage their water consumption, as evidenced by the growing amount of water-consumption data that are being submitted into our global sustainability-benchmarking database.
Already grown six-fold throughout the 20th century, global water demand is projected to increase by 55% between 2000 and 2050. In conjunction, global water supply faces increasing strain as worldwide per capita water resources more than halved from 1962 to 2014, and are forecast to slump to a third of 1962 levels by 2025.
Clean freshwater is a vitally important natural resource that is essential for life. Although water covers approximately three-quarters of the Earth’s surface, only 2.5% of the global water stock is freshwater, and over two-thirds of this freshwater is locked up in the form of ice and snow in the Arctic, Antarctic and mountainous regions.
Biology tells us that water is the key to sustaining life, and history has shown that water determines where and how humans live. Early on in humankind, all settlements were located near wells and springs, with drought and flood periods deciding the survival of most early villages.
According to the new global risk report issued by the World economic forum, water-related risks are amongst the five key risks for the fifth year in a row now. According to United Nations’ estimates, by 2030 almost half of the global population will be living in regions with high water stress.
Developers and investors must consider the risk of flooding to the development design, planning and investment process at the earliest opportunity to help inform the decision-making process. Early engagement with the Environment Agency (EA), local authorities and environmental consultants (such as Delta-Simons who specialise in flood risk and climate change for developers, occupier and investors) will ensure that the masterplan design includes suitable, viable and cost beneficial mitigation measures. By not considering climate change during the early stages of design and during the planning process, from a flood risk perspective, the risk of the planning application being objected to or occupiers being unwilling to sign leases increases along with potential delays to timescales due to reworking and spiralling costs.
Without doubt, climate change has posed a fundamental threat to urban development around the world. Frequent adverse weather events and intense typhoons happening in many countries have drawn the attention of sustainability and green building professionals to the need for identification of climate-related vulnerabilities in their cities. Apparently, it is high time for us to strengthen the cities’ resilience through design, construction and operation of green buildings as well as investment in climate-resilient infrastructure.
There are five global mega trends shaping the way that we are currently living, how we respond to them now determines how we are going to live into the future. These mega trends are affecting all aspects of our lives, from the food we eat to the technology running our cities, each carrying with them their own risks and opportunities.
Due to the increased severity and frequency of climate disasters, real estate investors are showing urgent concern for the risks that climate change is posing to their assets, turning their attention to resilience planning for their real estate portfolios as a top priority. Rapid strides are being made within the resilience landscape, with increasing adoption of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) standards for financial disclosure in corporate climate reporting, along with the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) Resilience Module, recently updated in 2019 to align with TCFD’s recommendations.
Chances are you’ve been hearing a lot lately about Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) reporting requirements. This webinar goes beyond the “why” and explores how ESG can have a material risk on investment performance.
Every day it’s impossible to avoid learning about another catastrophic climate event in mainstream media. Extreme weather can destroy properties and valuables, threaten lives and cripple businesses. The Financial Stability Board has deemed climate change a risk to the global financial system and launched the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) to guide companies on how to disclose climate-related risks, opportunities and financial impacts.
As the effects of climate change on economic activity become more significant, there is increasing demand from investors, trustees and other fiduciaries for consistent, comparable, actionable information in company reports. Investors increasingly expect Boards and Executives to actively assess and respond to climate risks.
Recognizing the need to better understand and disclose risks associated with climate change, several industry initiatives have started to incorporate climate risk and resilience questions into reporting frameworks. In particular, the Financial Stability Board (FSB) Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) seeks to stimulate market dialogue and increased transparency on climate-related risks by providing information to investors, lenders, insurers, and other stakeholders.
Over the past three years, the Module demonstrated an increasing level of interest in health and well-being among leading real estate companies and funds. Module participation grew from 174 funds in 2016 to 297 funds in 2018, representing a third of GRESB Real Estate participants. The Module has also demonstrated that companies and funds are able to make meaningful improvements to their health promotion efforts within just a few years.
We’ve entered a new era of sustainability reporting, one characterized by the need for high quality, context-based, decision useful information. Having clear and concise data helps improve decision making, accelerates the accomplishment of goals and enables transparency across organizations and stakeholders, including investors.
Governments around the world are putting policies in place to curb carbon emissions. Hong Kong is no different. It continues to make strides to protect its world-class status through its sustainable development.
Many successful decisions are made on insights provided by good data, but the challenge in any industry is defining what “good data” is exactly. GRESB, an investor-driven organization committed to assessing the Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) performance of real assets globally has taken the initial step to define “high-quality data” with the release of their 2019 Data Quality Standard Assessment. Still in the preliminary phase, this assessment was created with the help of GRESB Governance Bodies and an Industry Technical Working Group. The Technical Working Group consists of industry experts with relevant subject matter expertise, interest in the assessment and time dedicated to fully participate.
As useful as data can be, it can be equally cumbersome to collect and process. To properly manage data and ensure its highest level of quality, a process should be developed. The ISO 14001 framework for Environmental Management Systems follows a Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle and can also serve as a guide to data management, as outlined below.
At a restaurant, we expect our order to be right and the food to be well-prepared. When we have a package delivered, we expect it will not be broken. And, in the case of ESG data, we expect companies to accurately report how sustainable they are. Quality really does matter, especially when it’s behind major business decisions.
Successful ESG programs in commercial real estate often share one key characteristic with the assets they represent: a strong foundation. Just as a building requires proper framing and construction at its base to maintain stability, ESG programs rely critically upon high-quality ESG data if they are to function as desired. Only with information that is effectively collected, aggregated, and analyzed can you appropriately set baselines, establish metrics and key performance indicators, and track progress toward organizational goals.
Data may be kryptonite to many, but it’s essential for all. Good data—data that is accurate, comparable and easy to understand—allows sustainability managers to evaluate performance and provides incisive insights to help asset managers make informed investment decisions.