- This year saw the largest ever increase in asset participation, with 558 assets now reporting, and the second largest increase in fund participation, now at 149
- Funds completing both assessment components jumped 41% to 106, that is funds obtaining a GRESB Fund Score reflecting overall ESG performance at the portfolio level
- While few assets have net zero targets, recent commitments by managers representing 40% of reporting assets are expected to drive significant increases in the years ahead
- Asset participation growth was led by Renewable Power, with a 65% increase from 2020
- Significant regional growth in asset participation was seen in the Americas (35%) and Asia (48%)
- Overall, the gross asset value reporting to GRESB has increased by more than 50% since 2019, now covering $343 billion at the fund level and $738 billion at the asset level
Fund coverage and growth
Despite the continued challenges posed by Covid-19, total participation in the Infrastructure Fund Assessment grew by 26%, to 149 funds completing the Management Component. The number of infrastructure funds completing both the Management and Performance components of the Infrastructure Fund Assessment grew by 41% to 106, that is funds obtaining a GRESB Fund Score reflecting overall ESG performance at the portfolio level.
The fund assessment covers over 30% of the IPE Real Assets Top 100 Infrastructure Investment Managers and over a third of the Infrastructure Investor Top 50, based on participation with at least one fund.
Asset coverage and growth
Participation in the Infrastructure Asset Assessment grew by 31% to cover 558 assets. While most assets are based in Europe, significant relative growth in participation numbers came from the Americas (105 to 142) and Asia (21 to 31). The assessment now covers 33 of the 34 industry sectors and 2,096 facilities across 69 countries.
Participation by sector
The average percentage of individual assets within funds reporting to GRESB continues to grow, which is now up to 83%. This increase shows that infrastructure managers are moving closer to asset-level reporting.
By sector, Renewable Power saw the highest growth in participation (65%), followed by Environmental Services (64%), Transport (44%) and Network Utilities (27%).
Regional scores and GAV
Assets reported on over 2,096 facilities (a 35.4% increase) spread across 69 countries, with coverage continuing to be dominated by OECD countries.
Europe builds upon its track record for transparency with the most funds and assets participating in the benchmark by value. Assets in Europe, Oceania and Asia scored similarly, while the American average was higher.
For assets, the average GRESB score increase was 10 points, largely coming from the Performance Component. By asset type, Diversified and Network Utilities are the top performing assets, with average GRESB scores of 80 and 79, respectively.
The asset types that improved the most since last year were Social Infrastructure, with a 22 point increase, and Diversified, with a 20 point increase.
GRESB and Component Scores
When it comes to GRESB scores, both funds and assets saw significant increases this year, similar to the impressive increases seen in 2020. On average, overall GRESB scores and component scores increased from 5 to 15 points.
At the fund level, 13 entities scored the maximum 100 for the Management Component, while only two saw score decreases.
Asset performance component indicators
Transparency on performance indicators has increased
The Asset Performance Component indicators show the extent to which assets report on their most material ESG issues. The chart focuses on the main ESG issues covered, showing the proportion of participants that reported on each material indicator. Health and Safety reporting shot up this year, after little to no movement last year.
Target setting for 2021 has increased for all performance indicators
The 2021 Infrastructure Asset Assessment shows continued improvement in target setting across all performance indicators, suggesting future improvements in performance that will follow.
As net zero is a growing interest in the industry, GRESB analysed the target setting that fund managers have committed to for their underlying portfolios. We found that – while Scope 1 and 2 GHG targets are often set by managers for at least one asset in their fund (57%) – only 23% of funds participating in the assessment have an asset in their portfolio with a net zero target. Even fewer (9%) have set science-based targets.
That said, fund managers representing just over 40% of all our reporting assets became signatories to the “Net Zero Asset Managers” commitment in December 2020. We expect that in the coming years the number of net zero targets will spike, as assessment reporting reflects these recent commitments.
The GRESB Sector Leaders are the best performers by sector, region and nature of ownership from across the GRESB Assessments.
The entity with the top GRESB Score, as well as the entities with a score within 1 point of the top score in a category will be recognized as Sector Leaders. You can find more information on Sector Leaders here.