Industry insights

Articles, case studies and other insights on ESG best practices and relevant sustainability topics from GRESB and our Members and Partners. Want to contribute? Review our editorial calendar and guidelines.

  • Articles

    ESG Tools for an Emerging Asset Class

    While investor interest in infrastructure was increasing, investors in other types of real assets were focusing on the importance of environmental, social, and governance(ESG) performance as a source of value and risk. The catch is that ESG considerations for infrastructure are different from assets like real estate. Infrastructure projects are typically big, long-lived and, critically, […]

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  • Articles

    Investors Seek Diversification and Stable Income from Infrastructure

    Infrastructure is a relatively young asset class with a developing investor base. Increasing interest in this sector reflects wide-spread recognition for a large gap between infrastructure needs and investment, as well as the prospect for relatively stable income streams and diversification. Australian pension funds were among the first private investors in infrastructure followed by pension […]

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  • Articles

    Green Bonds: Costs and Benefits of Issuance and Investment

    GRESB Green Bond Working Group, January 2016 The third meeting of the GRESB Green Bond Working Group (GBWG) addressed the costs and benefits of green bond issuance and investment. GRESB presented original research on the performance of corporate real estate green bonds, sharing its findings on the quantitative costs and benefits identified, to date. Speakers, […]

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  • Articles

    Green Bonds: Metrics—Identifying Eligible Green Projects and Reporting

    The Green Bond Principles (GBPs) require clear environmentally sustainable benefits and where feasible, these should be quantified or assessed by issuers. The GRESB Green Bond Guidelines for the Real Estate Sector take this suggestion one step further by recommending use of: Rigorous green building certification systems (e.g. BREEAM, Green Star, LEED) and/or Energy ratings (e.g. […]

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  • Articles

    What Investors Really Want…

    …is high returns at low risk (volatility). Sure, that’s the starting point and so-called fiduciary duty of pension funds, insurance companies, and the investment managers that invest their capital. But increasingly, investors also want the companies and funds that they invest in to show what these investments do when it comes to environmental, social and […]

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  • Articles

    What’s in a Target? Investors Expect Significant Carbon Reductions from Real Estate Sector

    Last week, PGGM Investments, a EUR190 billion Dutch pension fund, announced that over the next 5 years, it is seeking a 50% reduction in carbon emissions from its investments in real estate – both listed property companies and private equity real estate funds. This is the world upside down: typically corporates make announcements for energy […]

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  • Articles

    Creating Value through Sustainability: Take Action on ESG or Be Left Behind

    Recent climate change impacts are increasing demand for the adoption of Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) initiatives. Investors and tenants are creating a greater push for more energy and water efficiency investments, climate change resilience preparedness, and workplace health safety and productivity. As ESG becomes increasingly important, investors and regional and national regulators will progressively mandate greater transparency […]

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  • Case Studies

    Carbon Credentials – Data Management and Reporting

    “Carbon Credentials works with a number of market leading real estate organisations in the UK including Hermes Real Estate, The Crown Estate, and Aviva Investors to drive value out of sustainability data. We believe that reporting to GRESB provides companies with a framework for continual improvement of sustainability performance.  Working with our property sector clients […]

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  • Articles

    GRESB Infrastructure: Filling an ESG Data Gap for Infrastructure Investors

    Hot on the heels of the release of the 2015 GRESB data for real estate on September 2, GRESB has more news to share. Today, in London, GRESB announces a new initiative to provide environmental, social, and governance (ESG) information for investors in and lenders to infrastructure assets and portfolios. This initiative is called GRESB […]

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  • Case Studies

    Tenant Engagement Success to benefit Data Management

    Purpose of the project Waterfront Station is a Triple Net leased building with a government agency as the tenant. The owner, USAA Real Estate Company, and the property management company, Vornado, wanted to accurately benchmark the building’s energy use, but needed information from the tenant about the energy demand of the data center. The tenant, […]

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  • Case Studies

    A bright idea to reduce energy use

    [one-half-first] [/one-half-first] [one-half] Purpose of the project Sonae Sierra is constantly looking to improve the energy efficiency of its existing assets and has reduced electricity consumption across its portfolio by 40% since 2002 (its benchmark year). Nevertheless, in the pursuit of continuous improvement, the Company realised that there were irregularities in the energy consumption of […]

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  • Case Studies

    Air Source Heat Pump at 350 Euston Road

    Purpose of the project British Land’s award-winning energy reduction programme generates cost savings for occupiers, protects asset value for investors and reduces carbon emissions. At 350 Euston Road at Regent’s Place, British Land and property management partner Broadgate Estates Ltd have reduced landlord energy use by 65% in six years. When the traditional boiler and […]

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  • Articles

    A Sneak Preview of the 2015 GRESB Results: Global Leadership and a Record-Breaking Response

    GRESB has a simple but powerful mission: Create better built environments by enabling institutional investors with actionable information about environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance on their real estate investments. GRESB carries out this mission with a systematic process to assess, score, and benchmark property companies and funds around the world. GRESB members use this […]

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  • Articles

    Energy Efficiency Shows Its Worth for Retail Property

    Retail buildings are typically the largest consumers of energy in the property industry. The Carbon Trust recently stated that the 40 largest shopping centres in the UK consume £40 million worth of energy per year and that for most retailers reducing energy consumption by 20% would have an effect on the bottom line equivalent to […]

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  • Articles

    Real Estate Lending and ESG: Observations from the 2015 GRESB Debt Survey

    Over the past three months, I’ve been speaking with real estate debt fund managers about the new GRESB Debt Survey, an assessment designed to evaluate and benchmark, but also, to guide, the sustainability engagement and performance of real estate lenders. Recognized as “at least a decade behind the equity side of real estate,” sustainability integration […]

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  • Articles

    Resilience: Surviving and Thriving in the Face of Change

    Thinking about disasters is a hard sell. But whether we think about them or not, we pay for them. According to the 2015 UNISDR Global Assessment Report, expected annual global losses are estimated to reach $314 billion in the built environment alone. All indicators suggest that the frequency and intensity of disasters will increase, meaning […]

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  • Articles

    Long-Term Horizons and Materiality Test

    There is consensus among leading industry bodies that an assessment of materiality in the context of financial information, involves a qualitative assessment that takes into account context and surrounding circumstances. In the case of non-financial data, as well as defining the scope of what is material, the challenges in collecting robust and rigorous ESG data means that context […]

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  • Articles

    Skytop ESG Summit – Carbon War Room REIT paper

    On Friday June 19, NASDAQ, the world’s second largest electronic stock exchange, hosted an audience hungry for the best. I’m not talking about Fogo de Chao’s ringing of the closing bell after their successful IPO rose nearly 30% on that day’s market debut – this group expected much more. This audience of nearly 200 capital market experts, institutional shareholders, and company professionals descended on […]

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