North American real estate sector keeps moving forward with the job of improving sustainability performance

  • Once again, North America’s average GRESB Score – a measure of overall sustainability performance – is higher than the global average.
  • More North American real estate companies and funds completed the new Resilience module than in other regions.
  • 13 Sector Leaders named for their sustainability leadership in 2018.

Amsterdam September 20 – In 2018, GRESB scored and benchmarked the environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance of 220 North American real estate funds and companies on behalf of more than 75 institutional investors. While the number of European entities participating in the 2018 benchmark is larger, at US$ 1.5 billion in total Assets Under Management, the North American GRESB cohort is still the largest in dollar terms globally.
The North America real estate sector improved its sustainability performance again this year, with the regional average GRESB Score breaking the 70 mark, up from 64 in 2017.  This is higher than the global average (68) and second only to Australia and New Zealand (76).
However, when it comes to energy consumption, GHG emissions and water consumption, the average year-on-year reductions posted by the North American sector fell behind global averages.  North American entities reported a 1.8% reduction in energy consumption (compared to a 2.5% global reduction); GHG emissions are down 2.9% in the region (globally, emissions are down 4.9%), and water consumption increased by 0.3%, compared to a global fall of 0.5%.
42 companies and funds in North America completed the new voluntary Resilience Module, which is more than in any other regions and a sign that the sector is quickly waking up to the importance of managing long-term resilience risks.  These efforts are not surprising given rising interest from institutional investors and the growing costs of unusual weather-related damage in the US and around the world.

“The collective industry leadership exhibited by the record number of GRESB participants in North America reinforces the real estate industry’s strong ESG momentum and continued progress,” remarked Dan Winters, GRESB Head of Americas.  “With overall sustainability scores increasing once again the industry is getting on with the job of improving sustainability performance and communicating this to investors.”
“Property managers from outside of the USA, in Canada and Mexico, also showed improvements. There was an increase in both average scores and the number of participants from Canadian entities, who have long showed leadership in the region.” notes Neil Pegram, Director of Americas.
“Participation in GRESB has grown again in 2018 as investors seek standardized and validated ESG data to assess the sustainability of their real estate assets,” says Sander Paul van Tongeren, Co-Founder and Managing Director at GRESB. “This investor interest, backed up with accurate performance benchmarking, is empowering the spread of sustainable best practices across the world. We congratulate all participants in the 2018 GRESB Assessments. Their efforts are shaping the future of sustainability leadership for the sector.”
“The 2018 GRESB results are proving that expectations have fundamentally changed in the real asset sector and investors are increasingly asking for greater transparency about the ESG performance of real asset portfolios,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, chairman, GRESB Board of Directors, and president & CEO, Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI). “We are pleased by the continued increase in participation this year as it is clear that ESG is gaining prominence and becoming common practice. We congratulate all participants in the 2018 Assessments for the critical role they are playing in creating a world with more sustainable buildings and infrastructure.”

2018 GRESB Sector Leaders from North America

This list of Sector Leaders recognizes the real estate companies and funds taking measurable steps to incorporate sustainability into their operations and communicating their performance to investors and other stakeholders.

Global

  • Residential, Listed – Equity Residential
  • Hotels, Listed – Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc.
  • Diversified, Office/Industrial, Non-listed -Triovest Realty Advisors Inc.

Global and Regional Sector Leaders

  • Diversified, Non-listed – J.P. Morgan U.S. Core, J.P. Morgan Asset Management
  • Diversified, Office/Residential, Non-listed – J.P. Morgan U.S. Value Add, J.P. Morgan Asset Management
  • Office, Listed – Kilroy Realty Corporation

Regional Sector Leaders

  • Industrial, Listed – FIBRA Prologis
  • Residential, Non-listed – GS Chelsea Co-Investment, LP, Greystar Real Estate Partners
  • Office, Non-listed – Lionstone Hermes Real Estate Ventures, Lionstone Investments
  • Diversified, Office/Retail, Non-listed – Oxford Properties Group (OMERS), Oxford Properties Group
  • Retail, Non-listed – PLA Retail Fund II, PGIM Real Estate  PGIM Real Estate
  • Retail , Listed – The Macerich Company
  • Industrial, Non-listed – Bentall Kennedy Group

View More Real Estate ResultsView 2018 GRESB Real Estate results snapshot PDF.
View 2018 GRESB Real Estate results page.

About GRESB

GRESB is the global environmental, social and governance (ESG) benchmark for real assets. Working in collaboration with the industry, GRESB defines the standard for sustainability performance in real assets, providing standardized and validated ESG data to more than 75 institutional investors, representing over USD 18 trillion in institutional capital. In 2018, a record 903 property companies and funds participated in the GRESB Real Estate Assessment. The Infrastructure Assessment covered 75 funds and 280 assets, and 25 portfolios completed the Debt Assessment.  Learn more at gresb.com
For more information, please contact:
Claudia Gonella, Marketing & Communications Director at GRESB
c.gonella@gresb.com
Tel. +31 (0)207740220