Press Release: 2017 Results Show Australia and New Zealand Real Estate Sector Leading the World in Sustainability Performance

The region has outperformed all other regions for seven years in a row.
Amsterdam – (Sept. 13, 2017) – GRESB, the Global ESG Benchmark for real assets, today released the aggregate results of the 2017 GRESB Real Estate Assessment. A record 850 property companies and real estate funds completed the Assessment, representing 77,000 assets and over USD 3.7 trillion in value.
Globally, the average GRESB score increased to 63 points, up 3 from 2016. With an average GRESB score of 66, listed property companies continue to outperform private entities, and entities focused on offices outperform other types, scoring on average 64
points.
The new GRESB data shows tangible improvements in ESG performance. Globally in 2017 the sector:

  • Reduced like-for-like energy consumption by 1.1% – equivalent to 79,827 U.S.homes,
  • Reduced like-for-like carbon emissions by 2.2% – equivalent to 113,000 passenger cars,
  • Reduced like-for-like water consumption by 0.5% – equivalent to 999 Olympic swimming pools, and
  • Diverted 52.9% of landfill waste – equivalent to 399,008 truck loads.

The results show that the energy improvements made in recent years by the global real estate sector are in line with the energy reductions targets as set out in the United Nations supported Sustainable Development Goals.

“We are delighted to see an increase in the number of participants and assets across all regions for eight consecutive years. It’s encouraging that, once again, GRESB participants were able to lower energy, water and carbon emissions. We hope that the commitment and meaningful actions taken by the 850 GRESB participants serve as an example to others and help to drive improved sustainability performance more broadly across the market.” says Sander Paul van Tongeren, Co-Founder and Managing Director at GRESB

“GRESB is the only industry-driven organization committed to assessing the ESG performance of real asset portfolios globally – with sustainable real assets as the end goal,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, president & CEO of Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI) and GRESB Board member. “Now in its eighth year, GRESB Real Estate Assessment participants are showing their commitment to providing quality data and making a big impact on performance. This year saw a record number of GRESB assessment participants and GBCI will continue to invest in GRESB to deliver the immense market transformation potential.”

Australia/New Zealand Real Estate Sector Highlights:
66 companies and funds in Australia and New Zealand representing USD 164 billion in assets under management reported on their ESG performance in 2017. This represents a 27% increase in participant numbers, making Australia/New Zealand the fastest growing region for GRESB participation.
For the seventh year in succession, companies and funds based in Australia and New Zealand outperformed all other regions. In 2017, the region achieved an average GRESB Score of 73, compared with a global average of 63. However, the Australia/New Zealand score is stabilizing and the gap between the regions is narrowing.

Ruben Langbroek, Head of Asia Pacific at GRESB, explains: “Investor demand for transparency will further enhance how ESG-related risks are managed by Australian and New Zealand property companies and fund managers, empowering them to adopt leading sustainability practices.
Looking at the results, the region is already performing at a high standard. We see that 94% of regional companies and funds that reported to GRESB are already disclosing their sustainability performance to stakeholders. There is a strong focus on social and governance aspects; 97% have a policy on diversity and equal opportunities, 94% include sustainability-specific requirements in their lease contracts with tenants, while 89% have a community engagement program in place.”
Mr. Langbroek continues: “The vast majority has taken actions to improve energy and water efficiency of their buildings, while reducing waste streams. However, there is still room for further improvement in reducing the environmental footprint of the sector. Increased commitment from Australia policymakers is equally important, as it provides a clear incentive to advance to a net-zero carbon built environment.”

About GRESB

GRESB is an industry-driven organization transforming the way capital markets assess the environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance of real asset investments. 850 property companies and funds, jointly representing more than USD 3.7 trillion in assets under management, participate in the GRESB Real Estate Assessment. The Infrastructure Assessment covers 64 funds and 160 assets, and 25 portfolios complete the Debt Assessment.
GRESB data and analytical tools are used by 66 institutional and retail investors, including pension funds and insurance companies, collectively representing over USD 17 trillion in institutional capital, to engage with investment managers to enhance and protect shareholder value.
Greater transparency on ESG issues has become the norm, with GRESB widely recognized as the global ESG benchmark for real assets.

Please find links to additional data:

Global Real Estate Results Snapshot
Australia / New Zealand Real Estate Results Snapshot
Health & Well-being Results Snapshot
Real Estate Developer Results Snapshot

Assistance

For any media inquiries, please contact Claudia Gonella, Director Marketing & Communications, at c.gonella@gresb.com
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