Press Release: 2017 Results Show Strong Sustainability Improvement in the North American Real Estate Sector

The region’s average GRESB Score is higher than the global average.
Amsterdam – (Sept. 19, 2017) – GRESB, the Global ESG Benchmark for real assets, today released the results of the 2017 GRESB Real Estate Assessment for the North American real estate sector.
Globally, a record 850 property companies and real estate funds completed the Assessment, representing 77,000 assets and over USD 3.7 trillion in value. The average GRESB score increased to 63 points, up 3 from 2016.  Listed property companies continue to outperform private entities, and entities focused on offices outperform other property types.
The new GRESB data shows tangible improvements in environmental, social and governance (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.”

North American Real Estate Sector Highlights:

204 companies and funds in North America representing USD 2.3 trillion in assets under management reported on their ESG performance in 2017. This represents a 15% increase in participants from 2016. The average GRESB Score for the region increased to 64 from 59.  This not only represents a higher rate of increase than other regions, but also places the North American sector ahead of the global average.
North American property companies and funds achieved a 2.5% reduction in energy consumption, a 2.9% reduction in carbon emissions and a 1.3% reduction in water consumption.
Over 59 companies and funds in North America completed the voluntary Health & Well-being Module, a sign that the region is embracing this important industry theme. We are proud to announce that Center for Active Design is our newest Global Partner.  Both the Centre for Active Design and Delos have been instrumental in elevating this topic in the real estate sector and we are excited that we are now partners with the two leading initiatives on health & well-being.
For more information on the 2017 GRESB data and Regional Sector Leaders, visit the GRESB real estate results page.

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. Learn more at GRESB.com
Note to Editor
Please find links to additional data:
Global Real Estate Results Snapshot
North America Real Estate Results Snapshot
Health & Well-being Results Snapshot
Developer Snapshot

Assistance

For any media inquiries, please contact Claudia Gonella, Director Marketing & Communications, at c.gonella@gresb.com
[icon name=”arrow-circle-down” class=”” unprefixed_class=””] Download the North American 2017 Real Estate Results press release