Guidance for GRESB Participants
GRESB Assessments enable you to benchmark your ESG performance against your peers, identify areas for improvement and deepen your engagement with investors. GRESB has Assessments for real estate funds, REITs, property companies and developers, and for infrastructure funds and assets.
A step-by-step guide to successfully completing your GRESB Assessment
Whether you are reporting for the first time, or you are more experienced, this step-by-step guide will help you to successfully report on your ESG performance through the GRESB Assessments.
STEP 1: Review the Pre-release materials
The Assessment Portal opens on April 1, 2020 but it makes sense to get started well before that date by reviewing the Pre-Release Materials and identifying the information you will need to complete the Assessment.
Review the 2020 GRESB Assessments in Pre-Release
For more insight into the reporting process, analytics, and available tools, run through our online Assessment training or attend one of the in-person training sessions held at locations around the world.
STEP 2: Involve the person in your organization responsible for sustainability
Involve your Sustainability Manager or the person in your organization responsible for sustainability issues right from the very beginning of the Assessment reporting process. Apart from drawing on their expertise, they can help you to choose who needs to be involved to successfully respond to each indicator in the Assessment.
If your organization does not have a dedicated person responsible for sustainability issues, use the Assessment as a framework for mapping ESG responsibility across various departments.
STEP 3: Login to the GRESB Portal
On April 1, 2020 you can login to the Portal to start completing your Assessment. Current users can login using their existing account details. If you have not reported to GRESB previously please create an account here.
As part of the login process, you will need to choose which Assessment you are interested in, indicate the name of the reporting entity and your intent to submit. This information will be visible to GRESB Investor Members, who can track reporting progress.
STEP 4: Fill in the Entity and Reporting Characteristics section
This section identifies the reporting entity. The information you provide will be used to define your reporting scope and peer group.
STEP 5: Review the Assessment indicators and refer to the guidance in the Portal
As you run through the indicators and review the Guidance tab for each of them, it makes sense to place the indicators into the following categories:
- Indicators that you can give identical answers to for several entities,
- Indicators that you can answer immediately,
- Indicators that are more time-consuming to answer, and
- Indicators that require involvement from other employees from your organization and/or external consultants.
This guidance is also provided in the Assessment Reference Guide, available in Resources.
STEP 6: Aim to get a first draft of the Assessment ready by mid-May 2020
The first draft should include all document uploads and/or hyperlinks. This will give you plenty of time to check that all required information has been included and to arrange for internal approvals before submitting your response.
Once you have completed all sections of the Assessment, you can request a Response Check. A Response Check is a high-level check of your Assessment response prior to final submission. It not only helps you to reduce errors that may adversely impact your Assessment results but also ensures that your submission is as complete as possible. Once you have obtained internal approval to submit your response, you will need to formally submit your response via Portal.
The deadline for submission is July 1, 2020.
STEP 7: Review your preliminary GRESB Results
The Review Period is designed to further strengthen the reliability of our Assessments and benchmark results.
On September 1, 2020 your preliminary individual GRESB Results will be available in the Portal. During the Review Period, you will be able to submit a review request to GRESB using a dedicated form.
The final results will be launched to both participants and Investor Members on October 1, 2020.
STEP 8: Review your final Assessment Results
The final results will be available in the Portal on October 1, 2020. The two primary reports are the GRESB Scorecard and Benchmark Report.
The Scorecard provides you with your overall GRESB Score, GRESB Rating and a summary analysis of how your performance compares to your peers.
The Benchmark Report includes a more in-depth analysis of your sustainability performance, providing the basis for competitive analysis and communication. It begins with the Scorecard and is followed by indicator-by-indicator information of your ESG performance and how this compares against your peers. The report is designed to help you to identify areas of risk and opportunity, make informed decisions and deepen your engagement with investors.
For an in-depth review of your results with a member of the GRESB team you can request a Results Review.
STEP 9: Communicate your results to your investors and stakeholders
Your GRESB results provide you with a practical way to understand your ESG performance and communicate that performance to investors.
The key to analyzing GRESB data is in peer group comparisons that take into account country, regional, sectoral and investment type variations. This richer analysis will enable you to understand your results in the context of your investment strategies and communicate this to investors.
We are here to support you
Our goal is to ensure you have a smooth reporting process. The Portal provides a Guidance tab for each indicator in the Assessment outlining the information to provide, we run Assessment Training sessions at locations around the world, and the GRESB Helpdesk is here to answer your questions.
In addition, you’ll find the following tools and functionality in the Portal to help you in your reporting:
- The pre-filling function adds the information you have already provided in previous years.
- The document section provides an overview of documents you have submitted as evidence.
- The Portal allows you to upload multiple documents as evidence per indicator, eliminating the need to merge different documentation into one file.
- You can manage access rights, adding users with different levels of access.
- We have implemented real-time error detection systems and warnings.
- Automated data uploads for the Real Estate Assessment are available through the GRESB Asset Portal via the Asset Spreadsheet or GRESB API. View GRESB Data Partners who can assist with data automation.
- The Template Tool enables you to copy information across multiple submissions.
GRESB Partners can help you with your Assessment
GRESB Partners are leading sustainability consultants and solution providers who can assist you to efficiently complete your Assessment, manage ESG data and advance your ESG performance.
Here is an overview of key dates and activities for the 2020 GRESB Assessment cycle:
Engagement and Development
|JANUARY||GRESB Portal Development following the Pre-release of the 2020 Real Estate and Infrastructure Assessments|
|FEBRUARY||GRESB Portal Development and industry engagement|
|MARCH||Release of Real Estate and Infrastructure Assessments & Reference Guides and the Resilience Module|
|Online and In-person GRESB Assessment Training|
|Assessment Reporting Period||APRIL||April 1: GRESB Portal opens for the 2020 GRESB Assessments|
|Upon completion of the Assessment, participants are encouraged to request a Response Check|
|Online and in-person GRESB Assessment Training|
|JUNE||June 1: Deadline to request a Response Check is June 1, midnight PST|
|Validation, Scoring and Benchmarking||JULY||July 1: GRESB Portal closes|
|Scoring and benchmarking|
|Review Period||SEPTEMBER||September 1: Launch of preliminary Benchmark Reports|
|Assessment Results||OCTOBER|| October 1: Launch of the Assessment Results
|Public results events - all regions|
|Structured investor and industry engagement|
|Assessment Engagement and Development||NOVEMBER||Structured investor and industry engagemnet|
|Participants provide feedback on Assessment content, products and services|
|Aggregation and analysis of feedback|
|Start of preparation for the 2021 Assessment cycle|
|DECEMBER||Structured investor and industry engagement|
|GRESB Portal development|