GRESB Foundation Board Member Profile: Stéphane Villemain

We interviewed GRESB Foundation Board Member Stéphane Villemain on his motivation for joining the Foundation Board, the future of ESG, and how his organization approaches responsible investing. Mr. Villemain joined the Board in September 2022.


Name: Stéphane Villemain

Title: Vice President – Sustainable Investment

Organization: Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ)

ESG topics of interest:

  • The significant social impact of Real estate and Infrastructure
  • Our economy’s decarbonization challenge
  • The role finance and investment shall play to enable the shift to a more equitable society and lower carbon economy


What motivated you to join the GRESB Foundation Board?

The GRESB Foundation exercises an important responsibility as the GRESB Standards need to constantly evolve to keep up with the market’s improving ESG practices and new market needs.

ESG performance data is an essential component of any ESG program which is itself a business imperative. GRESB has an important role to play in bringing to the market solutions so relevant, reliable, and comparable ESG data are communicated between investors and their private market asset managers such as in infrastructure and real estate.

The landscape of ESG data management and transparency frameworks is evolving fast with willingness for convergence. Examples include: ISSB, NCREIF PREA, PCAF, PRI, GRI, TCFD, CRREM, and many more. It is essential that GRESB continues to actively participate in these developments, reviews its own positioning versus other frameworks, and where relevant forms alliances with others.

How does your organization view ESG and what is your organization’s approach to responsible investing?

ESG is core to Ivanhoé Cambridge‘s strategic plan and our ESG ambitions are being integrated into all of our corporate functions, investment and asset management activity.

We focus on solutions-based real estate and invest with conviction for a sustainable impact.

How does your organization use GRESB and its data?

Ivanhoé Cambridge’s use of GRESB has evolved over the years. We initially used GRESB as a participant: For eight years we reported on a portion of our real estate portfolio with a focus on the assets we used to manage ourselves.

Over the past few years our business strategy evolved and we moved to an investor-only role in real estate. This led us to also using GRESB on “the other side,” meaning that we gradually started to use GRESB as an investor to obtain comparable ESG performance data from our asset managers globally.

ESG data provided by GRESB helps us understand how our assets and managers fare against their respective peer groups and identify their main opportunities for improvement.

What is next for ESG and what role will organizations like GRESB play going forward?

ESG will have succeeded in its intent when it will be just part of the ordinary way of doing business and delivering products and services to society.

This will not happen overnight and organizations like GRESB will act as a lighthouse: GRESB will be instrumental in shining a light on where assets, companies, and people stand in terms of ESG and where they need to improve.


Learn more about the GRESB Foundation and its mission

Go to GRESB Foundation