GRESB Foundation Board Member Profile: Will MacAulay

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

Name: Will MacAulay

Title:  General Manager, Unlisted Assets

Organization: HESTA

ESG Topics of Interest: 

  • Whole-of-system (e.g., embedded C02, sustainable materials, asset longevity, etc.)
  • Green cities (including social aspects and integrated design)

What motivated you to join the GRESB Foundation Board?

I joined the GRESB Foundation Board as it is a unique opportunity to help shape the future of ESG and responsible investing (RI) assessments not just for HESTA, but for all GRESB participants around the world.

HESTA’s purpose is to generate strong returns for our members for their retirement, and we believe that by applying their capital intelligently we can improve not only their return outcomes but also the world they will retire into. My team manages HESTA’s real assets, infrastructure and property, globally, and the GRESB framework is a critical component of our ESG/RI assessments for these assets and for our partners.

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

HESTA believes that businesses and assets with strong RI/ESG approaches are stronger, more sustainable investments better able to withstand the risks facing the world.

We have a holistic view of responsible investing: ESG/RI is not a separate process, but rather it is embedded into the fabric of our processes and in our team culture. We consider RI/ESG principles in every investment, at each stage of its lifecycle. Our investment and RI teams work hand-in-hand both on broader policy and process and specific applications, and on individual events and issues that arise.

How does your organization use GRESB and its data?

HESTA applies GRESB to both its property and infrastructure portfolios, which comprise more than AUD12.5 billion of assets globally. We ask all of our investment partners to participate in the GRESB assessments, as the framework allows us to better understand the policies, processes, and application of RI/ESG principles by our partners to the underlying assets in which we invest.

It also provides a structured comparison of our partners’ different approaches and, in doing so, allows us to refine and refocus our efforts to specific areas in a process of continual improvement, both for HESTA and for our investment partners.

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

For the world to adequately address the systemic risks facing humanity, particularly climate change and biodiversity loss, today’s leading RI/ESG principles, approaches, and promises need to be replicated across the entire built world.

Organizations like GRESB will be critical in providing clear standards and expectations, educating the broader investment and construction industries, and communicating the lessons and innovations from leaders to a broader audience.

GRESB’s foundational support base of investors, builders, advisors, and industry bodies represents both leaders in the development of RI/ESG standards and excellent ambassadors for the principles for which GRESB stands.

Learn more about the GRESB Foundation and its mission

Go to GRESB Foundation