Name: Dominique Moerenhout
Organization: European Public Real Estate Association (EPRA)
ESG Topics of Interest:
- EU legislation on ESG, such as EU Taxonomy, CSRD, the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), and the European green bond standard
- Decarbonization strategies for the real estate industry
- Life cycle approach to carbon
What motivated you to join the GRESB Foundation Board?
I joined the GRESB Foundation Board to ensure that the global listed real estate sector is adequately represented at GRESB. As a Board Member, one of my main priorities is to help GRESB build a framework that will allow a larger number of listed real estate companies to report under its guidelines. In my involvement with GRESB, I am not only speaking on behalf of EPRA, but also for the whole Real Estate Equity Securitization Alliance (REESA), a global alliance which aims to further equity investment in real estate.
How does your organization view ESG and what is your organization’s approach to responsible investing?
ESG has become a must-have for every business and is now a global trend. For European listed real estate, ESG has been central for over a decade, and we have recently seen a significant push from companies to implement decarbonization strategies across the portfolios. During the pandemic, we have also clearly witnessed the ‘S’ dimension of ESG in the spotlight. EPRA’s ambition is to enhance ESG performance of the sector by providing transparent and comparable information for investors.
How does your organization use GRESB and its data?
While as an association we do not use the data ourselves, we believe it is a valuable tool for the industry and promote the usage of GRESB among the listed real estate sector. A significant number of EPRA and REESA members choose to report under GRESB in order to make its already publicly available sustainability data even more accessible to a broader range of investors.
What is next for ESG and what role will organizations like GRESB play going forward?
ESG is increasingly becoming a responsibility of the board and I think we will see a surge of interest around the concept of “green governance.” On the continent, the European Commission is implementing many sustainable finance initiatives and is heightening the pressure on investors and companies alike to further green their investments. In this regard, the future of ESG will be much more regulated and scrutinized. In a quickly evolving regulatory environment, the role of organizations like GRESB will be to offer a reliable benchmark and transparent data.