Increasing the Potential for Data Insights in Commercial Real Estate

Many successful decisions are made based on insights provided by good data, but the challenge in any industry is defining what “good data” is exactly. GRESB, an investor-driven organization committed to assessing the Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) performance of real assets globally has taken the initial step to define “high-quality data” with the release of their 2019 Data Quality Standard Assessment. Still in its preliminary phase, this assessment was created with the help of GRESB Governance Bodies and an Industry Technical Working Group. The Technical Working Group consists of industry experts with relevant subject matter expertise, interest in the assessment and time dedicated to fully participate.

With the development of this standard, it is becoming clear the industry is not only moving towards implementing ESG factors, but also providing high-quality data insights on the implementation of ESG factors. Unlocking this data could improve investment decision making and give investors more access to the ESG performance of their investments. With this first step, GRESB aims to understand the current landscape of ESG data systems and investigate how to improve the overall quality and trustworthiness of ESG data in the future.

In the assessment, GRESB seeks to analyze data systems. A data system is defined as a structure used to collect, store, and/or analyze the ESG data that is reported, and could be a software or data platform, a hybrid system of manual/human processes and software, or a system consisting entirely of manual/human processes. After analysis, they then outlined four aspects of data quality: Accuracy, Completeness, Timeliness, and Lineage.

With careful consideration of these four aspects in a data providers system, the industry can move towards a more uniformed process of providing high-quality data that is properly vetted, assessed for completeness, and audited. This process is necessary, due to the abundance of data becoming increasingly available. 

As a GRESB Data Partner, LORD Green Real Estate Strategies, Inc. was the first to submit the 2019 GRESB Data Quality Assessment on April 1st, 2019. At LORD Green Strategies, we take every necessary step to ensure we are providing the highest quality of data to our clients. Describing how our data system considers the four aspects that GRESB outlined allows us to align with robust industry standards.

This article is written by Allix Philbrick, LEED Green Associate, Data Intelligence Analyst II at LORD Green Real Estate Strategies