What is the GRESB Infrastructure Development Asset Assessment?
The GRESB Infrastructure Development Asset Assessment is a new assessment as of the 2024 reporting year, focusing on greenfield development and pre-operational assets. It was developed to provide companies with assets in construction or pre-construction a way to accurately reflect their overall sustainability efforts. It draws from and aligns with existing GRESB Assessments and external ESG frameworks, using a ‘dynamic materiality’ to more accurately reflect an asset’s unique characteristics and development state.
The Infrastructure Development Asset Assessment helps provide a full picture of performance at both the asset and fund level.
Benefits for assets:
- Gain a nuanced view of sustainability efforts during pre-construction and construction phases
- Apply relevant materiality based on sector, location, and development phase
- Use results for strategic decision-making right from the start and improve sustainability strategies throughout an asset’s lifecycle
- Access a development asset-specific benchmark, enabling comparison with peers at the same stage of development
- Share results and asset-level data for the development phase with funds and investors
Benefits for funds:
- Get a development-specific asset benchmark, with no impact from operational assets
- Apply relevant materiality to differentiate your assets by sector and development phase
- Generate a more accurate fund benchmark with scores from both respective asset assessments
- Engage investors throughout the entire lifecycle of an asset – from design to end of life
- Leverage an asset’s pre-operational scores for green lending opportunities
What the development assessment covers
The Infrastructure Development Asset Assessment is a single assessment, with a number of indicators focused on ESG management practices and performance. It focuses on the overall efforts undertaken by an organization in the pre-development and development phases of a greenfield project.
The assessment’s scoring uses dynamic materiality, which changes how various ESG issues are scored depending on the characteristics of the asset and the current phase the development project is in – whether pre-construction or construction.
What does this mean in practice?
While several ESG indicators will be scored equally for all assets, others will be scored differently, or will not be applicable, depending on factors like the asset’s sector, location, and number of employees. And a smaller selection of indicators only become applicable after an asset moves from the pre-construction to construction phase of its lifecycle.
To ensure full and fair scoring of all assets regardless of sector and project phase, scoring potential from non-applicable indicators and those impacted by dynamic materiality will be reallocated across the rest of the assessment.
This means that all assets have the potential to achieve full marks in the assessment, in relation to the sustainability efforts of the project team.
What types of assets can participate in the assessment?
The GRESB Infrastructure Development Asset Assessment is suitable for any type of greenfield, pre-operational infrastructure asset or infrastructure company that invests in greenfield, pre-operational assets.
Similar to the existing GRESB Asset Assessment that is focused on operational assets, this new assessment applies sector-based materiality weighting, meaning it is designed for assets in any sector, as long as the asset is pre-operational. The ESG standards for this assessment have been developed in collaboration between GRESB and the GRESB Foundation, which owns and oversees the standards that underpin all GRESB Assessments.
Assessment process and results
The Infrastructure Development Asset Assessment works like other GRESB Assessments. Managers, asset owners, and asset developers report their ESG data to GRESB annually, from April through the end of June. Preliminary assessment results are shared with participants in September and final results are made available in October.
Through the Infrastructure Development Asset Assessment, participants receive a Development Asset Benchmark Report that shows where their assets stand in relation to peers as well as business intelligence on how to improve over time. The results can also be paired with an organization’s Infrastructure Fund Assessment, resulting in an Infrastructure Fund Development Score alongside the existing Infrastructure Fund Score within the GRESB Infrastructure Fund Report.
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