February newsletter | Navigating a changing market; introducing The Pulse by GRESB; SFDR Assessment opening soon

What’s new in February

The GRESB Assessments are only a few weeks away! We hope you are taking this time to finalize preparations for the 2024 reporting period that starts in April and get set up for success. Make sure to check out our updated “How to prepare for a successful reporting period” guide for a quick walkthrough of the key steps to take in preparation for the 2024 Assessments. For any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

In this edition, we share new resources, content, and updates to help you on your sustainability journey. Read up on GRESB’s priorities, listen to the first-ever episode of our new audio series, and pencil in the launch of the 2024 SFDR Assessment in your calendar. You can find more information on these items and more below.

Navigating a changing market

In our latest GRESB Insights article, GRESB Chief Innovation Officer Chris Pyke highlights GRESB’s commitment to driving real-world performance improvements amidst evolving dynamics in the real assets industry. With a focus on energy and climate priorities, the GRESB Foundation is driving the transition from data collection to performance-based insights, supported by new requirements and tools for assessing sustainability.

Pyke also underscores GRESB’s focus on individual asset performance analysis and data quality assurance, aiming to streamline reporting processes and foster constructive engagement between investors and managers for positive environmental and social impact.

Read the article here.

The Pulse by GRESB

The Pulse by GRESB is a new content series featuring the GRESB team, partners, GRESB Foundation members, and other experts. Each episode features a host from GRESB and at least one interviewee, focusing on an important topic related to GRESB, ESG issues within the real assets industry, decarbonization efforts, or the wider market.

Episode 1: What’s up with residential real estate?

For our first episode, we feature Charles van Thiel, Director of Real Estate, who brings us up to speed on what’s new in residential real estate, the positioning of the sector within the GRESB Benchmark, upcoming changes, and much more.

Watch the first episode on YouTube or find out more about The Pulse by GRESB on our website.

Top 5 Reasons to Join GRESB in 2024

Undecided about GRESB in 2024? Tune in for our brand-new, on-demand webinar: “Top 5 reasons to join GRESB in 2024”!

Designed specifically for organizations new to GRESB, this webinar will discuss what you can expect in your first year of reporting and will share programs for first-time GRESB participants that make getting started easier.

Special guests from Logistics Property Company in the Americas and Barings Real Estate Australia will share their experience as first-year participants, diving into lessons learned and sharing key advice for those getting ready to participate in the GRESB Assessments this year.

To cater to the needs of participants across markets, we have created region-specific versions of this webinar. The Americas edition of the webinar is already available on-demand, while the Oceania, Asia, and EMEA editions will become available in the coming weeks. Register below:

Navigating Sustainable Investments with GRESB

Focused on investors, this webinar (with three versions for different time zones on February 27, 28, and 29) is about gaining a deeper understanding of how you can benefit from GRESB as an investor member and exploring the latest advancements in sustainable investing, including the newly launched Carbon Footprint Dashboard.

Today, the portfolios of more than 2,000 real estate companies, REITs, funds, and developers – and more than 800 infrastructure funds and asset operators – participate in GRESB Assessments. This broad market coverage provides investors with ESG data and benchmarking for more than USD 8.8 trillion worth of assets under management.

During the webinar, we will cover key updates and improvements that were rolled out for GRESB’s investor members in recent months. To accommodate time zones, the event will feature three sessions taking place on three consecutive days, providing in-depth regional overviews to investors in APAC, EMEA, and the Americas.

Register here.

Coming soon: 2024 SFDR Reporting Solution

Mark your calendar: The SFDR Assessment for infrastructure will open in March.

SFDR continues to be a pivotal ESG regulation for European investors and global investors with exposure to the EU. GRESB’s SFDR Reporting Solution is designed to help managers meet the most arduous part of the regulation – reporting on product-level Principal Adverse Impacts – while gaining valuable business insights.

The 2024 SFDR Reporting Solution has undergone important updates aimed at improving the user experience for investors whose managers need to report on product- and entity-level ESG practices for Article 8 or 9 funds.

In 2023, investors gained the ability to request access to SFDR data and reports via the GRESB Portal. Starting this year, in compliance with the latest regulatory requirements, the report will capture two years’ worth of data, will automatically prefill data from the previous year, and will include additional features to streamline reporting. Additional measures have also been implemented to further ease the reporting burden for fund managers and enable investors to better engage with their managers and use the data for their own reporting purposes.

Sign up for our “Navigating Sustainable Investments with GRESB” webinar for an overview of the SFDR Reporting Solution.

ESG Factors in Infrastructure

We are pleased to share the release of “Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors in infrastructure,” an ESG-focused supplement to the Infrastructure Monitor, Global Infrastructure Hub (GI Hub)’s flagship publication on the state of investment in infrastructure.

Developed in partnership with the GI Hub and leveraging GRESB data, the ESG supplement provides an enhanced understanding of the current state of ESG in infrastructure, spotlighting the progress made as well as identifying areas where ESG policies, practices, and disclosures require further improvement. Key findings include:

  • ESG policies and practices improved in infrastructure assets in 2023 across all pillars, with governance showing the most progress
  • 60% of infrastructure assets have a net-zero target, but only a third of all assets consist of a science-based target or are aligned with net-zero setting frameworks
  • Net-zero targets tend to be location-based, focusing on Scope 1 and 2 emissions, with Europe leading in Scope 3 and market-based targeting
  • Most infrastructure assets systematically assess the financial impact of physical climate risks, with over two-thirds identifying material impacts
  • Transition risks are widely recognized, with policy and legal risks being the most acknowledged and likely to have a material financial impact
  • 92% of infrastructure assets have an individual responsible for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) issues

Download the ESG supplement and full report here.

Foundation update

Foundation members in-person meeting

The Foundation Board gathered in person in London for their annual in-person meeting this month. The meeting was led by Katie Jowett, Foundation Board Chair, and was attended by Foundation members from all over the globe.

We look forward to hosting similar in-person events for both the Real Estate and Infrastructure Standards Committees in the spring. Although we host most of our meetings virtually and appreciate the technology that enables our global membership, the GRESB Foundation values the ability to meet face-to-face. This is the most valuable benefit of real assets – gathering in person to share thoughts and ideas, not to mention food and laughter!

Representatives from the GRESB Secretariat plan to attend several conferences in 2024, including MIPIM, the Infrastructure Investor Network Global Summit, ULI Spring Meeting, Climate Week, and PRI in Person. Please reach out to [email protected] if you would like to connect with us.

Foundation roundtables

The Foundation continues to host roundtables around the world focused on priority topics highlighted in the GRESB Foundation 2024 Roadmap. As mentioned in the last newsletter, we recently hosted a gathering to discuss social sustainability in New York City and another meeting in London on data coverage. Next month, GRESB’s Chris Pyke will co-host another social sustainability roundtable on March 15 in Sydney during the TRANSFORM conference alongside IWBI.

As a reminder, an updated Foundation Roadmap will be published later this year.

Standards Committees call for applicants

The Foundation Board has reviewed the many Standards Committee applications and will announce the new Real Estate (RESC) and Infrastructure Standards Committee (ISC) members imminently. Please note that all applicants will be re-considered for membership when new seats open at the end of the year. In the meantime, if you are interested in joining the RESC and/or ISC, please complete this nomination form.

The Foundation also welcomes GRESB members to apply to join one of the Expert Resource Groups for which we accept new members on a rolling basis.

Upcoming industry events

7th Sustainable Investor Summit | February 29 | Zurich, Switzerland

This summit brings together leading industry voices in the DACH region to discuss responsible investment and how to drive sustainability across asset classes. GRESB’s Joss Blamire, Director of Infrastructure, will be speaking at the event alongside Asset Impact’s Vincent Jerosch-Herold, Chief Product Officer.

APREA Philippines conference | March 5 | Taguig City, Philippines

This event brings together business leaders and experts from around the Philippines to delve into opportunities and trends shaping the future of the real assets industry.

Sustainability & Profitability for Indonesian Real Estate | March 5 | Online

Hosted by APREA and Asia Green Real Estate, this webinar is tailored for Indonesian real estate REITs, developers, funds, and organizations looking to enhance their sustainability reporting. GRESB’s Trey Archer, Business Development Director, Asia, will be speaking at the event.

GRESB Roundtable | March 12 | Sydney, Australia & online

The GRESB Foundation is hosting a roundtable session with Chris Pyke. Join us for a constructive discussion on the GRESB Foundation. Overseas team members will join the event virtually to offer updates on ongoing projects.

TRANSFORM | March 13-14 | Sydney, Australia & online

GBC Australia’s TRANSFORM conference is a critical platform for sustainability thought leadership, attracting industry leaders who shape Australia’s built environment agenda. GRESB’s Chris Pyke is among the event’s speakers.

ACSI Conference | March 14 | Melbourne, Australia

Explore the tangible risks and opportunities posed by ESG issues, from climate change to AI, from human rights to workplace culture, and much more.

Infrastructure Investor: ESG & Sustainability Forum | March 18 | Berlin, Germany

As part of the Infrastructure Investor Global Summit, this forum brings together leading sustainability experts to discuss the latest ESG trends and key insights within the infrastructure sector. GRESB’s Joss Blamire will be speaking at the event.

ESG Focus: Sustainable Investment Strategy 2024 | March 19 | London, UK

Attendees will receive an annual update on the latest trends and innovations in sustainable investment. Industry leaders will delve into the impact of new disclosure regulations, the role of ESG in private markets, and strategies for addressing biodiversity risks and opportunities.

PREA 2024 Spring Conference | March 21-22 | Nashville, TN, USA

Crafted with the priorities of real estate leaders in mind, this conference is designed for industry peers. Hear from leading experts and industry voices in the real estate investment sector.


See our events calendar for a full overview of upcoming events.


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