TCFD alignment on climate-related opportunities
Earlier this month, the GRESB Foundation Board approved the first changes for the 2024 Infrastructure Standards, including the alignment of Physical Climate Risks (PCR) and Transition Risks (TR) with TCFD-related indicators.
These updates had been previously endorsed by the Infrastructure Standards Committee and include changes to better integrate climate-related opportunities into the Standards to align more closely with the TCFD framework. This includes an update to an existing indicator, two new indicators, and the introduction of scoring across three indicators. Total scoring in the risk management section will remain unchanged, and the total points will be reassigned across indicators.
The GRESB Foundation has approved a new indicator on embodied carbon for the 2023 Real Estate Standard. This change will encourage the collection of embodied carbon data as part of carbon accounting and commitments. Embodied carbon emissions data will be collected from New Construction assets and Major Renovation projects separately, alongside the life cycle stages and building layers included in the entity’s embodied carbon analysis for assets/projects completed during the reporting year.
For more information, read our recent GRESB Insights article on what is embodied carbon in the real estate sector and why does it matter.
Biodiversity has been deemed an issue of importance by both Standards Committees, but it was also recognized that the issue is not as mature as other topics, and therefore not as high a priority as Net Zero, DEI, and Physical Climate Risk. As further context, the Taskforce for Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) was launched in 2022 with an initial version under consultation at the moment and a planned publication of its final recommendations in Q4 2023. It is anticipated that this framework will be adopted by several investors and managers in the future, although the framework is still a work in progress and the practicalities of its implementation are still to be defined. In terms of timing, it means that the earliest reporting year when biodiversity could be incorporated further in the Standards would be the 2025 GRESB reporting cycle. GRESB has engaged an independent consultant to help the Standards Committees evaluate and measure the significance of biodiversity on real estate and infrastructure. A literature review is underway and stakeholder interviews will begin in the coming weeks.
Net Zero Working Groups
The Net Zero Working Groups for real estate and infrastructure have successfully concluded their research and delivered their outputs to the GRESB BV team secretariat.
The Real Estate Net Zero Working Group provided a technical examination of different approaches to the assessment of critical net-zero elements, including energy performance, GHG accounting, offsets, lifecycle stages, and data availability. The Infrastructure Net Zero Working Group provided an evaluation of how industry-leading frameworks address various aspects of net zero, including the treatment of Scope 3 emissions, offsets, target-setting, governance, and disclosure.
The deliverables have also been shared with the Standards Committees, who will use them to inform the integration of net zero into the GRESB Standards.
Reminder: You can learn more about the GRESB Foundation Standards Committees by visiting our website and can apply to join the Real Estate or Infrastructure Standards Committees by completing this nomination form.