In December 2023, GRESB and the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) announced a strategic partnership to accelerate social sustainability by elevating reporting and disclosure capacities related to crucial social indicators, such as health, well-being, and equity.
Given the fluctuating regulatory landscape, both investors and companies are increasingly driven to address social sustainability, representing the “S” in ESG. As defined by the UN Global Compact (UNGC), social sustainability is the process of identifying and managing all types of business impacts on people. Social sustainability frequently correlates with commercial opportunities and risks facing real asset investors and managers. Integrating a stronger emphasis on health, well-being, and equity within sustainability reporting will bridge the divide in existing ESG frameworks regarding social sustainability.
The IWBI-GRESB partnership aims to assist investors, fund managers, and companies in advancing social sustainability by:
- Pioneering resources to aid investors, companies, and asset operators embed social performance into the investment engagement process
- Co-producing a social sustainability dashboard with performance measures utilizing data from the GRESB Real Estate Assessment
- Convening key stakeholders to delve into the best practices and reporting frameworks addressing the social components relevant to social sustainability
- Supplying accompanying materials to aid investors in leveraging information and key insights from the GRESB and IWBI social sustainability reports and tools
Since 2013, the IWBI has developed the WELL Standard, the leading global framework for scaling health across buildings, organizations, and communities. Backed by more than 7,000 scientific studies, the WELL Standard outlines key building-level interventions and organizational strategies across ten categories: air, water, nourishment, light, movement, thermal comfort, sound, materials, mind, and community. In 2024, the WELL Standard is used in over 125 countries, by more than one quarter of the Fortune 500 companies, and across 4.9 billion square feet of real estate.