GRESB Foundation update – April 2022

The GRESB Foundation was established late last year and has been in operation throughout 2022, working on several key priorities.

Following the appointment of the inaugural Foundation Board and the establishment of the Real Estate and Infrastructure Standards Committees, recruitment for the Expert Resource Groups has now been completed. Thanks to everyone who applied for this round of recruitment. The Foundation received an incredible selection of high-quality applications for both groups.

Since the beginning of the year, the Foundation Board has met five times and each of the Real Estate and Infrastructure Standards Committees has met three times. This is a significant commitment from all groups, and we thank the representatives who have provided their valuable time and input in getting us to where we are today.

Five-year roadmap

The Foundation continues to work on the Standards Roadmap, building on the vision that was developed at the end of the year and informing the overall strategy, which is being guided by an independent strategy facilitator. Key issues identified for the GRESB Standards include:

  • How to better address progress against core issues like Net Zero targets; Physical Climate Risk; Diversity, Equity & Inclusion; Embodied Carbon; Health & well-being; Human Rights; Biodiversity; and Cybersecurity
  • Moving from focusing more on the scoring effort to scoring outcomes
  • Better reflecting the different materiality of ESG issues across sectors and regions

Other updates

The Foundation Board has endorsed the inclusion of the CRREM Pathways into the 2022 Real Estate Benchmark Reports (for reporting only, not scored).

On stakeholder engagement, the Foundation trialed a new engagement platform intended to streamline and enhance our process, and we have recruited a new Stakeholder Engagement Manager to support the Foundation, who will start on 1 May. In addition to coordinating key roles and responsibilities between the GRESB Foundation and GRESB BV, this role will facilitate the:

  • Timely and effective engagement on the GRESB Standards with GRESB BV
  • Provision of market research and gap analysis with other reporting frameworks, provided for by GRESB BV
  • The flow of information and feedback between the Foundation, GRESB BV, and industry stakeholders
  • Provision of appropriate support to the Foundation to ensure that it can effectively carry out its activities

2022 Priorities

The Foundation Board and both Standards Committees will continue to meet on a regular basis to work on key priorities for the year, including:

  • Publish an update on the GRESB roadmap in June
  • Establish Working Groups to tackle key topics that will feed into the roadmap process (we will reach out to the Expert Resource Groups in the coming weeks)
  • Undertake detailed research to inform the roadmap process over the next few months, which means the Standards Committees will not meet until this has been concluded
  • Draft the GRESB Standards Roadmap
  • Draft the 2023 GRESB Standards
  • Consult with stakeholders on the drafts
  • Finalize the GRESB Standards Roadmap by year-end
  • Finalize the 2023 GRESB Standards by year-end
  • Conduct annual reviews
  • Hold an annual meeting between the Foundation and the GRESB BV Supervisory Board

The GRESB Roadmap Strategy was intended to be published in April; however, while working on the roadmap with the GRESB Foundation it has become clear that more detailed research is needed. We will publish an update on this work in June and then the draft standards and roadmap later in the year.

Further Engagement

The GRESB Foundation is the primary platform for GRESB to engage with the industry. To date, the focus of this engagement has been via the Foundation Board and Standards Committees, with Working Groups soon to be established. We recognize that there is a need for broader engagement with the industry and stakeholders beyond these formal groups, and we are exploring the best mechanisms for this, including:

  • An online stakeholder engagement platform (mentioned above)
  • Regular regional or sectoral forums for Members and Partners
  • Updates included in the GRESB Newsletters

We welcome input on any ideas for this broader engagement via our contact form.