GRESB Newsletter | A collective industry effort to advance sustainable real assets

A collective industry effort to advance sustainable real assets

As you read this newsletter we are about one third of the way through the 2020 GRESB reporting season and the GRESB Portal is filling up with real estate and infrastructure managers completing their 2020 Assessments. It’s inspiring to witness the collective industry effort from around the world to improve ESG transparency and participate in an annual benchmarking process, especially at times like these. 

If you haven’t started your 2020 Assessment, it’s time to login to the Portal and get your reporting underway. We have extended the submission deadline by one month this year, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which means you have until August 1, 2020 to complete your Assessment. Here is the updated 2020 Assessment timeline.  

It’s been a busy few weeks for GRESB and we’re pleased to announce the first phase of integration of the CRREM Tool into the Asset Portal, the launch of the 2019 Resilience Module Report, translations for select videos in our online training portal and a new collaboration with the World Green Building Council. 

Real Estate Managers: You can now identify and manage transition risks for your individual assets using the CRREM Tool in the Asset Portal

Carbon Risk Real Estate Monitor (CRREM) provides the real estate industry with transparent, science-based decarbonisation pathways aligned with the Paris Climate Goals of limiting global temperature rise to 2°C, with ambition towards 1.5°C. These pathways enable industry stakeholders to estimate carbon risk exposure and potential strategies to reduce this risk, and include the elements needed to undertake scenario analysis. As such, CRREM can be used to comply with large-scale initiatives such as the Recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures and the EU Taxonomy for sustainable activities.

The CRREM Risk Assessment Tool (CRREM Tool) is an Excel-based tool that allows users to analyse specific real estate assets, and portfolios of these assets, against the decarbonisation and energy pathways derived by the CRREM project. The tool covers commercial real estate within EU countries.  

As a first phase of integration, GRESB has automated the process of filling in the CRREM Tool with the asset-level performance data uploaded to the GRESB Asset Portal. This means that GRESB Participants can already begin to leverage their asset-level reporting to identify and manage transition risks for individual assets against the CRREM pathways. Later phases will have a broader scope, to include the new global pathways, and a full integration into the Asset Portal.

To see the risk exposures for your assets, upload your asset-level data into the Asset Portal and click on “CRREM Tool”.

Resilient Real Assets: Update from the 2019 Resilience Module 

We are also pleased to release Resilient Real Assets: Update from the 2019 Resilience Module.  The report has insights about the state of the industry and practice from last year’s Resilience Module. It also provides updates and recommendations based on the 316 companies and funds that completed the Module.

The lessons learned have informed the development of the 2020 Resilience Module. The Module now has a closer alignment with the recommendations of the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), and provides more emphasis on the identification, assessment, and management of material risks and greater detail about the use of forward-looking scenarios  

The 2020 Resilience Module remains an optional supplement to the GRESB Real Estate and Infrastructure Assessments. We encourage you to complete the Module and get prepared for the questions that will be coming your way from investors and regulators.

Listed companies: Your ESG Public Disclosure evaluation is ready for review

If you are a listed property or infrastructure company, GRESB has collected information on the transparency of your sustainability practices as seen on your website, sustainability reports, annual reports and other public records. 

The information is available for your review in the GRESB Portal. Please update the information before August 1, when the Portal closes and we begin the process of validating, scoring and benchmarking the data, and providing the results to our Investor Members. Please see the Public Disclosure Reference Guide for Infrastructure and Real Estate for more information.

All Participants: The deadline to request a Response Check is July 1, 2020

The Response Check is a careful review of your Assessment response followed by a 1-hour discussion call and feedback report. It’s designed to help ensure your Assessment is as complete as possible. 

You can now purchase a Response Check in the Portal at any time after starting an Assessment. Head to the GRESB Shop via the 2020 Assessment page to set up your Response Check. You will then receive a confirmation email with more details and the steps to take to schedule your call.

The updated deadline to request a Response Check is July 1, 23:59 PDT. It makes sense to request your Response Check and schedule your call as early as possible. Calls will take place between June 1st and July 24th and it is not uncommon for requests to surpass availability.

Thank you for your time and attention

We thank you for the time and attention you are giving to the GRESB Assessment process. ESG issues are nothing new but the Covid-19 crisis is exacerbating them and revealing what it means to respond in a way that improves social and environmental outcomes. It’s clear that if we are to shift towards a world with sustainable real assets, we need people like you, with a dedication to ESG transparency, to continue to lead the way.

Kind regards, 

Message to new reporters

If you are reporting to GRESB for the first time, you can participate and familiarize yourself with the process for the first year, without disclosing your results to GRESB Investor Members.  Learn more about the Grace Period.

The 2020 Assessments have been split into separate Management, Performance and Development Components. This means you have the flexibility to start your ESG reporting by completing the Management Component now and move on to reporting to the Performance Component in future years.

WorldGBC and GRESB join forces to drive net zero carbon buildings

We are pleased to collaborate with WorldGBC to recognize companies who commit to making their portfolios ‘Paris Proof’ by signing WorldGBC’s Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment. The goal is an important part of our work to support a collective industry effort to transition to net zero emissions and advance sustainable real estate.

BBP feedback on the 2019 Real Estate Assessment

We would like to thank BBP for once again providing high quality feedback on the GRESB Real Estate Assessment process. This deep industry engagement is vital to ensuring that the GRESB Assessments continue to provide value to the industry. We are all in a process of learning how best to advance sustainable real assets and will only succeed if we are able to draw on the collective intelligence of the industry as a whole.

Select training videos are now available in several languages

We’re pleased to announce that select GRESB Assessment Training videos are now available in multiple languages – Spanish, French, and Chinese. Thanks to our partners DeepkiPIIMA, and ARE, we’ve been able to translate content and provide subtitles for several of our training videos. Check out the full list of videos here.

Participate in the PRI China ESG Disclosure Survey

The short survey aims to gather targeted feedback on ESG disclosure by Chinese companies and the opening of China’s capital market to international investors, and has been developed in collaboration with CSRC and the Asset Management Association of China.

The responses you provide will support PRI’s ongoing research on ESG disclosure aiming to provide further evidence to Chinese regulators as they are working on a future mandatory ESG disclosure framework. An aggregated and anonymized feedback will be published in a research briefing.

New Members: Welcome to GRESB

Arcano Partners | Infrastructure Investor Member 

As a pioneer fund of funds in the sustainable infrastructure space, we believe that it is paramount to become an Investor Member of GRESB. By being an active Investor Member, we do not only aim to incorporate industry ESG best practices into our investment process but also contribute to raising these ESG standards even further

World Benchmarking Alliance | Infrastructure Industry Partner 

The World Benchmarking Alliance looks forward to leveraging the synergies between its approach to assessing companies’ performance on the SDGs and GRESB’s ESG benchmark for real assets. We have an opportunity to accelerate sustainable change through better-informed investment decisions.

APG Asset Management | Infrastructure Investor Member
Bayerische Versorgungskammer | Real Estate Investor Member
Government Pension Investment Fund | Real Estate Investor Member 
Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association | Real Estate Investor Member
Schroders Investment Management Limited | Real Estate Investor Member
Envint Global | Real Estate and Infrastructure Partner
GreenPlace Assets | Real Estate and Infrastructure Premier Partner
Hong Kong Green Building Council | Real Estate Industry Partner 
i3PT | Real Estate Partner
ISOS Group | Real Estate Partner
PIIMA | Real Estate Partner
World Green Building Council | Real Estate Industry Partner

Upcoming webinars

Altiorem Launch | May 21

  • Altiorem, the world’s first community built sustainable finance library, is celebrating its launch with a panel of industry leaders discussing the path to creating meaningful change.
  • During this ANREV led briefing, a panel of experts (including Ruben Langbroek, Head of APAC) will explore the impact of COVID-19 to Australian’s Hotel sector and how ESG fits into the plan. 
  • Join fellow Canadian real asset companies who are participating in this year’s GRESB Assessment in a series of open conference calls led by Neil Pegram, Director of Americas. 
  • One week of keynote addresses, high-level plenaries, live Q&As and thematic breakouts, delivered via a unique digital festival.

Now on GRESB Insights

Last month, GRESB Insights featured articles and case studies on the topic of Digitalization. Check out the articles submitted by the following GRESB Partners:

What GRESB is reading