GRESB Newsletter | Growth Despite Global Adversity

2021 GRESB Benchmark: Growth despite global adversity shows industry wide commitment to ESG

As the 2021 GRESB Assessment deadline becomes a not-so-distant memory, we are allowed the opportunity to reflect upon the magnitude of growth in this year’s participation numbers. Standing as a testament to the industry’s resilience, GRESB is excited to announce that the number of participants this year greatly exceeded our growth targets for FY2021. Our gratitude extends to all of the hard-working teams who progressed tirelessly to collect the data, work through the challenges and coordinate the reporting. Together, we strengthen the calibre of the GRESB Benchmark every year.

We’ll soon release full details to illustrate how comprehensive and representative of the industry our ESG benchmarks are. Below are just a few key highlights:

  • 2021 Real Estate Coverage: 1,520 (2020: 1,229) real estate property companies, REITs, and real estate developers participated in the Real Estate Assessment, a 24% increase compared to 2020.
  • 2021 Infrastructure Fund Coverage: The Infrastructure Fund Assessment saw a growth in participation of 26% to cover 149 funds (2020: 118).
  • 2021 Infrastructure Asset Coverage: The Infrastructure Asset Assessment saw a growth in participation of 31% to cover 558 assets (2020: 426).
  • ​​​​2021 Overall Participation: Overall GRESB Assessment participation grew from 1773 submissions in 2020, to 2227 in 2021, a staggering 26% increase.
  • Investor Members: GRESB’s network of Investor Members has expanded from just over 100 members, to include over 135 Investors, covering more than US $47 Trillion AuM.

As always, please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

Kind regards,

Validation, Review Period and Results Launch

The validation process conducted by SRI Quality System Registrar, our accredited third-party assessment body, is now underway. We estimate more than 47,200 human validation decisions will be taken this year to ensure the quality of the reported data in preparation for scoring and benchmarking. This manual validation process complements the automated checks on information completeness, accuracy and reporting rules integrated in the Portal.  In parallel, the Real Estate Team is conducting a reporting boundaries review to ensure portfolios submit 100% of their underlying assets.

From September 1st – when the preliminary benchmark reports will be available –  to September 15th, Participants can make official requests for validation and scoring reviews. Assessments and scores can then be updated until September 26. The launch of 2021 Real Estate and Infrastructure Assessment results will be October 1st. A more detailed overview of the Assessment timeline can be found here.

GRESB Updates

SFDR | The ESAs have published a Q&A which provides further clarifications as to what constitutes article 8 and 9 products. Some of these clarifications remain vague, for instance, what constitutes the promotion of  Environmental and Social Characteristics  for Article 8 and whether sustainable investments for Article 9 products,  defined in article 2 (17) of Regulation (EU) 2019/2088, have any overlap with the EU taxonomy’s own definition of what qualifies as a sustainable investment.

This comes after the European Commision announced a 6 month delay in the application of the RTS leaving a big question mark as to if the final RTS documentation, originally meant to be published in June, will actually see the light of day. As such, GRESB remains attentive to any future developments.

If you would like to keep up to date on our proposed solution and relevant SFDR resources  you can do so via our SFDR Reporting Solution page.

Transition Risk Tool | We are actively looking for feedback from the industry to help us better understand the needs of our members when it comes to transition risk. To facilitate this, we have launched a Transition Risk Survey to identify the most pressing issues our Participant Members are facing. Preliminary survey results show that more than 90% of respondents are actively seeking help with identifying, understanding, and addressing transition risks in their real estate portfolio. If you would like to share with us which are the issues you are facing when it comes to transition risk, please complete this short survey on the topic.

New GRESB Members

GCX | GRESB Partner

GCX is proud to be the first on the ground member of GRESB in Africa. GCX aligns our REIT clients with GRESB reporting guidelines as it provides the opportunity for global benchmarking and is the industry standard for real estate reporting. Being a partner of GRESB allows us access to GRESB resources and information that assist us in enhancing our offering in the REIT sector

Madigan Capital | Real Estate Investor Member

GRESB membership will provide Madigan with the necessary tools to help underwrite and monitor its performance and assist in its commitment to managing investments in a sustainable way to ensure long-term success for its clients and the communities it operates in.

EBI Consulting | Real Estate Partner

Finance Ideas | Real Estate Partner

Greenrock LLC | Real Estate Partner

Inspired Energy | Real Estate & Infrastructure Premier Partner

JW+A |  Real Estate Partner

Asset Management One Co. | Real Estate Investor Member

NN Group | Infrastructure Investor Member

Principal Financial Group | Real Estate Investor Member

Spectral Energy | Real Estate Premier Partner

STOK | Real Estate Partner

General Updates

New Employee Announcement | As the industry grows, so too does GRESB. We are positioning ourselves with skilled and talented individuals to help us actualize our goals towards a sustainable future.

Heris your opportunity to e-meet the new employees of the GRESB family!

GRESB 2021 Participation Survey | To ensure the highest quality of service, we have created a short 10 question GRESB Assessment Participation survey which you can fill out here. This survey intends to understand your relationship with GRESB and how we can best maintain a long-lasting partnership.


GRESB is hiring! We’re looking for: