GRESB Quarterly, Oceania | Q2 2024

Greetings to our GRESB Oceania community

Welcome to the quarterly edition of the GRESB Oceania newsletter. Time sure does fly when you’re completing GRESB Assessments.

As the world waits to celebrate the opening of the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, we are also waiting with bated breath to celebrate the leaders in our industry, and to cheer on those who are just getting started. Watch this space as we’ll announce the dates for the annual GRESB Sector Leader awards ceremony in the coming weeks.

It’s been another packed quarter for GRESB Oceania, welcoming new Partners, supporting first-year Participants, and meeting with you at industry events.

On top of that, we are delighted to announce that General Atlantic’s BeyondNetZero fund has acquired a majority stake in GRESB.  This is an exciting development that will help accelerate our global growth, reach, and impact.

As the GRESB reporting period is nearing the finish line, we look forward to celebrating your accomplishments in the coming months.

Sarah Blankfield

Manager – Member Relations Oceania

2024 GRESB reporting period – the finish line

Our Participants probably need no reminders, but the GRESB Assessments close on July  1 2024. Make sure you submit your Assessment by this date to avoid a disqualification!

There are further important dates to be aware of after this date:

  • August 1-15: If you’re a GRESB Real Estate Participant who would like to customise their peer group, this functionality will be available in the Portal. If you choose this option, this year you will receive two comparisons: one with the assigned peer group; and one with your customised peer group.
  • September 2: Launch of preliminary 2024 GRESB Real Estate and Infrastructure Assessment results.
  • September 2-15: Review Period, with the Assessment Correction service available for those that would like to correct any reporting mistakes.
  • October 1: Launch of 2024 GRESB Real Estate and Infrastructure Results for Participant and Investor Members. The Results Consultation service is available until 15 January 2025.

    Need last-minute guidance? All the steps you need are here. To learn more about what you can expect in the coming weeks and months, please refer to our GRESB Assessment timeline.

Upcoming events & webinars 

2024 GRESB Results events – annual closing ceremony

We are working hard on a new format for our GRESB Results events this year, offering you the opportunity to contribute and get involved in these events:

  • The GRESB Real Estate Results event is due to be held in Sydney in the second week of November. Contact us for more information or if you’re interested in sponsoring and/or contributing.
  • For our GRESB Infrastructure Results event, tentatively scheduled for late October, we’re seeking a host for a venue in Melbourne. Let us know if you fit the bill!

Upcoming webinars 

  • GRESB Inside ESG: Going beyond climate – Biodiversity in focus. A webinar exploring the evolving landscape of sustainability metrics and the market opportunities beyond traditional climate concerns.
    July 2 | Register to join or watch on-demand after the event

Webinars available on demand 

  • Navigating Aotearoa’s Climate Standards. In April, we hosted a webinar about Aotearoa New Zealand’s Climate Standards. Ngā mihi nui to our incredible panellists: Lisa Hinde from Precinct Properties NZ, Kate Gunthorp from Westpac New Zealand, and Bobby Shen from NZGBC.

    Our key takeaways: 

    • There are no returns on a dead planet – sustainability isn’t just an add-on that costs time.
    • The Standards ensure consistent financial risk disclosure for companies, but the message needs to be tailored to the appropriate audience.
    • Investing in the transition is just that – an investment, not a cost. Downstream impacts and potential losses are regularly underestimated.
    • Sustainability needs to be considered holistically, as it will affect everyone on many different levels.

Oh no, I missed it! Not to worry, you have two options to catch up:

  • GRESB Inside ESG: REAL Solutions – Unlocking real value from asset-level data. Learn more about REAL Solutions, GRESB’s new suite of dynamic tools designed to empower real estate investors and managers to unlock the potential of asset-level data at scale.

Join our Industry Partners at upcoming events 

Our Industry Partners have exciting events coming up:

  • ANREV Australia Conference. Exploring strategies for navigating the dynamic Australian real estate market amid shifting fundamentals, capital flows, and risks.
    August 21 | Sofitel, Melbourne | Register 
  • World Green Infrastructure Congress. Promoting an exchange of knowledge to discuss nature-based solutions.
    September 2-5 | University of Auckland | Register
  • RIAA Conference Aotearoa NZ. The largest event for sustainable business and responsible investment in Aotearoa New Zealand.
    September 19 | Aotea Centre, Auckland | Register 
  • Infrastructure Investor Australia Forum. An opportunity to connect and engage with Australia’s leading investors and the global infrastructure investment community.
    October 22 | Sofitel, Melbourne | Register
  • ISC Connect Conference. The premier event for sustainable infrastructure, focused on weaving connections that forge our positive legacy for people, planet, and the economy.
    October 22-24 | The Venue, Sydney | Register 
  • IGCC Summit . The climate finance and investment event of the year.
    November 7-8 | Sofitel, Melbourne | Register

Product launches

Much like the inclusion of Breaking at the Olympics this year, we’re also trying some new things…

  • After a successful launch to our Partners, we are delighted that the GRESB Accredited Professional (AP) Program is now available to everyone.
    • GRESB AP offers individuals the opportunity to deepen their understanding, reporting, and management of sustainability data and performance within the GRESB Real Estate Assessment.
    • Learn more and contact us to discuss pricing for multiple exams.
    • Congratulations to Kieran Seal of CBRE, who became our first AP in Oceania.

“Looking forward to utilising this credential to continue supporting our clients in APAC with their ESG benchmarking and reporting initiatives”
Kieran Seal, ESG Consultant, CBRE Asia Pacific

  • REAL Solutions – GRESB’s new dynamic suite of tools designed to empower real assets managers and investors with actionable insights into the sustainability, resilience, and efficiency of assets. REAL Benchmarks, the first tool available from the REAL Solutions product family designed for real estate managers and listed companies, was released in April.

REAL Benchmarks is a dashboard built from your asset-level data and can be filtered by property type, location, and year. Whether you have good asset-level data coverage, or just the basics.

  • Further information, contact us for a demo.
  • Keep an eye out for information on upcoming REAL Benchmarks events.

What we’ve been talking about

The second quarter of 2024 was a true triathlon for the GRESB Oceania team, swimming to attend various industry events, cycling to deliver webinars, and running to hold masterclasses. Besides the excellent NABERS + CBD Conference (congrats to NABERS on their 25th anniversary) and GBCA’s insightful Green Building Days, we managed to take part in the following events:

Investor Masterclass 

Just as Gianmarco Tamberi and Mutaz Barshim shared their gold medal in the High Jump at the Tokyo 2020 Games, our case study presenters at the Investor Masterclass were all gold medallists to us. Bringing together existing and prospective GRESB Investor Members from across 20 different organisations, the return of the Investor Masterclass format in May was a major success.

Our key takeaways:

  • Investors actively engage with their managers using GRESB data to assess and encourage alignment with best practices in ESG.
  • There is an ongoing shift from investors away from simply looking at the scores in the GRESB Assessments – actual ESG performance, including the delivery of positive outcomes, is becoming more crucial over time.
  • Investors are increasingly seeking asset-level performance data to engage managers about on-the-ground performance.

Bummer, I missed it! Investor Members can contact us for the summary notes.

RIAA Conference

We witnessed another record-breaking performance by the RIAA team at their annual Australia conference.

Our key takeaways: 

  • A lively panel discussion about offsets had Dr Megan Evans talking about the risks of ACCUs and explaining that offsets should be expensive to incentivise carbon abatement, versus business as usual.
  • Prof the Hon Gareth Evans AC KC encouraged us to focus on the geopolitical issues most salient for responsible investors and to value our “reputation for decency”.
  • Joe Longo, ASIC Chair, reminded us that misleading and deceptive conduct has never been acceptable, but environmental factors are now coming to the fore with greenwashing.
  • According to Pablo Berutti from Stewart Investors, transparency itself does not build trust. What builds trust is saying clearly what you’re going to do and then actually doing it. It’s all about accountability.

Darn it, I missed it! Check out RIAA’s LinkedIn feed for summaries of the sessions.

ULI Asia Pacific Summit

GRESB Lead Asia Representative, Yvonne Huang, represented team GRESB at the ULI Asia Pacific Summit in Tokyo this month.

Our key takeaways:

  • Learn by doing: Cecilia Tse from Aon New Zealand highlighted that aligning with TCFD and ISSB simplifies compliance and strengthens climate roadmapping.
  • Collaboration is key: Calvin Lee Kwan from Link REIT urged everyone to share data and best practices to create a clearer risk management picture.
  • Keep it simple: Mark Cameron from Nuveen recommended a focus on clear communication and engaging young talent.

Gosh darn, I missed it! Read the highlights in this LinkedIn post 

What we’ve been reading / listening to

  • In the latest quarterly article for Institutional Real Estate Asia Pacific, Lights, camera, action… Impact, Ruben explores how Institutional investors in the Asia Pacific region are increasingly expecting positive impact to be delivered by their investment managers.
    Access it here  
  • GRESB’s Insights theme for June was the “S” in ESG, and Kieran Seal from CBRE in Australia contributed his views as a WELL AP in an insights article.
    Access it here
  • ASFI is seeking feedback on the draft headline ambitions for the Australian sustainable finance taxonomy’s environmental objectives. Importantly, this includes the draft climate change mitigation criteria for the first three priority sectors, including construction and the built environment.
    Access it here and submit your feedback by June 30 at the latest.
  • We’re delighted to be working alongside BRE, GBCA, USBGC, SGBC, CBI and CRREM in an international alliance to accelerate climate action. Read the press release from May here. The first milestone from the alliance is the publication of a practical guide: Financing Transformation: A Guide to Green Building for Green Bonds and Green Loans. The guide shows how verification and certification schemes ensure compliance with multiple sustainable classification frameworks used globally.
    Access it here 
  • GRESB’s podcast series “The Pulse” continued this quarter with the following new shows available to stream:
    • Building for tomorrow: Dynamic materiality in infrastructure development
    • REAL talk: A deep dive into REAL Benchmarks
    • Perspectives from Infrastructure Investor Global Summit
    • Raising the standards: Building certifications and the GRESB Real Estate Standards
    • Power play: Europe’s energy transition and ownership structures
    • Diving into GEM: The methodology behind REAL
    • Under the hood: recent improvements to the GRESB user experience
      Access all shows here 

Just for fun

Tony’s Chocolonely Easter Egg winners 

Thank you to those who signed up for this newsletter after our last edition.

Using a very hi-tech and fair process of an online random name picker, our three winners are:

  1. Clare Donovan from Lendlease
  2. Morgan Ellis from Resolution Capital
  3. Connor McCauley from JLL

Congratulations! Please send us your details for your winning delivery.

GRESB Assessment Island 

In our last newsletter, we asked you to vote an indicator off GRESB Assessment Island, and the results are in!

In a tight contest, you would like to see TC4: “Sustainability-specific requirements in lease clauses” voted off!

GRESB The Musical! 

Many of you will have heard by now of our plans for GRESB The Musical!

Venue and date to be announced, but we’d like to ask you what talents you can contribute to this one-of-a-kind musical event.

Are you a tuba player? An interpretive dancer? An extraordinarily good or bad singer?

Tell us your talents (or lack thereof)

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