The jointly developed technical guidance by PCAF, CRREM and GRESB for the accounting and reporting of real estate-related operational emissions has been released today.
Cannes, France, 14 March 2023: After intensive public consultation, PCAF (Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials), CRREM (Carbon Risk Real Estate Monitor) and GRESB have collaborated to release the harmonized technical guidance for the financial industry on “Accounting and Reporting of GHG emissions from Real Estate Operations.”
Since decarbonization, transition risk, net-zero target setting as well as GHG accounting and reporting are becoming increasingly important for the real estate sector, a clear guidance on standardized and harmonized accounting procedures related to all aspects of carbon and other GHG emissions is urgently required. The new technical guidance offers this additional clarification and serves as a best practice document with additional specifications to PCAF’s Global GHG Accounting and Reporting Standard for the Financial Industry on a range of technical, data and standards issues relating to operational GHG emissions from real estate.
This guidance can be used by financial institutions (banks and investors) and, insofar as they require standardized information, their underlying real estate assets, asset managers and companies. In the guidance, the three collaborating organizations clearly set out their recommendations for accounting procedures for both investors and banks, direct and indirect investments, equity and debt, full ownership and joint partnerships, under a variety of consolidation approaches.
Main clarifications and key recommendations included in this paper are:
- Differentiation between corporate GHG accounting and accounting of financed emissions
- Differentiation between GHG accounting for reporting and for other purposes (e.g. transition risk management)
- Clear definitions for GHG emissions from real estate and differentiation of various categories, including a review of operational carbon vs. embodied carbon in the real estate sector
- Application of the GHG Protocol Corporate Standard and PCAF’s Global GHG Accounting and Reporting Standard for the Financial Industry for real estate, including clarifications on applications related to “Leased Assets” and “Financed emissions” (Scope 3 Cat 13 and 15)
- Application and clarification on “Operational Control” consolidation approach
- Application relationship to TCFD
- The importance of capturing all relevant emissions via the whole-building approach
- Clarification on emissions scope delineation and attribution for various financial actors and boundaries between tenant and landlord emissions
- Recommendations for the application of market- and location-based emissions methods, estimation of incomplete data, handling of energy flux measurement, floor space measurement and quality assurance and verification
We invite all market participants to apply the new technical guidance and participate in its future development. The document can be accessed here.
You can also register to attend a webinar and discussion on the guidance, taking place April 25 at 10:00 CET.
The Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials (PCAF) is a global, industry-led initiative of financial institutions that work together to develop and implement a harmonized approach to assess and disclose the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with loans and investments, known as financed emissions. As of February 2023, over 360 financial institutions have committed to the initiative. In November 2020, PCAF published the first-ever Global GHG Accounting and Reporting Standard for Financial Industry, which covers the financed emissions of loans and investments in commercial real estate, mortgages, and various other asset classes. PCAF collaborates with several organizations, institutions, and coalitions, including CDP, the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi), and the UN-convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance (NZAOA).
Contact: [email protected]
The Carbon Risk Real Estate Monitor (CRREM) initiative has derived decarbonization pathways that translate the ambitions of the Paris Agreement (to limit global warming to 1.5°C by the end of the century) into regionally- and property-type-specific trajectories against which real estate assets and portfolios can benchmark themselves. The pathways and the developed free-ware tool can be used to derive quantitative figures regarding “transition risk” (in this case, the risk of assets being stranded due to regulatory incompliance or market obsolescence). The non-for-profit-initiative is supported by the EU commission, Laudes Foundation as well as APG, PGGM, Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM).
Contact: [email protected]
GRESB is a mission-driven and industry-led organization providing standardized and validated Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) data to financial markets. Established in 2009, GRESB has become the leading ESG benchmark for real estate and infrastructure investments across the world, used by 170 institutional and financial investors to inform decision-making. The GRESB standards are governed by the independent, not-for-profit GRESB Foundation, while ESG assessments are managed by GRESB BV, a benefit corporation. For more information, visit GRESB.com.