88% of infrastructure funds and 91% of infrastructure assets collect ESG data but reporting on ESG is not yet common practice.
Amsterdam – (Sept. 27, 2017) – GRESB, the global ESG benchmark for real assets, today released the results of the second GRESB Infrastructure Assessment.
The 2017 Infrastructure Assessment tracks the progress that has been made since the inaugural assessment conducted in 2016, and paints a picture of ESG performance of the infrastructure sector across 24 countries and 25 sub-sectors (including ports, airports, toll roads, telecommunication, conventional and renewable energy, and social infrastructure).
The Assessment was founded by 10 leading institutional investors in late 2015, who remain members of GRESB’s Infrastructure Advisory Board. The Assessment provides the transparency investors need to better manage ESG risks, and provides infrastructure fund managers, companies and asset operators with ESG data and analytical tools to improve their ESG performance.
The Assessment has two complementary components: A Fund Assessment and an Asset Assessment. Participation in the Infrastructure Fund Assessment and Asset Assessment increased by 25% and 19% respectively, to cover a total of 224 reporting entities.
The Fund Assessment focuses on management and investment processes, addressing foundational ESG plans and policies, leadership and accountability, engagement strategies and communications processes. The 2017 GRESB Score, which is an overall measure of ESG performance, increased 55% to 51 (out of 100) in the Fund Assessment, signalling not only improved performance but also wider asset coverage.
The Asset Assessment addresses asset-level plans and policies, implementation actions and operational performance. The 2017 GRESB Score in the Asset Assessment improved by 54% to 43 (out of 100). The improvement is strongest for ESG Management & Policies, with scores for Implementation & Measurement coming in lower.
I am very encouraged to see the significant progress made by the Infrastructure sector in participation and ESG-performance. With coverage across 24 countries and 25 sub-sectors, GRESB Infrastructure is rapidly becoming the global ESG benchmark for the sector,” says Sander Paul van Tongeren, Co-Founder and Managing Director at GRESB. “The sector significantly improved ESG-performance across all GRESB Aspects of the Asset Assessment. While ESG communication and disclosure practices largely increased in 2017, there is still room for improvement, especially when compared with the higher levels of public disclosures made by the real estate sector.”
Sustainable infrastructure is a major driver of economic growth and a key to reducing environmental impact,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, president & CEO, Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI) and GRESB board member. “The GRESB Infrastructure Assessment is helping investors make investment decisions, while also helping the infrastructure industry see an economic benefit through the tracking of ESG data and metrics.”
2017 GRESB Infrastructure Highlights
- Double digit growth in participation rates for both the Fund Assessment and the Asset Assessment.
- The average GRESB Score, an overall measure of ESG performance, shows strong improvements for both the Fund Assessment and the Asset Assessments.
- Despite the fact that 88% of infrastructure funds and 91% of infrastructure assets collect ESG data, reporting on ESG performance is not yet common practice.
- ESG screening of pre-investments is increasing, but tracking of actual ESG performance is still not widely implemented.
- The most notable improvements in the Asset Assessment score are for ESG Management and Policies, with scores for Implementation & Measurement coming in lower.
- The average GRESB Asset score varies considerably between different asset sectors, with airports emerging as the best performing sector with an average GRESB Asset score of 56.3.
- Only 58% of participants undertake any form of impact assessment, which is low considering the fixed nature of infrastructure assets and their vulnerability to environmental risks.
For more information on the 2017 GRESB data and to see the Sector Leaders, visit the GRESB Infrastructure Results Page.
GRESB is an industry-driven organization transforming the way capital markets assess the environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance of real asset investments. 850 property companies and funds, jointly representing more than USD 3.7 trillion in assets under management, participate in the GRESB Real Estate Assessment. The Infrastructure Assessment covers 64 funds and 160 assets, and 25 portfolios complete the Debt Assessment.
GRESB data and analytical tools are used by 66 institutional and retail investors, including pension funds and insurance companies, collectively representing over USD 17 trillion in institutional capital, to engage with investment managers to enhance and protect shareholder value.
Greater transparency on ESG issues has become the norm, with GRESB widely recognized as the global ESG benchmark for real assets. Learn more at GRESB.com
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