What’s new in March | Investor member survey findings, Foundation update, and SFDR Assessments now open

What’s new in March

We are only a few days away from the beginning of this year’s reporting period, with the GRESB Assessments officially opening on April 1. Take a look at the helpful resources below to ensure a smooth 2023 submission:

Keep an eye out for links to our video trainings starting on April 1, when our updated Online Training Platform will be launched.

As a reminder, the GRESB Portal will close on July 1. If you have any questions about the assessments, please contact us via this form or reach out to our Member Relations team below:

Accounting and Reporting of GHG Emissions from Real Estate Operations
Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials (PCAF), Carbon Risk Real Estate Monitor (CRREM), and GRESB have just released the first version of the harmonized technical guidance for the financial industry on “Accounting and Reporting of GHG Emissions from Real Estate Operations.”

The new technical guidance offers 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.

Interested in learning more about the technical guidance? Join us for “GRESB Inside ESG: Accounting & Reporting of GHG Emissions from Real Estate Operations,” a webinar and discussion on the guidance taking place April 25 at 10:00 CET.

SFDR Assessments now open

The 2023 GRESB SFDR Assessments are now open. Available for both real estate and infrastructure, the SFDR Reporting Solution is designed to help managers with Article 8 or Article 9 funds report on product- and entity-level ESG practices.

By completing the SFDR Assessment, managers will receive a report that contains all the necessary information to create a Principal Adverse Impact Statement, which is a core requirement under SFDR.

Additionally, the 2023 SFDR Reporting Solution now includes a new indicator on EU Taxonomy eligibility and alignment of a financial product under the pre-contractual and periodic disclosure requirements of SFDR, allowing managers and investors to determine the extent to which their investments are environmentally sustainable.

Investor member survey findings

GRESB recently conducted an Investor Member Survey to explore how investors use GRESB data and how they engage with their managers and portfolio companies.

Key findings:

  • The majority of surveyed investors report actively engaging with their managers to request GRESB participation, with one-third of investors requiring mandatory participation.
  • All respondents report having a responsible investment strategy in place, with ESG integration, corporate engagement, and shareholder action being the most commonly used approaches.
  • Around two-thirds of surveyed investors use GRESB results to engage with their managers, and almost half of respondents use the data to analyze the environmental footprint of their portfolio.
  • The vast majority of respondents believe that GRESB will be the platform of choice for managers to report on climate-related financial disclosures and transition risk data

Foundation update

Standards Strategic Roadmap
Since the publication of the 2023 GRESB Standards changes in October 2022, the GRESB Foundation has continued its work, in line with the new operating model, to review key strategic ESG topics in the GRESB vision, assess main industry challenges, and prioritize topics and action plans for the Standards Strategic Roadmap.

The Strategic Roadmap will provide more transparency on the outcome of the Foundation work and prioritization exercise, as well as more visibility into the proposed direction of travel for the GRESB Standards. The Foundation aims to finalize a first version of the roadmap and share it in the near future.

Stakeholder engagement
The Foundation also plans to enhance stakeholder engagement and leverage the collective expertise of the GRESB community to help drive the evolution of the Standards. To do this, the Foundation, with the support of GRESB BV, will organize a variety of stakeholder engagements in the coming months, including working groups, consultations, surveys, and more.

Net zero has already been recognized by the Foundation as a top priority, and two Net Zero Working Groups, with a focus on real estate and infrastructure, respectively, are currently working on questions that will be presented to the Standards Committees in May 2023. The Foundation may also commission Working Groups on other priority topics, such as Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion or Physical Climate Risk Assessments.

Shaping the 2024 GRESB Standards
As part of its work in the past few months, the Foundation has identified several more pressing issues that should be the primary focus of the work this year, either to be reflected in the 2024 Standards, or to be researched, specified, and planned in order to facilitate future implementation in the GRESB Standards.

In this context, GRESB BV, as instructed by the Foundation, is now focusing on the research and deliverables required to support this shorter-term work. Over the next six months, the Foundation will predominantly focus on reviewing the proposed approaches for the short-term Standards changes and finalize the decisions on the 2024 Standards changes in September.

Upcoming GRESB events

Join us online for our upcoming GRESB Inside ESG events. Learn more and register via the links below:

GRESB case studies

GRESB case studies explore the many ways our community uses GRESB, looking at how our investor members and managers engage with our data and integrate GRESB into their investment processes and decision-making.

View our latest case studies and features below: 

Contribute to GRESB Insights

Through GRESB Insights, we seek to highlight case studies on ESG integration in real assets, data-driven analyses into how the industry is responding to sustainability challenges, and educational articles exploring topics covered in the GRESB Assessments.

The theme this month was “Embodied Carbon.” Below are the latest GRESB Insights:

See all of our GRESB Insights here. Next month’s topic is SFDR ReportingSubmit your article here.

Upcoming industry events

> Investing in Real Assets Conference March 28, 2023 | London

Attend this year’s in-person Investing in Real Assets Conference to learn about the way real assets and private assets play a vital role in insurer’s asset allocation and portfolio management strategies.

Explore the ways private equity is diversifying as it grows, and how it is developing new approaches and investment products as it searches for opportunities in a wider range of markets.

> IPE Real Assets Breakfast Seminar Series March 28, 2023 | Amsterdam 

Join IPE Real Assets for a breakfast seminar on infrastructure, real assets and more. Sit down with industry experts such as Anna Olink, Director, Business Development, Real Estate at GRESB to take a look at ESG in real estate.

Join Deepki for a webinar focused on its recent ESG Index publication, which provides insights into energy consumption and carbon emissions for the European real estate market.

Attend GBI’s Sustainable Building and Decarbonization Seminar to learn about and share resources on reducing climate impact by improving the built environment. Listen to speakers such as Paul Vozzella, Sales Director, North America at GRESB for industry expertise.

> PERE Europe Forum 2023 May 9 – 11, 2023 | London 

Find out where the best opportunities are across EMEA private real estate markets, and connect with institutional investors, fund and asset managers, developers and strategic partners.

Join RELPI and GRESB in New York for a conference that discusses the best practices in sustainability and accelerating industry change. The event will feature 25 of the largest institutional investors and their consultants. 

See our events calendar for a full overview of upcoming events.

Careers at GRESB

GRESB is growing and looking for new people! Please feel free to share with your network.

Our most recently added open positions:

What are we reading

> An evolving infrastructure benchmark | Institutional Investing in Infrastructure

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