GRESB, the leading data provider for environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance of real assets, today released the results of the 2016 GRESB Real Estate, Developer and Debt assessments. The new data shows that real estate companies and funds are improving across all aspects of ESG performance, including a 1.2 percent reduction in energy consumption, 2 percent reduction in GHG emissions and close to 1 percent reduction in water use and are putting greater focus on occupant health and well-being.
“The 2016 GRESB data demonstrates that the global real estate sector is working to manage its carbon footprint, build resilience in the face of climate change and respond to more stringent environmental regulations,” said Nils Kok, CEO of GRESB. “In 2016, 90 percent of property companies and funds reporting to GRESB are integrating carbon management strategies into their investments. These actions have contributed to a 2 percent annual decrease in carbon emissions, the equivalent of taking 704,464 passenger cars off the road.”
A record 759 real estate companies and funds participated in the assessment, representing more than 66,000 assets across 63 countries, with a value of $2.8 trillion. Entities reporting to GRESB for seven consecutive years outperform their peers by an average of 12 points across all aspects of ESG. As a result, the overall GRESB Score increased by 11 percent to 60. In 2016, 18 debt funds participated in the GRESB Debt Assessment, an increase of 80 percent. The average GRESB Debt Score increased by 6 percent to 48.
“GRESB ESG performance data and trends matter because they show that, on average, property companies and fund managers are acting to improve sustainability performance. Leading companies and funds are being rewarded with more efficient and more desirable properties — which may ultimately translate into better financial performance,” says Jennifer Young, principal, the Townsend Group.
- Entities reporting to GRESB for seven consecutive years outperform their peers in ESG aspects by an average of 12 points.
- Australian entities outperform all other regions with an average score of 74, which is 14 points above the global average.
- Office companies and funds outperform other property types with an average score of 66.
- Listed property companies outperform private equity entities by six points.
- Participating companies and funds provided operational data for more than 22,000 individual buildings, including energy, water and waste performance.
Now in its seventh year, the GRESB Real Estate Assessment has established itself as a roadmap to high sustainability performance and low carbon emissions for the real estate sector, assessing more than 1,100 real estate portfolios since its inception. GRESB provides comprehensive data about energy performance, carbon management, water conservation, waste management and health and wellbeing. In 2016, 174 companies and funds participated in a new supplemental GRESB Health & Well-being Module, which provides unique insights into practices intended to promote the health and well-being in internal operations. New data from the module identified 43 leading companies acting to implement such practices for employees and customers.