Some key takeaways from the 2017 GRESB results
Insights from the 2017 GRESB results
If you’re involved in the real estate industry, you’ve probably heard of GRESB (the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark). Over the past five years, as demand for increased transparency on ESG (environmental, social, and governance) issues has grown, GRESB has become known as the global benchmark for sustainability and ESG performance disclosure for real estate.
The 2017 GRESB season came to a close in June, and the results were recently publicly released. These results showcase the performance of the 850 property companies and funds that report to GRESB on a global scale.
Goby hosted the launch event of the 2017 GRESB results in Chicago on October 2nd. Here are some important trends and insights from the results that we think you should take note of:
1. Increase in the demand for ESG transparency is very apparent
This year once again set a new record for GRESB reporting; 850 property companies and funds, representing 77,000 assets globally and more than $3.7 trillion, reported during the 2017 season, an increase of nearly 100 from 2016 and over four times as many as 2012, when GRESB was first introduced. In 2017, the industry showed significant, tangible improvements in ESG performance:
- Like-for-like reduction of energy consumption by 1.1% – equivalent to 79,827 U.S. homes
- Like-for-like reduction of carbon emissions by 2.2% – equivalent to 113,000 passenger cars
- Like-for-like reduction of water consumption by 0.5% – equivalent to 999 Olympic swimming pools
- 52.9% of landfill waste diverted – equivalent to 399,008 truck loads
2. North America is becoming increasingly involved with reporting
Of the 850 companies and funds globally that reported this year, nearly a quarter of those are located in North America and represent close to 2/3 of the total global asset value. 42 of the 204 participants in North America reported to GRESB for the first time in 2017, clearly demonstrating the increased attractiveness of ESG transparency and sustainability performance disclosure. North American companies and funds had an average GRESB score of 64; this represents an increase of 5 points over 2016, a higher rate than any other region for 2017, and places North America above the global average score of 63.
3. Health & Well-Being is emerging as an important management aspect
252 property companies and funds participated in the Health & Well-Being module of GRESB reporting in 2017, a dramatic increase from 2016, when 174 participated. This increased participation demonstrates the growing importance of managing the general health and well-being of employees and the opportunity that it creates for generating long-term value. This new focus on integration of Health & Well-Being into management strategies is considered a large opportunity for the real estate industry.
GRESB and Goby
A record number of property companies and funds made their GRESB submittal with Goby this year. Our clients’ portfolios range across all different industry sectors: office, residential, retail, mixed use, medical, and industrial.
- The majority of our clients achieved Green Star status
- A quarter of our clients submitted to GRESB for the first time; they hit the ground running and attained remarkable results for a first submission
- Every returning submittal to GRESB through Goby earned Green Star status in their peer group
Webinar Recording: Actionable ESG – Turning Insights Into Action
Now that the 2017 GRESB season has drawn to a close, it’s time to begin strategizing for next year. View the recording of this webinar by Goby & GRESB to learn from our discussion of the 2017 results and follow along as we outline best practices for GRESB performance optimization for the 2018 season.