ESG benchmarking tallies continued global uptake

ESG benchmarking tallies growing global uptake

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

ESG benchmarking is continuing to gain momentum in the commercial real estate sector, as GRESB, the global assessment of environmental, social and governance performance for commercial real estate portfolios and infrastructure assets, recorded another impressive surge in participation for 2021. This year’s 26 per cent jump in reporting entities follows an 18 per cent increase in 2020.

“We are pleased to see such a high level of participation in this year’s GRESB benchmark coverage, particularly considering the business disruptions we have all experienced over the past year and a half,” says Sebastien Roussotte, chief executive officer of GRESB BV.

The 2021 real estate results, slated to be released later this fall, will draw from a database of 1,520 entities collectively reporting on 117,000 assets valued at USD $5.7 trillion. Participants include 1,187 non-listed property funds, 326 listed companies and REITs and seven governmental entities. A 24 per cent increase in respondents this year — up from 1,229 in 2020 — also boosts the numbers of assets in the database by nearly 22 per cent and the value of assets under of management by nearly 19 per cent compared to 2020.

Meanwhile, another 31 funds joined GRESB’s infrastructure fund assessment, lifting 2021 participation to 149, and 132 assets were added to the asset-level assessment. The latter exercise now encompasses 558 assets located in 69 countries and collectively valued at USD $738 billion.

GRESB’s investor membership now stands at 140 institutional and financial investors with more than USD $47 trillion in assets under management. They mine the data to monitor the performance of their holdings and to inform their investment decision-making.

“Increased engagement with a standardized benchmark demonstrates a strong industry commitment to ESG transparency and collaborative action,” Roussotte maintains.

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