A greener trend

October 5, 2015 admin

Results from the 2015 GRESB Survey and regional snapshots indicate, while there is still much work to be done, there is a trend toward greater involvement and transparency in the real estate industry on environmental, social and governance issues. This trend is reflected in an increase in the development and implementation of sustainability measures, as well as rapid improvement in the quality of the documents used to help support sustainability programs and policies, which leads to higher survey scores.

The GRESB Score for this year’s report now comprises separate scores for each letter of the ESG acronym, with the 2015 global average amounting to a score of 48 on Environment, 58 for Social and 69 for Governance.

By region, European survey participants scored at or above the global average on the ESG dimensions, participants in Australia/New Zealand far surpassed the global average on all ESG dimensions, and North American respondents scored one point higher on Environment, but below the global average for Social and Governance. ESG scores from the snapshots for participants just from the United States were all below the global average, particularly on Governance. And in Asia, respondents’ Social score was at the global average, but scores on the dimensions of the Environment and Governance were slightly below.

Overall, according to the regional result, “the GRESB Score for Asia improved by an impressive 18 percent to an average score of 54. The region performs on par with North America (also 54) and ranks just behind Europe (55).”

Based on the global report, Asian property portfolios will need to focus on policy and disclosure elements, as well as green building certification, which still lag behind the GRESB global average, says Tim Shen, director, Sustainability Asia with CBRE, in a statement about the 2015 GRESB Survey results.

“With some countries, such as Singapore, having already signaled to the market that green leases will become an expectation in the future — alongside the environmental pressures and social awareness around health and well-being rapidly growing in the region — we can expect Asia portfolios to continue embracing these emerging trends to further improve RPI [responsible property investment] performance in the region,” added Shen.

Worldwide, the 2015 GRESB Survey had 707 participants (property companies and funds) responsible for real estate assets valued at more than $2.3 trillion, representing an increase of 159 new companies and funds reporting to GRESB since the 2014 survey.

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Jennifer-Molloy91x119Jennifer Molloy is senior editor of Institutional Real Estate Asia Pacific.

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