In addition to evaluating corporate sustainability ranking systems, Green Edge has taken a careful look at another tool for ranking environmental stewardship, this time in the realm of public and private real estate funds. The result is our upcoming report entitled Greening Real Estate Funds: Navigating a New Tool with Teeth.
The tool we analyze in this report is the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB). GRESB was launched in 2009 by the University of Maastricht and the University of California, Berkeley along with 11 of the world’s largest pension asset managers, together holding over $1.4 trillion in assets under management.
GRESB seeks to reduce the built environment’s carbon footprint by introducing transparency and competition. Public and private real estate funds that choose to participate are asked to provide detailed information about the carbon footprint of their real estate investments including energy and water consumption, waste collection and recycling, greenhouse gas emissions and employment programs. The first series of questions focuses on policies and the place that environmental issues have in management decisions, while the second half investigates the actual measurement and impact of these policies.
Initial results reveal that although many funds performed adequately on the first part (which the survey refers to as the “green talk”), they were across the board less successful on the second (the “green walk”). Furthermore, the results confirm that US funds lag well behind their European and Australian counterparts in all aspects of the environmental stewardship measured.
Please contact us to learn how your fund can be a leader rather than a laggard when it comes to carbon footprint reduction and the financial success that comes with it.