The global real estate sector has shown tangible improvements in environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance, according to the 2017 GRESB Real Estate Assessment. In 2017, the sector reduced like-for-like water consumption by 0.5%, diverted 52.9% of landfill waste, and reduced like-for-like carbon emissions by 2.2%. The sector also reduced like-for-like energy consumption by 1.1%, according to the assessment. In North America, reductions were even higher.
The results show that the energy improvements made in recent years by the global real estate sector are in line with the energy reduction targets as set out in the United Nations-supported Sustainable Development Goals, GRESB says.
North America Runs Ahead of the Pack
In North America, the average GRESB Score jumped from 59 in 2016 to 64 this year. This not only represents a higher rate of increase than other regions, but also places the North American sector ahead of the global average.
North American property companies and funds achieved a 2.5% reduction in energy consumption, a 2.9% reduction in carbon emissions and a 1.3% reduction in water consumption.
Over 59 companies and funds in North America completed the voluntary Health & Well-being Module, a sign that the region is embracing this important industry theme, according to GRESB.
GRESB is the global standard for ESG benchmarking and reporting for listed property companies, private property funds, developers and investors that invest directly in real estate. The Assessment evaluates performance against seven “Sustainability Aspects,” including information on performance indicators, such as energy, GHG emissions, water and waste.
The methodology is consistent across different regions, investment vehicles and property types and aligns with international reporting frameworks, such as GRI and PRI.