The hotly anticipated GRESB results are here! I almost feel like I should have organised a fanfare, that's how important these results have become for many stakeholders in the real estate space.
This year’s event was situated in the historic Institute of Engineering and Technology, fondly known as the IET. We entered the Maxwell library with anticipation and intrigue and quickly spotted a few familiar faces. So, after rubbing shoulders with other GRESB members during the pre-announcement refreshment, we were quickly ushered up the stairs to the Turing lecture theatre for the main event, passing a cascading display of pioneering scientist and engineers.
The Global participation in GRESB reporting, I dare say, is heart-warming and the results announcement is definitely a celebration of this global movement – a movement of companies, investors and other stakeholders within the real estate space, striving towards a grand objective of improving sustainability practices around the world.
Improvements in ESG Performance
This year, this movement resulted in an increase in ESG performance, registering an overall GRESB score of 72.0 across the real estate sector, improving the 2018 score by 3.6 points and thus continuing the upward trend.
The results also show global like-for-like GHG emissions falling by 2.66%, a lower rate than the 4.91% reduction achieved in the previous year. This statistic falls a little shy of the rate required to meet the 1.5-degree Celsius maximum global temperature increase set out by the Paris Climate Agreement. This result could of course be seen as disappointing, but it does emphasise a need for the redoubling of efforts across all sectors, not just real estate. This minor blip, I believe, can engender a feeling of solidarity as the world tries to move towards a more sustainable path. With this in mind it was also great to hear the thoughts of the speakers and panellists suggesting ways in which we could steer the global movement back towards the targets, e.g. increased regulation in reporting, digitisation and integration of existing technologies to name some.
Another very interesting development this year is that more participants submitted asset level data, as opposed to just portfolio level data. 66,000 assets out of 100,000 assets submitted are now reported on at an individual level. That's 66%! I believe this improved level of granularity will help not only GRESB, but also real estate owners and managers to scrutinize their operations and both highlight areas of good performance and areas requiring further improvement, which will eventually lead to a greater contribution towards the global sustainability effort.
On to the Next One
All in all, a fantastic event in fitting surroundings that amplified the message of the event. We at Fabriq would also like to congratulate GRESB for delivering 10 years of results and for setting trends in sustainability awareness and reporting. As a GRESB premium data partner, Fabriq are proud and honoured to be part of the evolution of this organisation and look forward to our future collaborations.
Finally, congratulations to all participants. Fabriq are very much aware the reporting process can be stressful, but worth its weight in gold. We would therefore like to invite members and anyone else interested in GRESB reporting to come talk to us, we might just be able to help you in 2020 and beyond.