GRESB 2019 Results Indicate Improved ESG Performance in Global Real Estate Sector

13th September 2019

The 2019 Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) Real Estate and Infrastructure Assessment results are now available and reveal another strong year of growth in participation.  This year 1,005 property companies, REITs, funds, developers and investors participated in the GRESB Real Estate Assessment, an increase of over 11% on the previous year.  

Increased Sustainability Scores

Overall, the global average GRESB score has increased from 68 in 2018 to 72 in 2019, demonstrating that the sector is improving in sustainability performance. The best performing region is again Oceania, which continues to lead the world in sustainability performance, with an average score of 81 (compared with 72 in 2018).  The European real estate sector has demonstrated an improved average score this year of 71, compared with 66 in the previous year, and continues to lead the world with the highest number of entities participating in the benchmarking process.

The GRESB press release states that these improved scores are a positive sign that the real estate sector is stepping up to the challenges faced in addressing the need for greater environmental, social and governance (ESG) transparency and performance.  However, the data highlights that there is still a long way to go to meet key global environmental targets over the coming decades – particularly as the rate of reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions has slowed in the last 12 months, and if this trend continues, progress will not be enough to meet the 1.5-degree limit in global average temperature rise, set out by the Paris Climate Agreement in 2016.

Launch Events

A series of global and regional launch events are now in progress. These events offer an opportunity for the global real asset community to meet and discuss the current position of the sector in terms of sustainability.  Best practice and emerging trends from this year’s results will be highlighted.  Furthermore, as GRESB is turning 10 this year, the events will be an opportunity to reflect on performance over the last 10 years and look ahead to the coming 10 years.

For a list of the 2019 series of launch events,  visit the GRESB website.

How the S2 Partnership can help.

As a GRESB Premier Partner, the S2 Partnership supports clients with ongoing advancement of health, safety and environmental risk management. Many of S2’s clients use the RiskWise environmental management module to facilitate collection of data for GRESB reporting.  Working closely with global clients, the S2 Partnership provides consultancy, training and software to the commercial real estate sector. To find out more, contact one of our specialist environmental consultants