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2019

Resilience

Assessment

Contents

Disclaimer: 2019 GRESB Resilience Module Assessment Document

The 2019 GRESB Real Estate and Infrastructure Resilience Module Assessment Document accompanies the 2019 GRESB Real Estate Resilience Module and is published both as a standalone document and in the GRESB Portal alongside each Module indicator. The Assessment Document reflects the opinions of GRESB and not of our members. The information in the Assessment Document has been provided in good faith and is provided on an “as is” basis. We take reasonable care to check the accuracy and completeness of the Assessment Document prior to its publication. While we do not anticipate major changes, we reserve the right to make modifications to the Assessment Document. We will publicly announce any such modifications. The Assessment Document is not provided as the basis for any professional advice or for transactional use. GRESB and its advisors, consultants and sub-contractors shall not be responsible or liable for any advice given to third parties, any investment decisions or trading or any other actions taken by you or by third parties based on information contained in the Assessment Document. Except where stated otherwise, GRESB is the exclusive owner of all intellectual property rights in all the information contained in the Assessment Document.

Introduction

The GRESB Resilience Module is an optional supplement to the GRESB Real Estate and Infrastructure Assessments. It has been developed in response to organizations that are developing a capacity to assess, manage and adapt in the face of social and environmental shocks and stressors.

Worldwide, the frequency, size and cost of disasters is increasing, driven by climate change, population growth, rapid urbanization, and other factors. Sustainability efforts are critical in helping mitigate these factors, including action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; increase the use of clean, renewable energy sources; conserve water resources; and plan safe, equitable communities. These efforts are essential and must be continued and expanded. At the same time, businesses or communities must prepare for the changes that lie ahead. Organizations need to identify hazards, assess risks, and systematically adapt to a changing climate and changing world.

Long-term, global trends including population growth, urbanization, and climate change ensure that efforts to manage property and infrastructure in the future cannot entirely rely on past experience. Scientific evidence points to significant change, along with great uncertainty about local and regional impacts. The challenges of this dynamic future are daunting, but they also provide significant business opportunities. Scientists can already make reliable predictions about many types of impacts, along with information needed to identify the most vulnerable places and people. In parallel, new technologies and strategies are emerging that can mitigate local hazards, reduce risks, and protect life and property. The availability of this understanding and opportunities for positive action create the need to understand how property and infrastructure companies are acting to use these tools to manage risk and, in some cases, seize business opportunities.

These circumstances have motivated the development of the GRESB Resilience Module. The Module has two primary goals:

  1. Meet investor demand for information about the resilience of property and infrastructure companies and funds; and
  2. Provide more information about strategies used by property and infrastructure companies to assess and manage climate risks and resilience.

Definitions

The Resilience Module addresses two fundamental dimensions of climate risk and resilience identified by the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations, including:

  1. Transition risk
  2. Physical risk

Transition risk is a set of vulnerabilities related to the ongoing shift to a low carbon economy necessary to achieve the goals of the United Nation Paris Agreement.This transition will create new opportunities for companies capable of providing low-carbon solutions, such as energy efficient buildings powered by renewable energy. This transition may also create new liabilities for companies reliant on inefficient, carbon-intensive technologies. Companies with these liabilities may be at risk from future regulation and competitive disadvantages (e.g., U.K. Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards for leased property).

Physical risk are associated with a myriad of shocks and stresses, such as those addressed by the global 100 Resilient Cities program. Resilience to these issues includes both preparation for changing conditions and short-term responses to disruptive shocks (e.g., fire, flood events) and chronic stresses (e.g., changing heating and cooling degree days, precipitation levels ).

While the Resilience Module has a primary focus on climate risk and resilience, it takes a broader perspective than TCFD. The Resilience Module provides opportunities to report and score other resilience-related factors beyond transition and physical climate risk. Notably, the Module provides indicators related to social resilience and physical security, categorized as Social risks. Improvements to the Real Estate and Infrastructure Assessments may allow these indicators to be removed from the Resilience Module after 2019.

For the purpose of 2019 reporting, the Resilience Module provides relevant, actionable information related to transition, physical, and social risks and opportunities facing real estate and infrastructure companies around the world.

Scope and Purpose

The Resilience Module seeks to provide investors with information needed to understand how real estate and infrastructure companies and funds are preparing for potentially disruptive events and changing conditions, assessing long-term trends, and becoming more resilient over time. The Module seeks to evaluate the capacity of organizations to assess and respond to risks and opportunities related to climate, environmental, social, economic, technological and geopolitical changes through asset resilience and the organization’s management capacity.

The Resilience Module does not attempt to assess or communicate specific risks to individual assets, such as homes or buildings. The Resilience Module provides a framework to report on the processes used to conduct such risk assessments and the results from these assessments. Stakeholders interested in asset-level risk assessment and management are referred to a growing number of tools such as those identified in the GRESB (2018) Special Report on Real Assets and Resilience.

Timeline

The GRESB Resilience Module is designed as a three-year effort to improve reporting and benchmarking for climate risk and resilience by property and infrastructure companies. The 2019 Module makes incremental improvements in reporting indicators based on first-year experience with an emphasis on increasing alignment with recommendations from the TCFD. Changes to the 2019 Module also attempt to provide more quantitative and objective indicators that can be more easily compared across participants. After 2020, selected climate risk and resilience indicators are anticipated to migrate into the core Real Estate and Infrastructure Assessments.

Structure

The 2019 Resilience Module is organized in four sections broadly aligned with recommendations from the Task force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure:

  1. Leadership and Governance
  2. Risk Assessment
  3. Business Strategy
  4. Performance Metrics and Targets

The 10 indicators in the module will be supplemented by information from the core GRESB assessments to generate an overall Resilience score (e.g., Real Estate RO3.1, RO3.2 and Infrastructure Asset Assessment, MA1, PD1, RO1, and ME2).

New in 2019, the Resilience Module is also available for use with the Infrastructure Fund Assessment.

The Resilience Module contains indicator structures familiar to users of GRESB Real Estate or Infrastructure. Each item consists of a “Yes or No” question. Either choice provides the option of providing additional text comments. Selecting "Yes" provides a set of sub-questions to refine the response and the option to provide supporting evidence in the form of an uploaded document or hyperlink.

Data Access

Participants in the Resilience Module can control access to Module results via the GRESB Portal by checking a box to confirm whether they wish to share their Module results with their investors. If a participant shares its Module results, these will appear as a separate section in that participant’s Scorecard and Benchmark Report. If a participant does not share its results, Resilience Module results will not appear in the Scorecard and Benchmark Report. This selection can be changed upon request to info@gresb.com. Aggregated information from all Resilience Module participants will be used as the basis for a market report and related research.

GRESB Resilience Indicators

Not scored

3 points

3 points

3 points

3 points

3 points

3 points

3 points

3 points