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2020

Fund

Assessment

Pre-Release

Contents

Disclaimer: 2020 GRESB Infrastructure Fund & Asset Assessment Pre-Release

The information in this document has been provided in good faith and on an “as is” basis. While we do not anticipate major changes, we reserve the right to make modifications prior to the official start of the 2020 reporting period on April 1 and the official release of the 2020 Infrastructure Fund and Asset Assessments. We will publicly announce any such modifications.

Introduction

About GRESB

Mission-driven and investor-led, GRESB is the environmental, social and governance (ESG) benchmark for real assets. We work in collaboration with the industry to provide standardized and validated ESG data to the capital markets. The 2019 Real Estate benchmark covers more than 1,000 property companies, real estate investment trusts (REITs), funds, and developers. Our coverage for Infrastructure includes 500 infrastructure funds and assets. Combined, GRESB represents USD 4.5 trillion in real asset value. More than 100 institutional investors, with over USD 22 trillion AUM, use GRESB data to monitor their investments, engage with their managers, and make decisions that lead to a more sustainable real asset industry.

For more information, visit gresb.com. Follow @GRESB on Twitter.

2020 Assessments Structure

An important outcome of the 2020 Assessment development process has been a reconfirmation that the Assessments address material ESG topics for the real estate and infrastructure industry. As a result, the 2020 development process was focused on making structural changes to the Assessments and refinements to indicators rather than making extensive content changes with an impact on scoring.

The structural changes mainly arise from splitting the assessments into separate Management and Performance Components. The Fund Assessment will only include a Management Component, whereas the Asset Assessment has both. This new split allows entities to complete either or both components, and enables entities starting off on their sustainability journey to develop their data collection processes first before reporting performance data. The Infrastructure Fund Assessment has now been divided into five Aspects, to align closely with the Infrastructure Asset Assessment Management Component and the Real Estate Assessment.

On the content side, several indicators have been removed and others have been simplified or modified to better suit reporting for various sectors. This is most notable in the Performance Component.

Overall, the 2020 Assessments provide more consistency between real estate and infrastructure and an improved alignment with other reporting standards and frameworks. The Assessments also lay the groundwork for us to provide new data and analytical tools in the portal and support a further evolution in data quality.

The starting point for the Assessment development process was the 2019 Assessments. The 2019 indicators have been allocated to the new Management and Performance Components on the basis that:

For more information about the 2020 Assessments development process, click here.

Grace Period

GRESB offers participants reporting for the first time the option to not disclose their Assessment results to their investors. This first year "Grace Period" allows companies and funds a year to familiarize themselves with the GRESB reporting and assessment process without externally disclosing their results to GRESB Investor Members.

While Grace Period participant names are disclosed to GRESB Investor Members, Investor Members are not able to request access to Grace Period participant results.

First-time participants wishing to opt for the Grace Period can select the option from the settings section in the Assessment Portal.

Who can see my data?

Data collected through the GRESB Infrastructure Fund and AssetReal Estate Assessments is only disclosed to the participants themselves and:

All data provided to GRESB is strictly confidential and will only be disclosed to participants’ investors, with their explicit consent.

Timeline & Process

The GRESB Infrastructure Fund and Asset Assessments open in the GRESB Portal on April 1, 2020. The submission deadline is July 1, 2020, providing participants with a three-month window to complete the Assessment. This is a fixed deadline and GRESB will not accept submissions received after this date. GRESB validates and analyzes all participants’ Assessment submissions.

In 2020 we will introduce a new Review Period in the Assessment cycle to further strengthen the reliability of our Assessments and benchmark results. The Review Period will start on September 1, when preliminary individual GRESB results will be made available to all participants and run for one month. During the Review Period, participants will be able to submit a review request to GRESB using a dedicated form. The final results will be launched to both participants and Investor Members on October 1. Public Results events and other results outputs will be rescheduled to October and November in order to accommodate the September Review Period.

For more information about the 2020 Assessment timeline, click here.

Response Check service

A Response Check is a high-level check of a participant’s GRESB Infrastructure Fund or Asset Assessment by the GRESB team, taking place prior to submission. It minimizes the risk of errors that could adversely impact Assessment results. The Response Check fee is 1750 EUR (exclusive of VAT).

Guidance & Support

The 2020 Infrastructure Fund and Asset Assessments will be accompanied by indicator-specific Guidance that explains:

The written Reference Guide will be available during the first week of March 2020. Starting April 1, 2020, guidance is also available in the GRESB Portal through pop-up fields next to each indicator. The GRESB here will open on the same date.

2020 Infrastructure GRESB Fund Assessment Changes

Guided by the GRESB Medium Term Plan (Assessment Roadmap), we are proposing to make some important changes to the GRESB Infrastructure Fund Assessment (Fund Assessment) in 2020.

The table below lists the key changes, as well as their implications for your reporting process.

High-level comments

1 Divide the assessment into 5 aspects:

The assessment formerly had no aspects, just a set of indicators. To align with the Infrastructure Asset (Management component) and Real Estate Assessments, it makes sense to structure the assessment into logical aspects as follows:

  1. Leadership
  2. Policies
  3. Reporting
  4. Risk Management
  5. Stakeholder Engagement

2. New Indicators

Four new indicators on reporting of incidents, employee engagement, training and development, and employee satisfaction have been added. These indicators provide further alignment with the Real Estate and Asset Assessments and provide useful information to investors. They will not be scored in 2020 but may be in future years. This increases the total number of indicators from 13 to 17.

3. Removed indicator on ESG monitoring of assets

The indicator on monitoring of ESG performance of assets has been removed as this is covered by the underlying asset assessment.

4. Several changes to indicators to increase alignment

Several changes have been made to indicators to increase alignment to the Real Estate and Infrastructure Asset Assessments, as well as external frameworks like CDP and DJSI. These changes reduce reporting burden for participants and/or provide more useful information for investors.

5. Revise the names of the key fund level scores

The names of the key fund level scores have been changed to provide much greater clarity. The average score for just the Fund Assessment will be called the Management Component Score - Infrastructure Fund, the aggregated score for the underlying assets will be called the Performance Component Score - Infrastructure Fund, and the combined score will be called the GRESB Score - Infrastructure Fund.

Indicator Level Changes/Comments

EC2

Nature of ownership - ‘Other identifier’ option removed

Description:‘Other identifier’ checkbox removed.

Rationale for change: Funds can only be Public, Private or Government owned so there is no need for an ‘Other’ option.

Impact of change: Reduced reporting burden.

Nature of ownership - New Classifications within ‘Private entity’

Description: Made the following classification changes for ‘Private entity’:

  • Added Debt
  • Added Core
  • Added Value
  • Added Opportunistic
  • Removed the option ‘Other’.

Rationale for change: To cater for Debt funds and to align with Real Estate Assessment. Potential use for peer grouping, rankings and insights.

Impact of change: Slightly increased reporting burden in exchange for enhanced insights.

Nature of ownership - Added classification for ‘Type of Investment Vehicle’

Description: Added ‘Type of Investment Vehicle’.

Rationale for change: Changes brought in to add further granularity and to align with Real Estate Assessment. Potential use for peer grouping, rankings and insights.

Impact of change: Slightly increased reporting burden in exchange for enhanced insights.

Nature of ownership - New classification

Description: Added ‘Government Entity’ as a ‘Nature of Ownership’ type.

Rationale for change: To match Real Estate Assessment and to provide for government participation. Potential use for peer grouping, rankings and insights.

Impact of change: Slightly increased reporting burden in exchange for enhanced insights.

EC3

Year of commencement - New Indicator

Description: New indicator on commencement date of the entity.

Rationale for change: Useful to understand the vintage of the fund as this can have a bearing on maturity of ESG approach.

Impact of change: Slightly increased reporting burden in exchange for enhanced insight.

EC4

Reporting Period - Fund’s reporting year

Description: Add year of reporting (on top of month) in case it isn't in calendar year.

Rationale for change: To clarify the precise reporting year since this was not always clear in the past, when the reporting year was not the calendar year.

Impact of change: Greater clarity for reporting.

RC2

Economic Size - Committed capital replaced with Aggregate NAV

Description: Economic Size clarified to require reporting of Aggregated GAV. Committed Capital is replaced by Aggregate Net Asset Value (NAV).

Rationale for change: GAV was already required but is clarified. This is the aggregate total asset value (equity and debt) of all of the assets held by the funds. Committed capital was not a useful measure of size for investors. Aggregate NAV reflects just the equity invested in assets held by the fund (i.e. invested capital) and is a much more useful measure of fund size. Feedback has clarified that these are the two best measures of economic size of a fund.

Impact of change: More useful data for investors.

RC3

Sector and Geography - Merged

Description: Merged former RC4 with RC3.

Rationale for change: Simplify and alignment with Real Estate and Asset Assessments.

Impact of change: Simplify reporting.

RC4 (New)

Nature of entity’s business - New indicator

Description: Added indicator on ‘Nature of Business’.

Rationale for change: To distinguish funds that focus on investments in development of new construction and major renovation projects (greenfield) versus management of standing investments/operating assets (brownfield) or both. This is useful information for insights and potentially peer grouping.

Impact of change: Slightly increased reporting burden in exchange for enhanced insights.

RC5 (New)

Description of the fund - New indicator

Description: Description and logo of the fund or fund manager.

Rationale for change: To align with Asset and Real Estate Assessments and allow for logos to be added to Scorecards, Benchmark Reports and the GRESB website.

Impact of change: Slightly increased reporting burden in exchange for increased recognition of participating funds.

LE1 (Former Fund 3)

ESG leadership commitments - PRI report requirement removed

Description: Sub-section on whether entity is reporting to PRI removed (signatory retained).

Rationale for change: PRI signatories must report after a year so the sub-section was redundant.

Impact of change: Reduced reporting burden.

ESG leadership commitments - New commitments

Description: Added several new commitments.

Rationale for change: To recognize new important ESG commitments and align with Real Estate Assessment.

Impact of change: Recognition of new commitments.

ESG leadership commitments - New indicator structure

Description: Split up commitments to distinguish those that oblige organizations to take actions and those that do not and also those that have a broad ESG scope and those that are issue specific.

Rationale for change: The level of commitment is different in these various cases and this warrants appropriate recognition and scoring.

Impact of change: Level of commitment better recognised in scoring.

LE2 (Former Fund 1)

Responsible investment strategy - Strategy publicly available

Description: Added whether or not the strategy is publicly available.

Rationale for change: To recognise that this is good practice and to align with the Real Estate Assessment.

Impact of change: Slightly increased reporting burden in exchange for increased recognition of good practice.

LE3 (Former Fund 4)

Individual responsible for ESG - Remove email and LinkedIn

Description: Removed optional entry of email address and LinkedIn profile.

Rationale for change: These were optional and not used for any purpose.

Impact of change: Reduced reporting burden.

Individual responsible for ESG - Additional reporting option added

Description: Added option for Investment partners (co-investors/ JV partners).

Rationale for change: To align with the Real Estate Assessment and allow for this option.

Impact of change: Slight increase in reporting burden in exchange for useful information for investors.

LE4 (Former Fund 5)

ESG senior-decision maker - New decision-maker options

Description: Added sub-options for ‘the individual’s most senior role’.

Rationale for change: To align with the Real Estate Assessment.

Impact of change: Increased standardization and granularity.

ESG senior-decision maker - Remove email and LinkedIn

Description: Remove optional entry of email address and LinkedIn profile.

Rationale for change: These were optional and not used for any purpose.

Impact of change: Reduced reporting burden.

LE5 (Former Fund 6)

Personnel ESG performance targets - Separate financial and non-financial incentives

Description: The incentives are split into financial and non-financial sections, with the applicable employees list applying to.

Rationale for change: Adds more granularity and aligns with the Real Estate Assessment.

Impact of change: Slightly increased reporting burden in exchange for useful data for investors.

Personnel ESG performance targets - New employee options

Description: Modified sub-options for ‘employees to whom these targets apply’.

Rationale for change: To align with Real Estate Assessment and DJSI.

Impact of change: Reduced reporting burden.

PO1, PO2, PO3 (Former Fund 2)

Policies - Indicator split into separate E, S and G indicators

Description: Split into three separate E, S and G indicators.

Rationale for change: To provide better aggregation of E, S and G scores and to align with Real Estate and Asset Assessments.

Impact of change: Slightly increased reporting burden in exchange for more useful E, S and G scores.

RP1.1 (Former FUND 11&12)

ESG Reporting - Merged indicators

Description: The two indicators (formerly FUND11 and FUND12) have been merged together, forming a combined indicator on ESG disclosure and third-party review. The name of the service provider will no longer be required.

Rationale for change: Combining these two indicators simplifies the reporting and validation process.

Impact of change: Simplified reporting.

ESG Reporting - Removed Service Provider

Description: Removed requirement to report the name of the Service Provider used for external check / verification / assurance.

Rationale for change: GRESB does not use this information.

Impact of change: Reduced reporting burden.

RP2.1 (Former Fund 13)

ESG incident monitoring - Change in scope of indicator

Description: Added ‘breaches against the code of conduct/ethics’ to question.

Rationale for change: Alignment with DJSI.

Impact of change: Reduced reporting burden.

ESG incident monitoring - New stakeholder groups

Description: Added some stakeholder groups as sub-options.

Rationale for change: To align with the Infrastructure Asset Assessment.

Impact of change: Reduced reporting burden.

RP2.2 (New)

ESG Incident occurrences - Separated from former FUND13

Description: New indicator separate from RP2.1 on reporting of incidents.

Rationale for change: Alignment with Asset and Real Estate Assessments.

Impact of change: Clearer and more aligned reporting approach.

Former Fund10 Removed

Former FUND10 - removed

Description: Removed indicator on monitoring of the ESG management and performance of underlying assets.

Rationale for change: This is covered by the Asset Assessments for the underlying assets.

Impact of change: Reduced reporting burden.

SE1 (New)

Employee engagement program - New Indicator

Description: New indicator added on Employee Engagement Programs.

Rationale for change: To recognise the importance of employee engagement at the fund level and to align with the Infrastructure Asset and Real Estate Assessments.

Impact of change: Increase in reporting burden in exchange for useful information for investors.

SE2 (New)

Training and development - New indicator

Description: New indicator added on Training and Development for employees.

Rationale for change: To recognise the importance of employee training at the fund level and to align with the Infrastructure Asset and Real Estate Assessments.

Impact of change: Increase in reporting burden.

SE3 (New)

Employee satisfaction monitoring - New indicator

Description: New indicator added on Employee Satisfaction Monitoring.

Rationale for change: To recognise the importance of employee satisfaction at the fund level and to align with the Infrastructure Asset and Real Estate Assessments.

Impact of change: Increase in reporting burden in exchange for useful information for investors.

SE4 (Former Fund 7)

Diversity of organization & employees - Split into governance bodies and employees

Description: Split the indicator into two parts, one looking at gender and diversity of governance bodies and the other looking at employees.

Rationale for change: To recognise the importance of both levels when it comes to gender and diversity and to align with the Real Estate Assessment.

Impact of change: Increase in reporting burden in exchange for useful information for investors.

Entity & Reporting Characteristics

Entity Characteristics

2019 Indicator

Reporting Characteristics

2019 Indicator

Leadership

Leadership

2019 Indicator

8 points

8 points

5 points

5 points

5 points

Policies

Policies

2019 Indicator

8 points

Reporting

Reporting

2019 Indicator

8 points

8 points

Risk Management

Risks Management

2019 Indicator

13.333 points

13.333 points

Stakeholder Engagement

Stakeholder Engagement

2019 Indicator

Not scored

Summary of Entity Assets

233 points