Download PDF

2019

Developer

Assessment

Contents

Disclaimer: 2019 GRESB Developer Assessment Pre-Release

The information in this document has been provided in good faith and is provided 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 2019 reporting period on April 1 and the official release of the 2019 Developer Assessment. We will publicly announce any such modifications.

Introduction

About GRESB

GRESB is the environmental, social and governance (ESG) benchmark for real assets. Working in collaboration with the industry, GRESB defines the global standard for sustainability performance in real assets providing standardized and validated ESG data to more than 75 institutional investors, representing over USD 18 trillion in institutional capital.

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

Overview of GRESB Real Estate Assessments

GRESB Real Estate Assessment

The GRESB Real Estate Assessment 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 7 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.

The GRESB Real Estate Assessment provides investors with actionable information and tools to monitor and manage the ESG risks and opportunities of their investments, and to prepare for increasingly rigorous ESG obligations. Assessment participants receive comparative business intelligence on where they stand against their peers, a roadmap with the actions they can take to improve their ESG performance and a communication platform to engage with investors.

GRESB Developer Assessment

In addition to the GRESB Real Estate Assessment for property companies and fund managers that focus on themanagement of standing investments, GRESB provides a stand-alone GRESB Developer Assessment to evaluate the ESG performance of organizations that focus on development activities. The Developer Assessment focuses on policies, strategies, and measurable actions related to newnconstruction and major renovation projects. It contains a subset of indicators from the GRESB Real Estate Assessment, plus the 14 indicators in the New Construction & Major Renovations (NC&MR) Aspect.

The GRESB Developer Assessment is designed for:

Supplement: Resilience

The GRESB Resilience Module is an optional supplement to the GRESB Real Estate and Infrastructure Assessments. It evaluates 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 is motivated by two key factors:

Supplement: NAREIT Leader in the Light

GRESB works in close collaboration with the National Association of Real Estate Investments Trusts (Nareit), a GRESB Industry Partner. s. NAREIT encourages its corporate members to complete the annual GRESB Real Estate Assessments, which, for the past six years, has been the basis for their annual Leader in the Light Award competition. The Leader in the Light Awards are presented to REITs in eight property sectors: Diversified, Global (for non-U.S. companies), Health Care, Industrial, Lodging/Resorts, Office, Residential and Retail. If there are both large and small cap entries that meet the awards criteria in a given property sector, awards are presented to both the leading large and small cap companies. To participate in the Leader in the Light Award program, Nareit members must complete both the GRESB Real Estate Assessment and the Leader in the Light Supplement. Once all sections of the GRESB Real Estate Assessment are completed, including the Leader in the Light Supplement, participants are able to submit their entire submission which will automatically be included in the Leader in the Light Award competition.

The role of the GRESB benchmark

GRESB’s global benchmark uses a consistent methodology to compare performance across different regions, investment vehicles and property types. This consistency, combined with our broad market coverage, means our members and participants can apply a single, globally recognized ESG framework to all their real estate investments.

GRESB results provide a practical way to understand ESG performance and communicate that performance to investors and other stakeholders. GRESB provides overall scores of ESG performance - such as the GRESB Score and GRESB Ratings - as well as detailed aspect-level and individual indicator-level assessments of performance. The key to analyzing GRESB data is in peer group comparisons that take into account country, regional, sectoral and investment type variations. This richer analysis enables fund managers and companies to understand their results in the context of their investment strategies and communicate this to their investors.

GRESB is committed to facilitating the use of its ESG metrics in investment decision-making processes and encouraging an active dialogue between investors, fund managers and companies on ESG issues. GRESB updates its Investor Member Guidance on an annual basis to assist GRESB Investor Members in their engagement with managers.

Timeline and Process

The GRESB Developer Assessment opens in the Assessment Portal on April 1, 2019. The submission deadline is July 1, 2019, 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.

The GRESB validation process starts on June 15 and continues until July 31, 2019. We may need to contact you during this time to clarify any issues with your response.

Results are published in September and are distributed as follows:

For an overview of key dates and activities for the 2019 Assessment cycle, please see the Assessment timeline.

Participants are able to contact the GRESB Helpdesk at any time for support and guidance.

GRESB Assessment Training Program

GRESB Real Estate Assessment Training is designed to help participants, potential participants and other GRESB stakeholders (managers, consultants, data partners) improve their ESG reporting through the GRESB Real Estate Assessment.

The training is divided into two sessions – Introductory and Advanced – to reflect the level of experience with GRESB.

Both programs are delivered via face-to-face group sessions, in select locations across all regions with GRESB participation, including Europe, North America and Asia Pacific.See dates and locations for 2019 GRESB Assessment Training.

2019 GRESB Developer Assessment Changes

GRESB works closely with its members and broader industry stakeholders to ensure the Assessment addresses material issues in the sustainability performance of real estate investments. The main focus of the 2019 Assessment development process were enhancements to asset-level reporting functionality and the integration of selected Health & Well-being Module elements. The changes serve the longer term development of the Assessment, support our efforts for good quality data and reflect the evolution of the real estate industry as measured by the benchmark over the last years.

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

High-level comments

The access to the Template Tool is no longer restricted to members.

The template tool enables participants to copy information across multiple submissions, reducing the amount of time spent replicating information across entities held by the same fund manager.

The Validation Interview process changes structure and will be mainly based on a desktop review.

While the scope of the Validation Interview will remain the same (the validators will do an in-depth analysis of all supporting evidences, mandatory and non-mandatory, performance indicators and outliers), the Validation Interview report, the call with the participant, and the participant’s ability to change their responses following the call will be removed from the process. Participants will continue to be automatically notified if they are selected for a Validation Interview and there may still be instances where we need to contact the participant for missing supporting evidence, additional information, clarifications or corrections to the data submitted.

A selection of Health & Well-being indicators are incorporated into the Real Estate Assessment

With the release of the 2018 results and after a successful 3-year cycle, the Health & Well-being Module has served its purpose as an exploratory vehicle and incubator for new indicators. In 2019, a selection of health & well-being indicators are incorporated into the GRESB Real Estate Assessment, effectively making these indicators a reporting requirement for all GRESB participants. The newly introduced Health & Well-being indicators are grouped as a separate section in the Stakeholder Engagement aspect.

Validation Plus indicators

The Validation Plus indicator selection is performed by GRESB and is subject to change on an annual basis in order to rotate the validation scope every year. This allows GRESB to apply a consistent level of scrutiny on all participating entities. In 2019, the following changes are introduced:

  • MA1, PD3: are excluded from the Validation Plus scope and become APC indicators. 2018 supporting evidence is pre-filled and pre-validated
  • MA5, PD1: become Validation Plus indicators and the supporting evidence is reviewed for all participants

Indicators level comments

Entity & Reporting Characteristics

RC-NC1.1

Vacant land is excluded from the reporting scope.

Rationale for change:Vacant land does not share the same ESG issues as standing investments or development projects, and it does not directly associate to any performance indicator.

Policy and Disclosure

PD2

Two new options are added “Employee Health & Well-being” and “Tenant/customer and community health & well-being”.

Rationale for change:This is part of the Health & Well-being integration.

Impact of change:The scope of the indicator is expanded to assess the presence of policies to address employee, tenant/customer and community health and well-being. The indicator will still be pre-filled for 2018 participants.

PD4

Non-scored indicator is further developed to introduce a set of quantitative diversity metrics and the ability to report on governance bodies and employees separately.

Rationale for change:This indicator was introduced as a non-scored indicator in 2018. Building on last year’s answers, we have further developed it into a more analytical indicator on diversity.

Impact of change:The changes bring a better alignment with the GRI Standards and EPRA’s sBPRs.

PD5.2

Third-party verification and third-party assurance of sustainability disclosure receive equal points.

Rationale for change:Over the past years, the non-financial information third-party review industry has witnessed the development of several new verification and assurance standards. The level of scrutiny underpinning such third-party reviews tends to be dictated by the standard used, rather than the terminology used to describe the review process.

Impact of change:The scoring is adjusted to recognize external verification in the same way as external assurance. “Other” answers provided to the Scheme name dropdown menu are subject to validation.

Stakeholder Engagement

SE3.1

Indicator is incorporated into SE5.1

Rationale for change:Consolidation of health & well-being indicators into an individual section

Impact of change:Indicator maintains its score within SE5.1 and is pre-filled with the 2018 information (if applicable)

SE5.1/ SE5.2

New indicators on employees health and well-being.

Rationale for change:Integration of select indicators from the old Health & Well-being Module into the Real Estate Assessment.

Impact of change:The weight of the Stakeholder Engagement aspect increases as a result of:

  • SE5.1: 2p, S, IM
  • SE5.2: 0p, S, IM

New Construction and Major Renovation

NC7.2

The open textboxes for describing the entity’s definition of “net-zero energy” and referenced code/standards are replaced by checkboxes.

Rationale for change:Responses in open textboxes are difficult to compare and provide little analytical value.

Impact of change:An easier to report, better-structured indicator.

Entity & Reporting Characteristics

Entity Characteristics

Reporting Characteristics

New Construction & Major Renovations

Management

Sustainability Objectives

2018 Indicator

2 points , MP, G

3 points , MP, G

Sustainability Decision Making

2018 Indicator

2 points , MP, G

1 point , MP, G

3 points , MP, G

Policy & Disclosure

ESG Policies

2018 Indicator

3 points , MP, G

2 points , MP, G

2 points , MP, G

Not scored , MP, G

Sustainability Disclosure

2018 Indicator

4 points , MP, G

2 points , MP, G

Not scored , MP, G

Not scored , MP, G

Not scored , MP, G

Risks & EMS

Governance

2018 Indicator

1 point , IM, G

2 points , IM, G

Environmental & Social

2018 Indicator

2 points , IM, E

Environmental Management Systems

2018 Indicator

3 points , MP, G

Stakeholder Engagement

Employees

2018 Indicator

2 points , IM, S

1.5 points , IM, S

1 point , IM, S

0.5 points , IM, S

Suppliers

2018 Indicator

3 points , MP, G

Not scored , MP, G

Health and Well-being

2018 Indicator

2 points , IM, S

Not scored , IM, S

New Construction & Major Renovations

Sustainability Requirements

2018 Indicator

1 point , MP, G

3 points , MP, G

1.5 points , MP, G

Materials and Certifications

2018 Indicator

2.5 points , MP, E

2 points , IM, E

5 points , IM, E

Energy Efficiency

2018 Indicator

3 points , MP, E

3 points , IM, E

1 point , IM, E

Water Conservation and Waste Management

2018 Indicator

2 points , MP, E

2 points , MP, E

Supply Chain

2018 Indicator

2 points , MP, S

2 points , IM, S

Health, Safety and Well-being

2018 Indicator

2 points , MP, S

1 point , MP, S

1 point , IM, S

Community Impact and Engagement

2018 Indicator

1.5 points , IM, S

1.5 points , IM, G