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2020

Real Estate

Reference Guide

Contents

Disclaimer: 2020 GRESB Real Estate Assessment Reference Guide Pre-Release

The 2020 GRESB Real Estate Assessment Reference Guide (“Reference Guide”) accompanies the 2020 GRESB Real Estate Assessment and is published both as a standalone document and in the GRESB Portal alongside each Assessment indicator. The Reference Guide reflects the opinions of GRESB and not of our members. The information in the Reference Guide 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 Reference Guide prior to its publication. While we do not anticipate major changes, we reserve the right to make modifications to the Reference Guide. We will publicly announce any such modifications.

The Reference Guide 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 Reference Guide.

Except where stated otherwise, GRESB is the exclusive owner of all intellectual property rights in all the information contained in the Reference Guide. 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 Real Estate Assessment. 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.

Overview of GRESB 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 three ESG Components - Management, Performance, and Development. 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.

(Real Estate) 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. NAREIT encourages its corporate members to complete the annual GRESB Real Estate Assessments, which, for the past seven 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.

GRESB Infrastructure Assessment

The GRESB Infrastructure Assessments are an ESG engagement and benchmarking tool for institutional investors, fund managers, infrastructure companies and asset operators working in the infrastructure space. There are two complimentary GRESB Infrastructure Assessments: a Fund Assessment and an Asset Assessment. Both address critical aspects of ESG performance through a globally applicable and standardized reporting and benchmarking framework. The Fund Assessment is intended for infrastructure funds and portfolios of assets, while the Asset Assessment is meant to be completed by the individual underlying assets (portfolio companies). Both Assessments cover the full breadth of infrastructure sectors, including:

The GRESB Infrastructure 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. In turn, GRESB Infrastructure Assessment participants receive comparative business intelligence on where they stand against their peers, a roadmap with actions they can take to improve their ESG performance and a communication platform to engage with investors.

GRESB (Real Estate and Infrastructure) Public Disclosure

GRESB Public Disclosure evaluates the level of ESG disclosure by listed property companies and investment vehicles for an entire investable universe. The evaluation is based on a set of indicators aligned with the GRESB Real Estate and Infrastructure Assessments. It provides investors with a resource hub to access ESG disclosure documents across their full listed investment portfolio and make comparisons against an investable universe with full coverage.

GRESB Public Disclosure data is initially collected by the GRESB team for selected companies, including both 2019 GRESB Real Estate and Infrastructure Asset Assessment participants and non‑participants. All data collected must come from publicly available sources, private documents are not accepted.

All constituents have the opportunity to review and update the data collected prior to it becoming accessible to GRESB Listed Investor Members. GRESB Public Disclosure consists of four Aspects: Governance of Sustainability, Implementation, Operational Performance and Stakeholder Engagement. Together, these Aspects contribute towards a Public Disclosure Level, expressed through an A to E sliding scale.

(Real Estate and Infrastructure) Supplement: Resilience

The GRESB Resilience Module is an optional supplement to the GRESB Real Estate and Infrastructure Assessments. The Resilience Module evaluates how real estate and infrastructure companies and funds are identifying and assessing long-term trends, preparing for potentially disruptive events and changing conditions, and ultimately becoming more resilient over time. The Module provides companies and funds with the opportunity to communicate their governance, risk assessment, business strategy, and performance measurement for climate-related risks and opportunities.

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 the processes that property and infrastructure companies use to identify, assess, and manage climate-related risks.

The Resilience Module was designed to align with the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). While it is not meant to, by itself, constitute a complete climate-related risk disclosure in accordance with the TCFD, it nonetheless provides a strong basis for one in the context of real estate and infrastructure fund management. Additionally, while the Resilience Module aligns with the TCFD, it takes a broader perspective than the TCFD by providing indicators related to social risks caused or exacerbated by transition or physical climate-related risk factors.

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 limited to making structural changes to the Assessments rather than introducing new indicators or making extensive content changes with an impact on scoring.

The structural changes arise from the introduction of the separate Management, Performance and Development Components. On the content side, the number of indicators in the Assessments has been reduced and several indicators have been simplified. This is particularly apparent in the Performance Component, where the introduction of asset level reporting has allowed the removal of several indicators measuring data availability and coverage.

With the introduction of the GRESB Development Benchmark, participants with development activities will have a better understanding of their ESG performance and how this compares to their peers. Previously, this benchmark only included developers, but now managers with both standing investments and development projects will be included in both the GRESB Development Benchmark and GRESB Real Estate Benchmark and will receive two Benchmark Reports to reflect their performance in each category.

Overall, the 2020 Assessments provide more consistency between real estate and infrastructure and an improved alignment with other responding 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, Performance and Development components, on the basis that:

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

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 it 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.

2020 Participation Fee

The Assessment participation fee applies to all GRESB Assessments. Participants are able to complete only one component (Management, Performance, or Development), where the standard participation fee will be applied regardless of the number of submitted components.

Entities can participate in the GRESB Assessments for their first year for free. The entity will be benchmarked and receive a free Scorecard. They will have the option of purchasing a Benchmark Report.

Entities headquartered in non-OECD countries can participate in the GRESB Assessments for free. The entity will be benchmarked and receive a free Scorecard with their GRESB Score. They will have the option of purchasing a Benchmark Report.

Other products and services (e.g. Response Checks, Customized Benchmark Reports, training seats, etc.) are no longer bundled with the Assessment participation fee. This allows participants to select only those products and services they require.

Additional information about the 2020 participation fee is available here.

Timeline and Process

The Assessment Portal opens on April 1, 2020. The submission deadline is July 1, 2020 (23:59:59 PST), 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 GRESB introduces a new Review Period in the Assessment Cycle to further strengthen the reliability of the 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 the month. During the Review Period, participants will be able to submit a review request to GRESB using a dedicated form (see Appendix 4b). 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 on the Review Period see Appendix 4a.

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

Response Check

A Response Check is a high-level check of a participant’s submission. The Response Check is carried out by the GBCI Validation team and features a careful review of your Assessment response followed by a 1-hour discussion call. It can be particularly useful for first time participants.

The Response Check does not exclude the participant from any element of the validation process, nor does it guarantee a better GRESB score. It is intended to ensure that no important details have been overlooked in the submission and provides the opportunity to ask for additional guidance and clarification on the GRESB Assessment indicators. The Response Check helps reduce errors that may adversely impact Assessment results and identifies inconsistent responses and incorrect answer formats.

The Response Check fee is 1,750 EUR (exclusive of VAT). The Response Check is available for request from April 1 to June 1, 2020 (11:59:59 p.m., PST) subject to resources availability. We strongly encourage participants to place their request as early as possible. The Response Check can be requested before the Assessment has been completed, but the scope of the review will be limited the information filled in at the time of the request.

Guidance & Support

The Assessment Portal includes indicator-specific guidance, available under the “Guidance” tab that explains:

In addition to the guidance in the Portal, each Assessment is accompanied by a Reference Guide. The Reference Guide provides introductory information on the Assessments and a report-format version of the indicator-by-indicator guidance that is available under the Guidance tab in the Portal.

The GRESB Assessment Portal has the following tools and functionality to help ensure an efficient and accurate submission:

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.

GRESB has launched a free online training platform in 2020. The training courses are modular and self-paced, walking participants through the various aspects of the Assessments, summarizing changes in 2020 compared to last year, and providing detailed examples and tips for a successful submission. Registration will be available via this link.

GRESB will also host in-person training sessions in selected cities globally, from late March to early April. The sessions will allow participants to engage with GRESB staff directly.

Dates and locations for the training can be found here.

Access to Data

Data is submitted to GRESB through a secure online platform and can only be seen by current GRESB Staff or authorized personnel from GRESB’s parent company, i.e, GBCI, Inc. (“GBCI”). GRESB benchmark scores are not made public.

Access to Assessment results:

Data collected through the GRESB Real Estate Assessment is only disclosed to the participants themselves and:

No other third parties will see the data. GRESB Investor Members must request access to a participant’s Benchmark results and scores, allowing the participant the control to either accept or deny this request.

Access to uploaded evidence:

Documentation provided as evidence can be made available to GRESB Real Estate Investor Members on a document by document basis. Each uploaded document has a checkbox (with the default set to ‘not available’) which, when selected by the participant, makes this evidence available to all investors with access to that entity. It is not possible to choose a subset of investors which you would like to share the documents for.

GRESB has developed a number of tools to assist participants with the collection and aggregation of asset-level data that is required to complete certain aspects of the Assessment. Property companies and funds are encouraged to use the asset level tools to streamline data flows, and to increase data quality. The asset-level data provided to GRESB is strictly confidential and will only be used for aggregation to portfolio level. No individual asset level information will be disclosed to participants’ investors.

As a default, GRESB does not disclose a participant’s data to other participants. For listed entities, the entity name is disclosed in the Benchmark Report, as well as the entity names of listed peer group constituents. For non-listed entities, only the fund manager’s name is disclosed, as well as the fund manager’s name of private peer group constituents.

Access to peer group results:

GRESB provides an opt-in option that will disclose the entity’s name (public) or fund manager’s name (private), as well as the scores for the different Components, to participants in the peer group that also opted to disclose their name and dimension scores.

Access to asset-level data:

The asset-level data provided to GRESB is strictly confidential and will only be used for aggregation to portfolio level. No individual asset level information will be disclosed to participants’ investors, without the managers’ explicit consent.

The main driver for asset level reporting is to improve investor confidence in data quality. In addition, it enables us to provide participants with additional insights into the impact of their ESG programs, the basis for and paves the way for more tailored assessments in the future. For more information, please refer to GRESB data quality page.

GDPR compliance:

GRESB is fully compliant with GDPR. You can check the GRESB Privacy Statement here. We also have specific internal policies, such as our Data Breach Policy and our Data Protection Policy, related to GDPR that we cannot share externally for security reasons. Please note that asset level data does not fall under the incidence of GDPR because it does not contain any personal data.

Cybersecurity:

GRESB’s data security measures and systems have been reviewed by an external expert and no issues were flagged. The GRESB website and the GRESB Portal are fully HTTPS/TLS encrypted. GRESB has strict and extensive policies on data security that cannot be shared externally for security reasons. GRESB’s public policies can be accessed here.

Grace Period

First year participants can submit the Assessment without providing GRESB Investor Members with the ability to request access to their results. This is referred to as a “Grace Period”.

First year participants wishing to report under the Grace Period can select the option on an entity-by-entity basis from the settings section in the Assessment Portal. Participants who select the “Grace Period” option can decide to unselect the option following receipt of their results. The Grace Period is not available in the second year of participation, regardless of whether it was used in the first year or not.

The “Grace Period” allows participants a year to familiarize themselves with the GRESB reporting and assessment process. The names of participating entities are still visible during the Grace Period, but GRESB Investor Members will not be able to request to see their results.

Grace Period participants receive a GRESB Scorecard and have the opportunity to purchase a Benchmark Report for a more in-depth analysis of their ESG performance.

Participant Tools

The following tools help participants with the submission process:

The tools are designed to streamline data flows and increase data quality.

In 2020, participants can use the online GRESB Asset Portal or a data partner system to upload asset-level data for the following indicators:

GRESB Real Estate Assessment and Reference Guide Structure

Allocation to E, S, G

Each indicator is allocated to one of the three ESG dimensions (E- environmental; S- social; G- governance):

Assessment indicator structure

Every indicator in the 2020 Assessment can be answered with ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ and in some cases with ‘Not applicable’. If ‘Yes’ is selected, the participant has the option to further classify the response by selecting one or more sub-options.

Participants should select all sub-options that accurately describe the entity and for which the entity can provide evidence. If ‘No’ or ‘Not applicable’ is selected, the participant may not select any additional sub-options. “A Not Applicable” answer is interpreted and scored in the same way as a “No” and will yield 0 points. Each indicator displays the corresponding 2019 indicator, or ‘NEW’ if the indicator has been added in 2020. This is also reflected in the guidance notes for every indicator.

Evidence

Selected indicators in the Assessment require supporting evidence. Evidence is information that can be used to validate the overall answer to the indicator and support the additionally selected criteria.

GRESB does not have a prescriptive standard for evidence, rather the expectation is that a validator with reasonable domain expertise can review the evidence and find support for the overall indicator response and selected answer options. This means that the uploaded evidence should clearly reference the answer options selected by the participant. The evidence should not require extensive interpretation or inference, and participants are strongly encouraged to provide the simplest evidence that supports their claim.

Hyperlink

If a hyperlink (or deep link) is provided, ensure that the relevant page can be accessed within two steps. Ideally, the landing page should contain all the information needed to validate the answer. In order to qualify as valid supporting evidence, the evidence provided must demonstrate the existence of the relevant topic relating to each of the criteria selected. The participant has the obligation to ensure that the hyperlink is functioning. Broken links are the responsibility of the participant and will be interpreted as the absence of evidence. Hyperlinks can only be provided if indicated. In all other instances, the actual document should be uploaded. Hyperlinks in uploaded documents will not be checked.

Language

Your Assessment response must be submitted in English. Documents uploaded as supporting evidence do not need to be entirely translated. However, for evidence provided in languages other than English, a thorough summary sufficient to convey the requirements have been met is required for validation purposes. Participants may make use of the open text box to provide the document(s) summary. In addition, each selected issue must be identified in the evidence uploads by providing page number and exact location such as paragraph, clause, sentence, bullet number, etc.

GRESB intends to translate the 2020 GRESB Real Estate Assessment into Japanese. For other languages, the GRESB Assessment Portal can be translated by using “Google translate” via the Google Chrome web browser. This applies to the Assessment Portal, guidance notes, and online version of the Reference Guide.

How to use Google Translate:

  1. On your computer, open Chrome.
  2. Go to the web page you wish to translate in another language.
  3. At the top, click the Translate icon.
  4. Chrome will translate the web page this one time.

Turn translation on

You can control whether Chrome will offer to translate web pages.

  1. On your computer, open Chrome.
  2. At the top-right, click ⠇ >Settings.
  3. At the bottom, click Advanced.
  4. Under 'Languages', click Language.
  5. Tick or untick 'Offer to translate pages that aren't in a language you read'.
  6. If the page is not yet being translated to your language, click on the Translate icon again, select “options”, and make sure your “Translation language” is not set to something else. If it is, change it to the desired language for translation.

Disclaimer

Please note that not all text may be translated accurately or be translated at all. GRESB is not responsible for incorrect or inaccurate translations. GRESB will not be held responsible for any damage or issues that may result from using Google Translate.

Open text boxes

Over the years, the number of scored open text boxes has been reduced to zero in an effort to shift focus from management to performance. Open text boxes are now only used for reporting purposes and to provide additional context for a subset of indicators. Note that the contents of the open text boxes are included in the GRESB Benchmark Report.

“Other” answers

Many indicators offer the opportunity to provide an alternative answer option (‘Other’). These other answers must be distinct from the options listed in the question. It is possible to add multiple other answers, however scores will not be aggregated. All Other answers are validated as part of the data validation process.

Indicator-specific guidance

The indicator-specific guidance contains:

Reporting year

Answers must refer to the reporting year identified in EC4: Reporting year in the Real Estate Assessment, unless the indicator specifies otherwise.

A response to an indicator must be true at the close of the reporting year; however, the response does not need to have been true for the entire reporting year. For example, if a policy was put in place one month prior to the end of the reporting year, this is acceptable, it need not have been in place for the entire reporting year. GRESB does not favour the use of calendar year over fiscal year or vice versa, as long as the chosen reporting year is used consistently throughout the Assessment.

Reporting entity

Answers must be applicable to the entity level. When a participating entity is part of a larger investment management organization or group of companies (the ‘Organization’), GRESB participants should use the open text box to explain how the answers apply to the entity.

Scoring Methodology

[This section will be updated on April 1, at the start of the 2020 GRESB reporting period].

GRESB Score

The GRESB Real Estate Benchmark will consist of participants completing both the Management and Performance Components. The GRESB Development Benchmark will consist of participants completing both the Management and Development Components. While each Component determines an individual score (ie: Management Component Score, Performance Component Score, Development Component Score), the GRESB Scores and GRESB Ratings will only apply to entities completing all relevant Components for their portfolios. The possible combinations are set out below and illustrated in the diagram that follows:

A: Portfolios with only standing investments submit:

B: Portfolios with only development projects submit:

C: Portfolios with both standing investments and development projects submit:

GRESB Rating

The GRESB Rating is an overall measure of how well ESG issues are integrated into the management and practices of companies and funds. The rating is based on the GRESB Real Estate Score and its quintile position relative to the GRESB universe, with annual calibration of the model. It is calculated relative to the global performance of all reporting entities - property type and geography are not taken into account. In this way the GRESB Rating provides investors with insight into the differentiation of overall ESG performance within the global property sector. If certain regions systematically perform better, they will on average have higher-rated companies and funds. If the entity is placed in the top quintile, it will have a GRESB 5-star rating; if it is in the bottom quintile, it will have a GRESB 1-star rating, etc.

Entities with a score higher than 50 for both the Management and Performance Components receive the Green Star designation, highlighted through a distinctive markup in the Scorecard and Benchmark Reports.

Entity categorization

A pre-set threshold determines an entity’s geographic location and property type:

Peer group allocation

Each participant is assigned to a peer group, based on the entity’s legal structure (public/private), property type and geographical location. To ensure participant anonymity, GRESB will only create a peer group if there is a minimum of six peers in the group.

Peer group assignments do not affect a company/fund’s score, but determine how GRESB places an Assessment participant’s results into context.

The goal of the peer group creation process is to compare participants who share as many characteristics as possible, while:

Each participant can be part of multiple peer groups, but can only have one active peer group. The active peer group is the one which is used for benchmarking and is displayed in the participant’s Benchmark Report. This means that participant A can be in the active peer group of participant B, without participant B being in the active peer group of participant A. The practical consequence of this is that A will be displayed in the Benchmark Report of B under “Peer Group Constituents”, while B will not be displayed in the Benchmark Report of A.

The peer group composition is determined by a simple set of quantitative rules and provides consistent treatment for all participants. If the peer group is too small or has too many participants with the same fund manager, we eliminate filters until we have a valid peer group. There are two ways in which the filter can be widened:

The system attempts to find the best peer group based on the criteria presented above. For more information about the peer group allocation methodology, see Appendix 3b - Peer Group Allocation Methodology.

Peer group disclosure

For public companies, the entity name of the peer group constituents is disclosed in the Benchmark Report. For private entities, only the fund manager’s name of the peer group constituents is disclosed. GRESB provides an opt-in option that discloses the entity’s name (listed) or fund manager’s name (private), as well as the scores for the two components (Management + Performance or Management + Development). However, this is only disclosed to participants in the peer group who also opted to disclose their name and component scores.

Customized Benchmark Reports

Participants who would like to be compared against a different peer group than the one assigned by GRESB can request a Customized Benchmark Report (click here for details). The GRESB Customized Benchmark Report provides advanced analytics through alternative indicator-level performance comparisons and rankings based on a self-selected peer group. It builds on the detailed insights you can draw from the standard Benchmark Report and adds additional flexibility to understand your relative performance in the market.

2020 GRESB Data Validation Process

Data validation is an important part of GRESB’s annual benchmarking process. The purpose of data validation is to encourage best practices in data collection and reporting. It provides the basis for GRESB’s continued efforts to provide investment grade data to its investor members.

GRESB validation is a check on the existence, accuracy, and logic of data submitted through the GRESB Assessments. The validation process includes both automatic and manual validation.

Automatic validation is integrated into the portal as participants fill out their Assessments, and consists of errors and warnings displayed in the portal to ensure that Assessment submissions are complete and accurate.

Manual validation takes place after submission, and consists of document and text review to check that the answers provided in Assessment are supported by sufficient evidence. The validation rules and process are set and overseen by GRESB but the validation is performed by a third party, GBCI.

For more information about the 2020 Validation Process, see Appendix 2a - GRESB 2020 Validation Process.

Validation issues: queries and disputes

Participants with questions on individual validation decisions can contact the GRESB Helpdesk.

New in 2020, GRESB will introduce a new Review Period (see Appendix 4a for more information) 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 the 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.

Participants who want to communicate specific points on the results presented in the Benchmark Report can use the “Respondent score comments” field – this will be seen by investors

For a complete interpretation of the validation decisions in the Assessment, participants can request a Results Review. For more information about the Results Review, click here.

Reporting Scope and Boundaries

GRESB requires property companies and funds to report on their whole portfolio, including both Landlord Controlled and Tenant Controlled areas (see below).

The Annual GRESB Assessment includes all assets that are held during the reporting year, including those that have been sold or purchased. For these assets, ESG data is reported for the period of time that the assets were part of the portfolio. This enables us to deliver the standardized and comparable assessment of portfolio-level ESG performance that the market is seeking. However it is also worth noting that in addition to simple overall scores of ESG performance - such as the GRESB Real Estate Score and GRESB Ratings - we provide detailed aspect-level and individual indicator-level assessments of performance. This richer analysis, further complimented by peer group benchmarking, enables managers to understand their results in the context of their investment strategies and communicate this to their investors.

Joint ventures

When an asset or assets are part of a joint venture, joint operation or are in joint ownership, participants are required to report on these assets, even if the joint arrangement means that the participant does not have direct operational control over the asset(s). Joint venture partners with a stake of 25 percent or higher are considered to have significant influence over operational initiatives and can therefore drive implementation of ESG initiatives and performance improvements, even in the case the operational control resides with another partner. If the equity share in a joint venture, joint operation or joint ownership is more than, or equal to 25 percent, participants can choose to either (a) report on their share or (b) report on the full asset. This must be done consistently throughout the portfolio and is regardless of operational or management control. This may result in an asset being included in two separate submissions. However, this does not impact GRESB’s analysis or the benchmark results. If the equity share in a joint venture, joint operation or joint ownership is less than 25 percent, participants can exclude the asset(s) from the reporting boundaries. In either case, participants must explain their approach in the open text box in R1.1.

If an asset is part of multiple portfolios managed by the same fund manager, the asset should be treated as a joint venture in each portfolio. The rules outlined above apply.

Landlord/Tenant Controlled Areas

In the past, GRESB used to classify assets as Managed or Indirectly Managed. Such classification was based on the notion of operational control and aligned with the GHG Protocol. In 2020, this concept is replaced by "Landlord Controlled" and "Tenant Controlled" areas, where the same notion of operational control applies to differentiate one from the other. However, while the rationale remains unchanged compared to previous years, the distinction now takes place at the space/area level. Consequently, one asset can include both landlord and tenant controlled areas. The definition of Landlord and Tenant Controlled areas in the Assessment is solely based on the landlord/tenant relationship.

Landlord controlled areas are those for which the landlord is determined to have “operational control” where operational control is defined as having the ability to introduce and implement operating policies, health and safety policies, and/or environmental policies. If both the landlord and tenant have the authority to introduce and implement any or all of the policies mentioned above, the area should be reported as landlord controlled. Where a single tenant has the greatest authority to introduce and implement operating policies and environmental policies, the tenant should be assumed to have operational control. For example, in the case of a full repairing and insuring (FRI) lease in England and Wales, the tenant has operational control meaning that the area is tenant controlled.

GRESB distinguishes between Landlord and Tenant Controlled areas in the Energy, GHG Emissions, Water, and Waste aspects of the Performance Component. GRESB has done so in recognition of the fact that landlords of tenant controlled areas may have little or no control over the use or purchase of utilities for the asset, or over waste management practices. The guidance for this aspect explains GRESB’s approach in more detail.

GRESB does not specifically distinguish between landlord-and tenant controlled areas outside of the Energy, GHG Emissions, Water, and Waste aspects.The Assessment measures ESG performance using a consistent methodology that applies both to listed companies and private funds and which applies across property sectors and regions. GRESB encourages the collection of data and qualitative information regarding ESG issues that give property companies and funds and their investors the tools to identify areas in which they can improve performance and as a toolkit for internal and external engagement.

Furthermore, while GRESB does measure absolute performance, it emphasizes the importance of peer group comparisons in scoring and the analysis of benchmark results. Where participant numbers allow this, GRESB creates separate peer groups for each property type, for listed and private entities and for Landlord and Tenant Controlled areas. Additionally, participants have the opportunity to explain the composition of their portfolio in the open text box in R1.1, including clarifying limits on asset control that arise from the landlord/tenant relationship.

With these factors in mind, while the landlord’s day-to-day involvement in tenant controlled areas may be limited, the topics covered by the Assessment are equally relevant to landlord controlled areas. Accordingly, the same questions and methodology apply.

2020 GRESB Real Estate Assessment Changes

GRESB works closely with its members and broader industry stakeholders to ensure the Assessment addresses material issues in the ESG performance of real estate investments. The main focus of the 2020 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.

For a full list of the 2020 Real Estate Assessment Changes, see Appendix 1.

Entity & Reporting Characteristics

Information provided in the Entity and Reporting Characteristics aspect identifies the reporting entity's characteristics that remain constant across different reporting periods (year-on-year).

Entity Characteristics

Intent

Identify the participating entity. This information will be displayed in the GRESB Portal and in the entity’s Benchmark Report(s).

Requirements

Complete all applicable fields.

Terminology

Entity manager (organization) name: Legal name of the organization that manages the entity (typically applicable for non-listed entities only).

Entity name: Fund or company name of the investable entity for which the Assessment is submitted. In the case of listed companies, the entity name is the legal name of the organization, also used for identification on international stock exchanges. In the case of non-listed entities, the entity name identifies the investable portfolio for which the Assessment is submitted.

Intent

Describe the ownership status and characteristics of the participating entity.

Requirements

Select one of the options and select all applicable sub-options. Entities reporting to GRESB are expected to represent investable vehicles, and these entities are expected to represent all real estate assets held by the vehicle (i.e., the whole portfolio).

If two or more listed companies merge into one entity during the reporting year, report on the structure, policies and procedures of the newly formed entity as of the end of the reporting year.

Note: GRESB Real Estate Investor Members that invest in listed real estate securities have access to the results of all listed entities that participate in the GRESB Real Estate and/or Developer Assessment. Publicly traded closed-end funds should be considered as non-listed entities given their level of disclosure requirements.

Terminology

Closed end fund: An investment vehicle with a fixed amount of capital. Limited liquidity, with the redemption of units provided for at the end of the life of the vehicle.

Club Deal An investment vehicle or structure with generally a limited number of investors investing in a common strategy. Typically, investors have more discretion and control than in a typical fund, and have veto rights over major decisions.

Core: An entity that includes a preponderance of core attributes; the entity as a whole will have low leasing exposure and low leverage. A low percentage of non-core assets is acceptable. As a result, such portfolios should achieve relatively high-income returns and exhibit relatively low volatility. Low-risk entities that invest in stabilized, income producing property, which is typically held for 5 to 10 years and have limited acquisition/disposal activity after the fund has been invested. Assets in core funds are characterized by stable income returns with less capital growth.

A Core Plus fund invests in similar style assets but adopts a more aggressive management style. Core Plus entities are considered Core for the purposes of the GRESB Assessment.

Debt: A fund or similar entity that has been set up for the purposes of issuing or investing in loans or bonds.

Direct Investment: The purchase of a controlling interest or a minority interest of such size and influence that active control is a feasible objective.

Fund or vehicle: Terms used to describe a structure where at least three investors’ capital is pooled together and managed as a single entity with a common investment aim. For the purposes of these definitions, these terms can be used interchangeably.

Government entity: A real estate portfolio managed by a government agency (e.g. U.S. General Services Administration, GSA). Government portfolios are formed of publicly owned, publicly managed and publicly leased properties.

Infinite structure: Refers to funds with no specified or intended termination dates.

ISIN: International Securities Identification Number. ISINs are assigned to securities to facilitate unambiguous clearing and settlement procedures. They are composed of a 12-digit alphanumeric code and act to unify different ticker symbols, which can vary by exchange and currency for the same security. In the United States, ISINs are extended versions of 9-character CUSIP codes.

Joint Venture: A vehicle where at least two parties share a common investment objective. Control over significant risk management decisions is not transferred to an external manager, but is exercised by members in the venture.

Open end fund: An investment vehicle with a variable and unlimited amount of capital. Investors may purchase or redeem units or shares from the vehicle as outlined in contractual agreements.

Opportunistic: An entity of preponderantly non-core investments that is expected to derive most of its return from appreciation/ depreciation and/ or which is expected to and may exhibit significant volatility in returns. This volatility may be due to a variety of characteristics, such as exposure to development, significant leasing risk, high leverage, or a combination of moderate risk factors. High-risk entities that invest in greater yielding assets; for example, developments without pre-leasing, properties involving significant repositioning or that are distressed, and large portfolio acquisitions, purchased to be re-packaged and sold in smaller lot sizes. Opportunity funds generally maintain higher leverage limits and have shorter holding periods for assets.

Private entity: A company or fund that is not a listed or traded on any stock exchange. Also known as non-listed entities or private portfolios.

Public entity: A company that is publicly listed and traded on a recognized stock exchange, such as Nasdaq or NYSE. Also known as "listed entities”.

REIT: A Real Estate Investment Trust is an investment vehicle for real estate that is comparable to a mutual fund. Listed REITs are traded on a stock exchange.

Value-added: An entity that generally includes a mix of core investments and non-core investments that will have less stable income streams. The entity as a whole is likely to have moderate lease exposure and moderate leverage. As a result, such entities should achieve a significant portion of the return from appreciation/ depreciation and are expected to exhibit moderate volatility.

Moderately higher-risk entities that typically engage in “forms of active management, such as tenant lease-up, repositioning or redevelopment, to generate returns through adding value to the investment properties”.

References

INREV Global Definitions Database, 2018

Intent

Describe the activity commencement or establishment date of the entity.

Requirements

Provide the year of commencement/establishment.

Terminology

Year of commencement: The year in which the reporting entity began investing in the market. If a listed entity is delisted (i.e., taken private) but remains under the same management, the date of original commencement can be used for “date of first closing” for the new non-listed entity. If the entity is taken private by a new management company, the first day of closing should be the date of privatization. This information is not used for scoring and used for context only; portfolio vintage may affect the ability to implement ESG policies and strategies.

Year of establishment: A date specified by the manager on which the vehicle is launched, the initial capital subscription is completed, and the commitment period commences.

Intent

Set the entity’s annual reporting year.

Requirements

Select one of the options.

Participants are required to specify the starting month of their fiscal year. If participants select Fiscal year, starting months between February and June must correspond to calendar years 2019/2020. For example, an entity reporting from April to March will be considered covering the period of April 2019 - March 2020. On the other hand, starting months between July and December must correspond to calendar years 2018/2019. For example an entity reporting from October to September will be considered covering the period of October 2018 - September 2019.

Terminology

Calendar year: January 1 – December 31.

Fiscal year: The period used to calculate annual financial statements. Depending on the jurisdiction the fiscal year can start on April 1, July 1, October 1, etc.

Reporting year: Responses provided in the Assessment must refer to the reporting year identified in this indicator and should correspond to the most recently closed calendar year / fiscal year, as applicable. A response to an indicator must be true at the close of the reporting year; however, the response does not need to have been true for the entire reporting year. GRESB does not favour the use of calendar year over fiscal year or viceversa, as long as the chosen reporting year is used consistently throughout the Assessment.

Reporting Characteristics

Intent

Set the currency for which the entity’s real estate portfolio of assets is denominated.

Requirements

State the currency used by the entity for Assessment indicators that require a monetary value as a response.

Other: State the other currency form.

Intent

Gross Asset Value (“GAV”) is a metric used in GRESB data analysis to identify the size of the portfolio.

Requirements

Complete the GAV field in millions (e.g., a GAV of $75,000,000 must be reported as 75).

Do not include a currency, as this has been reported in indicator RC1 above, but make sure the currency applied for GAV reporting is consistent with indicator RC1.

The value provided should be the GAV of the real estate portfolio at the end of the reporting year, and should include Development projects (if any).

As an alternative to GAV, you may report using the market value, the fair value or Net Asset Value (NAV) of the portfolio, at the end of the reporting year.

Terminology

GAV: Gross Asset Value.

Intent

Metrics are needed to ensure comparability for benchmarking and reporting purposes. Set the reporting units used by the entity.

Requirements

Select one of the options, and use it consistently when reporting the floor area of the portfolio.

Intent

Describe the location of the entity’s assets by country, as well as the portfolio composition per property type. GRESB uses the information to create country and regional rankings.

Requirements

Select the countries in which the entity’s investments are located and the property types composing the entity’s portfolio using the fraction of total GAV or net operating income (NOI). Use the drop-down menus.

For further details on GRESB’s Property Types classification, refer to Appendix 3a - Property Types Classification.

References

EPRA Best Practices Recommendations on Sustainability Reporting, 3rd version, September 2017: 5.7, Analysis-Segmental-Analysis

Intent

The entity’s primary business activities during the reporting year is used to determine which GRESB Components are applicable and should be completed. Refer to section Introduction for an overview of the 2020 Assessments Structure.

Requirements

Select the option applicable to the reporting entity. Refer to section Introduction for an overview of the 2020 Assessments Structure.

Terminology

Major Renovations: Alterations that affect more than 50 percent of the total building floor area or cause relocation of more than 50 percent of regular building occupants. Major renovation projects refer to buildings that were under construction at any time during the reporting year.

New Construction: Includes all activities to obtain or change building or land use permissions and financing. Includes construction work for the project with the intention of enhancing the property’s value. Development of new buildings and additions to existing buildings that affect usable space can be treated as new constructions. New construction projects refer to buildings that were under construction at any time during the reporting year.

Standing Investments: Real estate properties where construction work has been completed and which are owned for the purpose of leasing and producing rental income. The level of occupancy is not relevant for this definition. Also known as operating buildings.

Management: Leadership

This aspect evaluates how the entity integrates ESG into its overall business strategy. The purpose of this section is to (1) identify public ESG commitments made by the entity, (2) identify who is responsible for managing ESG issues and has decision-making authority; (3) communicate to investors how the entity structures management of ESG issues and (4) determine how ESG is embedded into the entity.

ESG Commitments and Objectives

2019 Indicator

Not scored , MP, G

Intent

This indicator assesses the entity's commitment to ESG leadership standards or principles. By making a commitment to ESG leadership standards or principles, an entity publicly demonstrates its commitment to ESG, uses organizational standards and/or frameworks that are universally accepted and may have obligations to comply with the standards and/or frameworks.

Requirements

Select yes or no. If yes, select all applicable sub-options.

URL: Hyperlink is mandatory for this indicator, but is used for reporting purposes only. Ensure that the hyperlink is not outdated and the relevant page can be accessed within two steps. The URL should demonstrate the existence of publicly available commitments to ESG leadership relating to each of the standards and/or principles selected.

Other: State the other public commitment. Ensure that the other answer provided is not a duplicate of a selected option above. It is possible to report multiple other answers.

Validation

This indicator is not subject to automatic or manual validation.

See Appendix 2a for additional information about GRESB Validation.

Scoring

This indicator is not scored and is used for reporting purposes only.

Terminology

Climate action 100+: An investor initiative to ensure the world’s largest corporate greenhouse gas emitters take necessary action on climate change. The companies include 100 ‘systemically important emitters’, accounting for two-thirds of annual global industrial emissions, alongside more than 60 others with significant opportunity to drive the clean energy transition.

ESG leadership standards and/or principles: International governmental or organizational standards, principles, frameworks, and/or initiatives that are universally accepted and include a public commitment (i.e., via a public register). These standards are governed independently from commercial interests of one or multiple groups. They are defined in alignment with international frameworks of advancing ESG with accountability and obligations to comply with the standards.

Global Investor Coalition on Climate Change: A collaboration among four regional partner organisations around the world to increase investor education and engagement on climate change and climate-related policies. Launched in 2012, the coalition provides a global platform for dialogue between and among investors and world governments to accelerate low-carbon investment practices, corporate actions on climate risk and opportunities, and international policies that support the goals of the Paris Agreement.

International Labour Organization (ILO) Standards: International labour standards are legal instruments drawn up by the ILO's constituents (governments, employers and workers) and setting out basic principles and rights at work.

Montreal Pledge: Supported by the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), the pledge is a commitment by investors to annually measure and publicly disclose their portfolios carbon footprint.

OECD - Guidelines for multinational enterprises: The OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises are recommendations addressed by governments to multinational enterprises operating in or from adhering countries. They provide non-binding principles and standards for responsible business conduct in a global context consistent with applicable laws and internationally recognised standards.

PRI: The PRI works with its international network of signatories to put the six Principles for Responsible Investment into practice. Its goals are to understand the investment implications of environmental, social and governance issues and to support signatories in integrating these issues into investment and ownership decisions.

RE 100: RE100 is a global initiative uniting businesses committed to 100% renewable electricity, working to massively increase demand for and delivery of renewable energy. RE100 is convened by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP.

Science Based Targets initiative: The initiative is a collaboration between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute, and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) which has a goal of enabling companies setting science based targets to reduce GHG emissions.

Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD): The Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures will develop voluntary, consistent climate-related financial risk disclosures for use by companies in providing information to investors, lenders, insurers, and other stakeholders.

UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative: The UNEP FI is a partnership between United Nations Environment and the global financial sector with a mission to promote sustainable finance. UN Global Compact: The UN Global Compact is a voluntary initiative based on CEO commitments to implement universal sustainability principles and to take steps to support UN goals.

UN Global Compact: The UN Global Compact is a voluntary initiative based on CEO commitments to implement universal sustainability principles and to take steps to support UN goals.

UN Sustainable Development Goals: The Sustainable Development Goals are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and improve the lives and prospects of everyone, everywhere. The 17 Goals were adopted by all UN Member States in 2015, as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which set out a 15-year plan to achieve the Goals.

WorldGBC’s Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment: The Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment (the Commitment) challenges companies, cities, states and regions to reach Net Zero operating emissions in their portfolios by 2030, and to advocate for all buildings to be Net Zero in operation by 2050.

References

Climate Action 100

UNPRI, PRI Reporting Framework, 2018

UN Global Compact Principles, 2000

UN Sustainable Development Goals

UNEP Finance Initiative Statement, 1992

Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures, 2015

International Labour Organization, International Labour Organization Standards, 2014

OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises

2 points , MP, G

Intent

Clear Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) objectives help participants identify material issues and integrate them into the overall day-to-day management practices. Integrating ESG practices into the overall business strategy fosters alignment between management of ESG issues and the overall strategy of the entity. It also demonstrates commitment to monitoring ESG objectives and meeting targets.

Requirements

Select yes or no. If yes, select all applicable sub-options.

URL: Hyperlink is mandatory for this indicator when publicly available is selected, but is used for reporting purposes only. Ensure that the hyperlink is not outdated and the relevant page can be accessed within two steps. The URL should demonstrate the existence of publicly available ESG objectives for each of the objectives selected.

Open text box: The content of this open text box is not used for scoring, but will be included in the Benchmark Report. Participants should use this open text box to communicate on

  1. The scope of the objectives. The text should identify key ESG priorities and issues relevant to the entity. If applicable, explain how these objectives relate to specific elements of the entity’s overall business strategy. Sustainability and/or ESG objectives can relate to quantifiable goals or to strategic developments;
  2. Time bounds around the objectives. The text should include a description indicating whether the objectives are short-term (one to two years), medium-term (two to three years) or long-term (more than three years);
  3. Explanation around the extent of integration of ESG objectives with business strategy and next steps to foster further alignment.

Validation

This indicator is not subject to automatic or manual validation.

See Appendix 2a for additional information about GRESB Validation.

Scoring

Scoring information will be updated on April 1.

Terminology

Environmental objectives: Overall environmental goal, arising from the environmental policy, that an entity sets itself to achieve. The objectives should be quantifiable and correlated with the entity’s ambitions. In turn, they determine targets, which are detailed performance requirements necessary to achieve the environmental objectives.

ESG objectives: Strategic priorities and key topics for the management and/or improvement of ESG issues.

Fully integrated: Complete alignment between the management of ESG issues and the overall strategy of the entity. A fully integrated strategy incorporates ESG to manage risk and create competitive advantages beyond utility cost savings.

General sustainability objectives: Cross-cutting objectives to improve overall ESG performance, such as relative position on sustainability indices or rankings.

Governance objectives: Objectives to improve entity governance. These can relate to governance structures and composition of the entity and how this relates to economic, environmental and social dimensions, or the entity’s approach to corporate governance issues such as transparency, board composition, or bribery and corruption.

Health and well-being: “Health is a complete state of physical, mental and social well-being, not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”(WHO). Health & well-being is impacted by genetics and individual behavior as well as environmental conditions. Particularly relevant to GRESB stakeholders are the social determinants of health, which are the “conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live and age, and the wider set of forces and systems shaping the conditions of daily life.” These are the conditions that enable or discourage healthy living. This could include issues such as physical activity, healthy eating, equitable workplaces, maternity and paternity leave, access to healthcare, reduction in toxic exposures, etc.

Not integrated: ESG objectives were set independently from the overall strategy of the entity.

Overall business strategy: The entity’s long-term strategy for meeting its objectives.

Partially integrated: Refers to any level of alignment less than 'fully integrated'.

Social objectives: Objectives to improve absolute or relative on social issues, such as stakeholder engagement or health and well-being.

References

EPRA Best Practices Recommendations on Sustainability Reporting, 3rd version, September 2017: 5.7, Analysis

SASB (March 2016)-Real Estate Owners, Developers & Investment Trusts: IF0402-05

ESG Decision Making

2019 Indicator

3 points , MP, G

Intent

This indicator identifies resources allocated to ESG management. Having personnel dedicated to ESG issues increases the likelihood that the entity’s ESG objectives will be properly managed and targets will be met.

Requirements

Select yes or no. If yes, select all applicable sub-options.

Details of persons responsible: Participants must provide the name and job title of the relevant person. This information will be used for reporting purposes only.

Validation

This indicator is not subject to automatic or manual validation.

See Appendix 2a for additional information about GRESB Validation.

Scoring

Scoring information will be updated on April 1.

Terminology

Dedicated employee(s) for whom ESG is the core responsibility: The employee(s)’ main responsibility is defining, implementing and monitoring the ESG objectives at entity level.

Employee(s) for whom ESG is among their responsibilities: The implementation and monitoring of ESG is part of the employee’s role, but is not necessarily their main responsibility.

ESG objectives: Strategic priorities and key topics for the management and/or improvement of ESG issues.

External consultants/manager: Organizations or persons to which participants outsource some or all of their ESG strategy and/or implementation.

Investment partners (co-investor/JV partners): A General Partner that co-owns and operates (part of) the entity’s assets and is responsible for implementing ESG objectives at a property level.

Persons responsible: A person or group of people who work on the implementation and completion of the task, project, or strategy.

References

GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards (2016): 102-20

Recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures June 2017: Governance A&B

2 points , MP, G

Intent

This indicator identifies the existence of an internal taskforce focused on ESG components, which demonstrates a structured approach towards integrating ESG practices across the entity.

Requirements

Select yes or no. If yes, select all applicable sub-options.

Validation

Other: State the other type of member included in the taskforce. Other answers can include individuals (e.g.,HR representative) or groups of individuals (e.g., Product innovation team). Ensure that the other answer provided is not a duplicate of a selected option above (e.g., sustainability team when ‘dedicated staff on ESG issues’ is selected). It is possible to report on multiple other answers.

See Appendix 2a for additional information about GRESB Validation.

Scoring

Scoring information will be updated on April 1.

Terminology

Asset manager: A person or group of people responsible for developing and overseeing financial and strategic developments of real estate investments at asset level.

Board of Directors: A body of elected or appointed members who jointly oversee the activities of a company or organization as detailed in the corporate charter. Boards normally comprise both executive and non-executive directors.

C-suite level staff: A team of individuals who have the day-to-day responsibility of managing the entity. C-suite level staff are sometimes referred to, within corporations, as senior management, executive management, executive leadership team, top management, upper management, higher management, or simply seniors.

Dedicated staff on ESG issues: Individuals whose core responsibility is to address ESG issues.

ESG portfolio manager: A person or a group who manages the ESG strategy and implementation of a portfolio of real estate investments.

ESG taskforce/committee: A group of individuals who meet, at least four times per year, to discuss and monitor the implementation of the entity’s ESG objectives.

External managers or service providers: Organizations, businesses or individuals that offer services to others in exchange for payment. These include, but are not limited to, consultants, agents and brokers.

Fund/portfolio manager: A person or a group who manages a portfolio of real estate investments, and the deployment of investor capital, by creating and implementing asset level strategies, across the entire portfolio.

Investment analysts: A person or group with expertise in evaluating financial and investment information, typically for the purpose of making buy, sell and hold recommendations for securities.

Investment committee: A group of selected people who establish a formal process to manage the plan’s investment strategy.

Investor relations: A person or a group that provides investors with an accurate account of company affairs so investors can make better informed decisions.

References

GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards (2016): 103-32

RobecoSAM Corporate Sustainability Assessment 2017: 3.1.5, Responsibilities & Committees

Recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures June 2017: Governance A&B

1 point , MP, G

Intent

The presence of senior management dedicated to ESG increases the likelihood that the objectives will be met. A structured process to keep the most senior decision-maker informed on the entity’s ESG performance increases accountability and encourages continuous improvement.

Requirements

Select yes or no. If yes, select the applicable sub-option.

Senior decision-maker: The entity’s most senior decision-maker on ESG is expected to be actively involved in the process of defining the ESG objectives and should approve associated strategic decisions regarding ESG. This person can be the same as the individual identified in LE3.

Details of employee: Participants must provide the name and job title of the relevant employee. This information will be used for reporting purposes only.

Open text box: The content of this open text box is not used for scoring, but will be included in the Benchmark Report. Participants should use this open text box to communicate on

  1. Means of communication. Examples can include, but are not limited to: written memos, formal reports, presentations or meeting minutes;
  2. Frequency of reporting. Examples can include, but are not limited to: monthly, quarterly or annually;
  3. Contents of reporting. Examples can include, but are not limited to: (i) an overview of asset performance (quantitative), (ii) realized ESG performance against objectives, (iii) updates regarding long-term strategic objectives, (iv) updates/notifications regarding regulatory changes or (v) updates regarding proposed actions to improve the performance of the assets.

Validation

Other: State the other senior decision-maker on sustainability issues. The answer should only refer to the department or governance structure of which the senior decision maker is part of. Ensure that the other answer provided is not a duplicate of a selected option above. Report only one other answer.

See Appendix 2a for additional information about GRESB Validation.

Scoring

Scoring information will be updated on April 1.

Terminology

Asset manager: A person or group of people responsible for developing and overseeing financial and strategic developments of real estate investments at asset level.

Board of Directors: A body of elected or appointed members who jointly oversee the activities of a company or organization as detailed in the corporate charter. Boards normally comprise both executive and non-executive directors.

C-suite level staff: A team of individuals who have the day-to-day responsibility of managing the entity. C-suite level staff are sometimes referred to, within corporations, as senior management, executive management, executive leadership team, top management, upper management, higher management, or simply seniors.

Fund/portfolio manager: A person or a group who manages a portfolio of real estate investments, and the deployment of investor capital, by creating and implementing asset level strategies, across the entire portfolio.

Investment committee: A group of selected people who establish a formal process to manage the plan’s investment strategy.

Person accountable: A person with sign off (approval) authority over the deliverable task, project or strategy. The accountable person can delegate the work to other responsible people who will work on the implementation and completion of the task, project or strategy.

Senior decision-maker accountable for ESG: A senior individual with sign off (approval) authority for approving strategic ESG objectives and steps undertaken to achieve these objectives. The accountable person can delegate the work to other responsible people who will work on the implementation and completion of the task, project or strategy.

References

CDP, CC1.1

GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards (2016): 103-32

RobecoSAM Corporate Sustainability Assessment 2017: 3.1.5, Responsibilities & Committees

Recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures June 2017: Governance A&B

3 points , MP, G

Intent

This indicator identifies whether, and how, ESG issues are addressed in personnel performance targets. It also identifies how the ESG-related objectives outlined in LE2 are reflected within the organizational structure. Including ESG factors in annual performance targets for employees can increase the entity’s capacity to improve ESG performance.

Requirements

Select yes or no. If yes, select all applicable sub-options.

Validation

Evidence: Document upload or hyperlink. The evidence should sufficiently support all the items selected for this question. If a hyperlink is provided, ensure that it is not outdated and the relevant page can be accessed within two steps.

The provided evidence should cover the following elements:
  1. Existence of employee performance targets on ESG related issues to each of the selected personnel groups.
  2. Clearly demonstrated financial and/or non-financial consequences for the selected personnel groups.
  3. Targets must relate to all members within the selected personnel groups. If the target relates to a single employee, that employee should be listed as an Other.

Examples of appropriate evidence include relevant policy or process documents, employee performance reviews relevant to the reporting year, employee contracts, etc.

Other: State the other employee type. Other answers should relate to groups of employees such as acquisition, development, or facilities teams, or specific personnel who have ESG targets assigned to them. Ensure that the other answer provided is not a duplicate of a selected option above (e.g., sustainability team when ‘dedicated staff on ESG issues’ is selected). It is possible to report multiple other answers.

See Appendix 2a for additional information about GRESB Validation.

Scoring

Scoring information will be updated on April 1.

Terminology

Annual performance targets: Targets set in annual performance reviews, which are assessments of employee performance.

Asset manager: A person or group of people responsible for developing and overseeing financial and strategic developments of real estate investments at asset level.

Board of Directors: A body of elected or appointed members who jointly oversee the activities of a company or organization as detailed in the corporate charter. Boards normally comprise both executive and non-executive directors.

C-suite level staff: A team of individuals who have the day-to-day responsibility of managing the entity. C-suite level staff are sometimes referred to, within corporations, as senior management, executive management, executive leadership team, top management, upper management, higher management, or simply seniors.

Dedicated staff on ESG issues: Individuals whose core responsibility is to address ESG issues.

ESG portfolio manager: A person or a group who manages the ESG strategy and implementation of a portfolio of real estate investments.

ESG Factors: Criteria associated with the entity’s ESG objectives identified in LE2.

External managers or service providers: Organizations, businesses or individuals that offer services to others in exchange for payment. These include, but are not limited to, consultants, agents and brokers.

Financial consequences: Predetermined monetary benefits incorporated into the employee compensation structures. The financial consequences are contingent upon the achievement of the annual performance targets.

Fund/portfolio manager: A person or a group who manages a portfolio of real estate investments, and the deployment of investor capital, by creating and implementing asset level strategies, across the entire portfolio.

Investment analysts: A person or group with expertise in evaluating financial and investment information, typically for the purpose of making buy, sell and hold recommendations for securities.

Investment committee: A group of selected people who establish a formal process to manage the plan’s investment strategy.

Investor relations: A person or a group that provides investors with an accurate account of company affairs so investors can make better informed decisions.

Non-financial consequences: Non-financial benefits (or detriments), such as verbal or written recognition, non-financial rewards or opportunities. The non-financial consequences are contingent upon the achievement of the annual performance targets.

References

RobecoSAM Corporate Sustainability Assessment 2017: 3.1.7, Executive Compensation-Success Metrics and Vesting

Management: Policies

This aspect confirms the existence and scope of the entity’s policies that address environmental, social and governance issues.

ESG Policies

2019 Indicator

3 points , MP, G

Intent

This indicator describes the existence and scope of policies that address environmental issues. Policies on environmental issues assist entities with incorporating ESG criteria into their business practices.

Requirements

Select yes or no. If yes, select all applicable sub-options.

Validation

Evidence: Document upload or hyperlink. The evidence should sufficiently support all the items selected for this question. If a hyperlink is provided, ensure that it is not outdated and the relevant page can be accessed within two steps.

The provided evidence should cover the following elements:
  1. Demonstrate that there is a formal policy document in place and not simply a list of general goals and/or commitments.
  2. Specifically address each environmental issue selected (e.g., a policy on issues such as energy consumption or waste management).

Other: State the other environmental issue. Ensure that the other answer provided is not a duplicate of a selected option above (e.g., recycling when ‘waste management’ is selected). It is possible to report multiple other answers.

See Appendix 2a for additional information about GRESB Validation.

Scoring

Scoring information will be updated on April 1.

Terminology

Biodiversity and habitat: Issues related to wildlife, endangered species, ecosystem services, habitat management, and relevant topics. Biodiversity refers to the variety of all plant and animal species. Habitat refers to the natural environment in which these plant and animal species live and function.

Climate change adaptation: Preparation for long-term change in climatic conditions or climate related events. Example of climate change adaptation measures can include, but are not limited to: building flood defenses, xeriscaping and using tree species resistant to storms and fires, adapting building codes to extreme weather events.

Energy consumption: the use of energy by the entity.

Feedback sessions: Meetings with individual stakeholders to gather feedback about ESG-specific issues.

Greenhouse gas emissions: GHGs refers to the seven gases listed in the GHG Protocol Corporate Standard: carbon dioxide (CO2); methane (CH4); nitrous oxide (N2O); hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs); perfluorocarbons (PFCs); nitrogen trifluoride (NF3) and sulphur hexafluoride (SF6). They are expressed in CO2 equivalents (CO2e).

Indoor environmental quality: Refers to the conditions inside the building. It includes air quality, access to daylight and views, pleasant acoustic conditions and occupant control over lighting and thermal comfort.

Material sourcing: Responsible sourcing of materials considers the environmental, social and economic impacts of the procurement and production of products and materials.

Policy: Defines a commitment, direction or intention as formally adopted by the entity.

Pollution prevention: Any practice that reduces, eliminates, or prevents pollution at its source, also known as "source reduction”.

Resilience to catastrophe/disaster: Preparedness of the built environment towards existing and future threats of natural disaster (e.g., the ability to absorb disturbances such as increased precipitation or flooding while maintaining its structure). This can be achieved by management policies, informational technologies, educating tenant, community, suppliers and physical measures at the asset level.

Sustainable procurement: Encourage, facilitate or require the reduction of consumption of goods within the building or premises and/or the sourcing of sustainable or ethical goods. Clauses can relate to reduction of paper consumption, supply of biodegradable materials, use of recycled paper, building materials, etc.

Waste management: Issues associated with hazardous and non-hazardous waste generation, reuse, recycling, composting, recovery, incineration, landfill and on-site storage.

Water consumption: The use of water resources by the entity.

References

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, 1994 Global Reporting Initiative

EPRA Best Practices Recommendations on Sustainability Reporting, 3rd version, September 2017: 7.9, Narrative on performance

GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards (2016): GRI, 301, 302, 303, 304, 305, 306, 307; GRI, 416

2 points , MP, G

Intent

This indicator describes the existence and scope of policies that address social issues. Policies on social issues assist entities with incorporating ESG criteria into their business practices.

Requirements

Select yes or no. If yes, select all applicable sub-options.

Validation

Evidence: Document upload or hyperlink. The evidence should sufficiently support all the items selected for this question. If a hyperlink is provided, ensure that it is not outdated and the relevant page can be accessed within two steps.

The provided evidence should cover the following elements:
  1. Demonstrate that there is a formal policy document in place and not simply a list of general goals and/or commitments.
  2. Specifically address each social issue selected (e.g., a policy on issues such as employee health & wellbeing and human rights).

Other: State the other social issue. Ensure that the other answer provided is not a duplicate of a selected option above (e.g., modern slavery when ‘forced or compulsory labor’ is selected). It is possible to report multiple other answers.

See Appendix 2a for additional information about GRESB Validation.

Scoring

Scoring information will be updated on April 1.

Terminology

Child labor: Work that children should not be doing because they are too young, or, if they have reached the minimum age, because it is dangerous or otherwise unsuitable for them.

Community development: A process where community members come together to take collective action and generate solutions to common problems.

Customer satisfaction: Customer satisfaction is one measure of an entity's sensitivity to its customers’ needs and preferences and, from an organizational perspective, is essential for long-term success. In the context of ESG, customer satisfaction provides insight into how the entity approaches its relationship with one stakeholder group (customers).

Employee engagement: An employee's involvement with, commitment to, and satisfaction with the entity.

Employee health & well-being: The health & well-being of employees responsible for the entity.

Employee remuneration: Remuneration is payment or compensation received for services or employment. This includes a basic salary plus additional amounts such as those based on years of service, bonuses including cash and equity such as stocks and shares, benefit payments, overtime, time owed, and any additional allowances (such as transportation, living and childcare allowances).

Forced or compulsory labor: All work or service which is expected from any person under the menace of any penalty and for which the said person has not offered himself voluntarily.

Freedom of association: Right of employers and workers to form, to join and to run their own organizations without prior authorization or interference by the state or any other entity.

Health & safety: community The health & safety of the community surrounding the entity.

Health and safety: contractors The health and safety of the entity's contractors.

Health and safety: employees The health and safety of employees responsible for the entity.

Health & safety: tenant/customer The health & safety of tenants and customers of the entity.

Human rights: Human rights are rights inherent to all human beings, whatever their nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, language or any other status.

Inclusion and Diversity: Similarities and differences among employees in terms of age, cultural background, physical abilities and disabilities, race, religion, sex, and sexual orientation.

Labor standards and working conditions: Labor standards and working conditions are at the core of paid work and employment relationships. Working conditions cover a broad range of topics and issues, from working time (hours of work, rest periods, and work schedules) to remuneration, as well as the physical conditions and mental demands that exist in the workplace.

Policy: Defines a commitment, direction or intention as formally adopted by the entity.

Social enterprise partnering: Entity’s partnerships with organizations that have social objectives which serve as the primary purpose of the organization.

Stakeholder relations: Stakeholder relations is the practice of forging mutually beneficial connections with third-party groups and individuals that have a stake in common interest.

References

EPRA Best Practices Recommendations on Sustainability Reporting, 3rd version, September 2017: 7.9, Narrative on performance

GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards (2016): GRI, 301, 302, 303, 304, 305, 306, 307; GRI, 416

ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work

World Health Organization

2 points , MP, G

Intent

This indicator describes the existence and scope of policies that address governance issues. Policies on governance issues assist entities with incorporating ESG criteria into their business practices.

Requirements

Select yes or no. If yes, select all applicable sub-options.

Validation

Evidence: Document upload or hyperlink. The evidence should sufficiently support all the items selected for this question. If a hyperlink is provided, ensure that it is not outdated and the relevant page can be accessed within two steps.

The provided evidence should cover the following elements:
  1. Demonstrate that there is a formal policy document in place and not simply a list of general goals and/or commitments.
  2. Specifically address each governance issue selected (e.g., a policy on issues such as cybersecurity or shareholder rights).

Other: State the other governance issue. Ensure that the other answer provided is not a duplicate of a selected option above (e.g., data confidentiality when ‘data protection and privacy is selected). It is possible to report multiple other answers.

See Appendix 2a for additional information about GRESB Validation.

Scoring

Scoring information will be updated on April 1.

Terminology

Bribery: The offering, giving, receiving or soliciting an item of value to influence the actions of an official or other person in charge of a public or legal fiduciary duty.

Corruption: Abuse of entrusted power for private gain.

Cybersecurity: The protection of internet-connected systems, including hardware, software and data, from any unauthorised use or access. Malicious attacks, in particular, can pose a significant threat to real assets.

Data protection and privacy: Customer privacy includes matters such as the protection of data; the use of information or data for their original intended purpose only, unless specifically agreed otherwise; the obligation to observe confidentiality; and the protection of information or data from misuse or theft.

Executive compensation: The financial payments and non-monetary benefits provided to high-level management in exchange for their work on behalf of an entity.

Fiduciary duty: Refers to the obligations of loyalty and care in regard to the responsibility of managing someone else’s assets. A fiduciary duty is a position of trust and examples include a duty of confidentiality, a duty of no conflict, and a duty not to profit from his position.

Fraud: Wrongful deception intended to result in financial or personal gain.

Governance issues: Governance structure and composition of the entity. This includes how the highest governance body is established and structured in support of the entity’s purpose, and how this purpose relates to economic, environmental and social dimensions.

Policy: Defines a commitment, direction or intention as formally adopted by the entity.

Political contributions: Disclosure for political contributions, such as the amounts and recipients of all monetary and non-monetary contributions made by the entity, including political contributions made through third parties.

Shareholder rights: Can include the right to share in the company's profitability, income, and assets; a proxy statement; a degree of control and influence over company management selection; preemptive rights to newly issued shares; and general meeting voting rights.

References

EPRA Best Practices Recommendations on Sustainability Reporting, 3rd version, September 2017: 7.9, Narrative on performance

GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards (2016): 102-35; 102-37; GRI 205

RobecoSAM Corporate Sustainability Assessment 2017: 3.1.7

Management: Reporting

Institutional investors and other shareholders are primary drivers for greater sustainability reporting and disclosure among investable entities. Real estate companies and managers share how ESG management practices performance impacts the business through formal disclosure mechanisms.

This aspect evaluates how the entity communicates its ESG actions and/or performance.

ESG Disclosure

2019 Indicator

4 points , MP, G

Intent

This indicator assesses the level of ESG disclosure undertaken by the entity. It also evaluates the entity’s use of third-party ESG reporting review to ensure the reliability, integrity, and accuracy of ESG disclosure. Disclosure of ESG information and performance demonstrates an entity’s transparency in explaining how ESG policies and management practices are implemented by the entity, and how these practices impact the business. In addition, third-party ESG disclosure review increases investors’ confidence in the information disclosed.

Requirements

Select yes or no. If yes, select all applicable sub-options.

In all cases:

  1. Select the applicable reporting level. If the entity reports at multiple levels, you should select the most detailed reporting level.
    1. Entity: Related specifically to the named entity, where entity is defined as the investable portfolio for which you are submitting an Assessment response. This option should be selected if the scope of the reporting (e.g., Annual Report) includes actions/performance disclosure that is in direct reference to and/or matches the entity subject to the GRESB submission. For example, an Annual Report that is solely applicable to the entity or includes specific and detailed actions/performance of the entity in addition to other entities within the group of companies.
    2. Investment Manager: Related to the investment management entity or company of which the participating entity forms a part. This option should be selected if the scope of the reporting (e.g. Annual Report) includes the entity subject to the GRESB submission.For example, an Annual report that does not include specific and detailed actions/performance of the entity itself, but rather for the investment manager as an aggregate.
    3. Group: Related to the group of companies of which the participating entity forms a part. This option should be selected if the scope of the reporting (e.g., Annual Report) includes the entity subject to the GRESB submission.For example, an Annual report that does not include specific and detailed actions/performance of the entity itself, but rather for the larger group of companies as an aggregate.
  2. If applicable, select alignment from the dropdown lists to confirm that your method of reporting is aligned with an external standard or guideline. The list is based on leading international best practice guides for sustainability reporting. If reporting is aligned with more than one standard, select the standard with which there is most alignment.
  3. State whether the methods of reporting are checked, verified or assured (select one option; the most detailed level of scrutiny to which the disclosure was subject to).
  4. Select the assurance/verification standard (if applicable) from the dropdown menu (see Accepted assurance schemes in the Appendices); The assurance/verification statement must be included within the evidence uploaded for the selected disclosure method.
  5. Provide document upload or URL. A piece of supporting evidence document or URL cannot be uploaded for more than one disclosure method selected i.e., the same evidence cannot be used for separate disclosure methods.

Validation

Reporting year: Answers must refer to the reporting year identified in EC4. The disclosure must be referencing actions and/or performance from the reporting year. For example, disclosures published in 2020 referencing 2019 actions and/or performance are valid. Stand-alone sustainability reports can also refer to the year prior to the reporting year, and integrated reports can also refer to two years prior to the reporting year identified in EC4.

Reporting level: Answers must clearly reference the applicable reporting level. The ESG information and/or performance must be directly in reference to the entity if entity-level is chosen.

Third party review: The evidence provided must support the selected level of third party review (if applicable). The assurance and/or verification of ESG disclosure is separate from the assurance and/or verification of performance data reported in the Data Monitoring & Review aspect. Supplementary evidence can be provided if the disclosure itself does not include confirmation of review. The evidence relating to the check, verification, and/or assurance must be in reference to the uploaded disclosure method provided (i.e., Annual report).

Alignment: The evidence provided must support the alignment chosen (if applicable). The evidence should have a clear mention of the alignment chosen.

Evidence: Document upload or hyperlink. The evidence should sufficiently support all the items selected for this question. If a hyperlink is provided, ensure that it is not outdated and the relevant page can be accessed within two steps.

Disclosure type: Provide unique evidence for each relevant disclosure type. Note that identical documents will not be accepted for more than one disclosure type, select the most appropriate disclosure type for each piece of evidence (e.g. an integrated report cannot be provided for both Annual report and Integrated report).

  • Annual report: The report must reference actions and/or performance from the reporting year. For example, an Annual Report referencing the 2019 calendar year is valid for those entities reporting on calendar year. An Annual Report referencing 2018 calendar year actions and/or performance is not valid unless it is explicitly noted that the 2019 Annual Report has not been published yet.
  • Standalone sustainability report: The report must reference the reporting year or the year prior. For example, a Sustainability Report referencing 2019 or 2018 actions and/or performance, is valid. A Sustainability Report in reference to 2017 is not valid. Standalone sustainability reports must be published separately from the Annual Report, a section in the Annual Report would not be appropriate evidence for this disclosure type, but should be reported under Annual Report.
  • Integrated report: The document upload or URL provided must contain clear evidence of alignment with the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) Integrated Reporting Framework (December 2013). Integrated reports can reference 2019, 2018, or 2017 performance and/or actions.
  • Dedicated section on corporate website: A separate section on the company’s website that explicitly addresses ESG and includes actions and/or performance. A hyperlink to the Annual Report or Sustainability report is not valid.
  • Entity reporting to investors: A summary outlining an entity’s overall approach to sustainability that does not contain any analysis of performance is insufficient. Entity reporting to investors should include year-on-year comparison of sustainability performances supported by explanatory comments. Performance achievements should be linked to measures formerly implemented by the entity. Quarterly updates, newsletters, or press releases disclosing ESG actions and/or performance from the reporting year are considered valid.
  • Other: An additional disclosure method such as third-party forms of disclosure like 2019 CDP Questionnaires or 2019 UN PRI Transparency Reports are valid. Ensure applicability to the reporting year based on the actions and/or performance disclosed.

See Appendix 2a for additional information about GRESB Validation.

Scoring

Scoring information will be updated on April 1.

Terminology

Alignment: To agree and match with a recognized sustainability standard (either voluntary or mandatory).

Annual report: A yearly record of an entity’s financial performance that is distributed to investors under applicable financial reporting regulations.

Assured/Verified: The process of checking data, as well as its collection methods and management systems, through a systematic, independent and documented process against predefined criteria or standards. Assurance/Verification services should be in line with a standard and can only be provided by accredited professionals.

Checked: A third-party review that does not comply with the definition of Assurance/Verification.

Dedicated section on corporate website: A section of the entity’s website that explicitly addresses ESG performance.

Disclosure: The act of making information or data readily accessible and available to all interested individuals and institutions. Disclosure must be external and cannot be an internal and/or ad hoc communication within the participating entity.

Entity reporting to investors: A report prepared by the participant for the purpose of informing investors on the ESGperformance of the entity. A summary outlining an entity’s overall approach to ESG that does not contain any analysis of performance (as defined below) is insufficient.

ESG actions: Specific activities performed to improve management of environmental, social and governance issues within the entity.

ESG performance: Reporting of material indicators that reflect implementation of environmental, social, or governance (ESG) management.

Integrated Report: A report that is aligned with the requirements of the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) Integrated Reporting Framework (December 2013).

Standalone sustainability report: A report dedicated to the entity’s sustainability or ESG performance.

Reporting Level:

  1. Entity: related specifically to the named entity, where entity is defined as the investable portfolio for which you are submitting an Assessment response.
  2. Investment Manager: related to the investment management entity or company of which the participating entity forms a part.
  3. Group: related to the group of companies of which the participating entity forms a part./p>

Standalone sustainability report: A report dedicated to the entity’s sustainability or ESG performance.

References

ANREV Sustainability Reporting Guidelines, 2016

EPRA Best Practices Recommendations on Sustainability Reporting, 3rd version, September 2017

GRI Sustainability Reporting Guidelines, 2016: 202-1; 205-3; 308-2

308-2 IIRC Integrated Reporting Framework, 2013

INREV Sustainability Reporting Guidelines, 2016

ESG Incident Monitoring

2019 Indicator

Not scored , MP, G

Intent

This indicator intends to identify whether the reporting entity has a defined process in place to communicate any ESG-related misconducts to its stakeholders if the entity has incurred any environment, social or governance fines and/or penalties at its investment properties or elsewhere.

Requirements

Select yes or no. If yes, select all applicable sub-options.

Open text box: The content of this open text box is not used for scoring, but will be included in the Benchmark Report. Participants should use this open text box to communicate on the process the reporting entity intends to follow in order to communicate any ESG-related misconducts to its stakeholders.

Other: State the other stakeholder groups. Ensure that the other answer provided is not a duplicate of a selected option above. It is possible to add multiple other answers.

Validation

This indicator is not subject to automatic or manual validation.

See Appendix 2a for additional information about GRESB Validation.

Scoring

This indicator is not scored and is used for reporting purposes only.

*The information in RP2.1 and RP2.2 may be used as criteria for the recognition of 2020 Sector Leaders.

Terminology

Accident: An unplanned, undesired event that results in damage or injury.

Community/public: Persons or groups of people living and/or working in any areas that are economically, socially or environmentally impacted (positively or negatively) by the entity’s operations.

Contractors: Organizations or persons working on-site or off-site on behalf of an entity with a relationship determined by a contract. A contractor may hire their own staff directly or hire sub-contractors or independent contractors.

Controversy: A prolonged public disagreement or heated discussion.

Employee(s): The entity’s employees whose primary responsibilities include the operation or support of the entity.

ESG fines and/or penalties: Sanctions resulting from an illegal act or non-compliant behavior, which directly harms the environment and/or stakeholders of the entity.

Incident: An unplanned, undesired event with actual or potential adverse impacts.

Investors/shareholders: The entity’s current investors and/or equity stake owners in the entity.

Misconduct: Unethical behavior, and more specifically, poor stewardship of environmental, social or governance issues, which may or may not result in legal action.

Penalty: A punishment imposed for breaking a law, rule, or contract.

Suppliers: Organizations or persons that provide a product or service used in the supply chain.

References

GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards, 2016: 102-17, Mechanisms for advice and concerns about ethics

CDP Reporting Guidelines, Compliance

RobecoSAM Corporate Sustainability Assessment, 2017: 3.3.6, Report on breaches

Not scored , MP, G

Intent

This indicator intends to ensure the communication of any ESG fines and/or penalties to the reporting entity’s investor. Recurring misconducts and penalties can increase the risk profile of the portfolio as they impose financial, management and regulatory burdens on the entity.

Requirements

Select yes or no. If yes, select all applicable sub-options.

Open text box: The content of this open text box is not used for scoring, but will be included in the Benchmark Report. Participants may use this open text box to communicate on how the entity has resolved or intends to resolve the above issue(s).

Validation

This indicator is not subject to automatic or manual validation.

See Appendix 2a for additional information about GRESB Validation.

Scoring

This indicator is not scored and is used for reporting purposes only.

*The information in RP2.1 and RP2.2 may be used as criteria for the recognition of 2020 Sector Leaders.

Terminology

ESG fines and/or penalties: Sanctions resulting from an illegal act or non-compliant behavior, which directly harms the environment and/or stakeholders of the entity.

References

GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards, 2016: 205-3; 419-1

EPRA Best Practices Recommendations on Sustainability Reporting, 3rd version, September 2017: 5.8, H&S

Management: Risk Management

This aspect evaluates the processes used by the entity to support ESG implementation and investigates the steps undertaken to stay abreast of material ESG related risks.

Risk Management

2019 Indicator

3 points , MP, G

Intent

This indicator assesses the entity’s use of a systematic process to manage environmental impacts, risks and opportunities.

An Environmental Management System (EMS) is an internal framework that structures all procedures, projects and tactics into a cohesive program which aligns the sustainability efforts at entity level. An EMS can assist entities in managing and improving their environmental performance, complying with environmental laws and regulations, identifying financial savings through more efficient operating practices, and improving the standing of the business with staff, client companies, partner organizations and other stakeholders.

Use of an aligned or certified EMS framework provides assurance to both the business and external stakeholders that environmental impacts are measured and acted upon using a recognized and proven methodology. Periodic reviews of the EMS ensure its continuing suitability and effectiveness for the entity.

Requirements

Select yes or no. If yes, select all applicable sub-options.

Validation

Aligned with a standard: Report the recognized standard used for the alignment of the EMS.

Externally certified: Provide the name of the recognized standard applied.

GRESB requires certification to be undertaken by a third party and not by the participant. EMS certification may only be obtained for one (or more) of the main standards/schemes, for example ISO14001.

Note that aligning or certifying individual sections of the EMS does not comply with the requirements of this indicator and does not constitute a valid answer.

Evidence: Document upload or hyperlink. The evidence should sufficiently support all the items selected for this question. If a hyperlink is provided, ensure that it is not outdated and the relevant page can be accessed within two steps.

To qualify as valid, the evidence provided must include:
  1. A high level outline or diagram of the implemented EMS.
  2. A clear framework for managing an entity’s environmental impact.
  3. The applicability of the EMS at the entity level.
  4. The stages, elements and/or processes currently covered by the EMS.
  5. Evidence of implementation of the EMS into the entity’s operations.

If the EMS is externally certified by an independent third party, the evidence must include signed proof of the certification according to the standard, which must be named within the evidence, as well as contact information of the independent third party involved, and the date of the most recent certification.

If the EMS is aligned with a standard, the evidence must include the name the standard used for alignment and define the degree of alignment with the standard. Elements of the EMS that align with the standard can be summarized, called out, highlighted, or shown in a diagram.

See Appendix 2a for additional information about GRESB Validation.

Scoring

Scoring information will be updated on April 1.

Terminology

Alignment: To agree and match with a recognized sustainability standard (either voluntary or mandatory).

Certified: Third-party recognition of meeting the requirements of a recognized standard.

Environmental Management System (EMS): A framework for managing an entity’s environmental impact based on its sustainability and related objectives. An EMS provides a practical framework for the assessment of environmental impacts, establishment of impact reduction targets, and the development of plans to achieve targeted reductions. An EMS enables an entity to take a structured approach to planning and implementing environmental protection measures.

An effective EMS is analogous to a financial management system that monitors expenditure and income to support analysis of financial performance. An EMS can cover a wide range of environmental topics, including, but not limited to: energy, GHG emissions, water, waste, transportation, climate change, resilience, risks, and materials. It can also refer to a wide variety of internal procedures, targets, persons responsible for implementing these procedures and working towards achieving the entity’s objectives. In summary, an EMS is used to formalize the strategic approach of the entity towards ESG. It outlines the structure used to monitor and manage environmental topics.

ISO 14001 Alignment: ISO 14001 defines a complete EMS to include four stages:

  1. Plan
    • Define the scope of the entity’s environmental policy (the most important areas of impact and relationship with primary stakeholders)
    • Define and maintain environmental objectives and targets (short-term and long-term)
    • Define the materiality matrix, based on priority sustainability issues
    • Identify relevant legal requirements and environmental legislation
    • Define emergency procedures
  2. Do
    • Ensure the implementation of the action plan established in stage one and the maintenance of the systems in place
    • Assign responsibility for the overall development and maintenance of the system
    • Offer training and/or support to the people in charge to ensure conformity with the policy
  3. Check
    • Establish appropriate communication channels with the people in charge
    • Monitor and document progress
    • Ensure compliance with applicable legal requirements
    • Identify and correct non-conformity
  4. Act
    • Schedule periodic management reviews on results and next steps
    • Evaluate performance against targets
    • Determine corrective and preventative actions
    • Provide feedback and suggestions for improvement
    • Prepare and/or update procedures and supporting documentation

The process above provides an example of an EMS outline with the stages and elements included. The EMS, and therefore the supporting evidence, does not necessarily have to be structured according to the ISO recommendations. While adherence to ISO 14001 is not required, the reported EMS should support the purpose identified in ISO 14001 and provide comparable functionality.

References

LEED BD+C: Core and Shell, v4, Sustainable Sites; Water Efficiency; Energy & Atmosphere; Material & Resources; and Indoor Environmental Quality

BREEAM In-Use International, Asset Performance; and Building Management

ISO 14001:2015 Environmental management systems – Requirements with guidance for use

ISO 14004:2015 Environmental management systems – general guidelines on principles, systems and support techniques

1 point , MP, G

Intent

This indicator examines specific actions taken to limit exposure to governance-related risks. It is linked to PO3 in the Policy Aspect, and refers to the implementation of the policy that addresses risks from exposure to governance issues (as defined in PO3).

Requirements

Select yes or no. If yes, select all applicable sub-options.

Validation

Other: State the other system or procedure in place. Ensure that the other answer provided is not a duplicate of a selected option above (e.g., Anti-bribery training when 'Training related to governance risks for employees' is selected). It is possible to report multiple other answers.

See Appendix 2a for additional information about GRESB Validation.

Scoring

Scoring information will be updated on April 1.

Terminology

Governance risks for employees: Examples can include, but are not limited to: bribery and corruption risks, insider trading, sharing of confidential information.

Investment due diligence process: A systematic process to collect and interpret information about a prospective investment.

Regular follow-ups: Training offered at least once a year to employees, starting from their second year of employment.

Training related to governance risks for employees: Employee training ensures that employees understand and adhere to the laws, regulations and internal corporate policies that apply to their daily roles is essential to ensuring that compliance regulations are met in the workplace.

Whistle-blower mechanism: A process that offers protection for individuals that want to reveal illegal, unethical or dangerous practices. An efficient whistle-blower mechanism prescribes clear procedures and channels to facilitate the reporting of wrongdoing and corruption, defines the protected disclosures, outlines the remedies and sanctions for retaliation.

References

OECD Cleangovbiz, “Whistleblower protection: encouraging reporting”, 2012

Risk Assessments

2019 Indicator

2 points , MP, G

Intent

This indicator identifies the variables included the entity’s social risk assessments. Risk assessments refer to the identification and quantification of processes, systems and/or scenarios that could potentially cause harm to the entity and its underlying investors. It is important that entities monitor their exposure to social-related risks, as these can negatively impact reputation and expose the entity to civil and criminal penalties.

RM3.1 asks whether certain social issues are assessed in a risk assessment by the entity, which is different from the existence of social policies (PO2).

Requirements

Select yes or no. If yes, select all applicable sub-options.

Validation

Other: State the other social issue. Ensure that the other answer provided is not a duplicate of a selected option above (e.g., modern slavery when ‘forced or compulsory labor’ is selected). It is possible to report multiple other answers.

See Appendix 2a for additional information about GRESB Validation.

Scoring

Scoring information will be updated on April 1.

Terminology

Child labor: Work that children should not be doing because they are too young, or, if they have reached the minimum age, because it is dangerous or otherwise unsuitable for them.

Community development: A process where community members come together to take collective action and generate solutions to common problems.

Controversy: A prolonged public disagreement or heated discussion.

Customer satisfaction: Customer satisfaction is one measure of an entity's sensitivity to its customers’ needs and preferences and, from an organizational perspective, is essential for long-term success. In the context of ESG, customer satisfaction provides insight into how the entity approaches its relationship with one stakeholder group (customers).

Employee engagement: An employee's involvement with, commitment to, and satisfaction with the entity.

Employee health & well-being: The health & well-being of employees responsible for the entity.

Forced or compulsory labor: All work or service which is expected from any person under the menace of any penalty and for which the said person has not offered himself voluntarily.

Freedom of association: Right of employers and workers to form, to join and to run their own organizations without prior authorization or interference by the state or any other entity.

Health & safety: community The health & safety of the community surrounding the entity.

Health and safety: contractors The health and safety of the entity's contractors.

Health and safety: employees The health and safety of employees responsible for the entity.

Health & safety: tenant/customer The health & safety of tenants and customers of the entity.

Human rights: Human rights are rights inherent to all human beings, whatever their nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, language or any other status.

Inclusion and Diversity: Similarities and differences among employees in terms of age, cultural background, physical abilities and disabilities, race, religion, sex, and sexual orientation.

Labor standards and working conditions: Labor standards and working conditions are at the core of paid work and employment relationships. Working conditions cover a broad range of topics and issues, from working time (hours of work, rest periods, and work schedules) to remuneration, as well as the physical conditions and mental demands that exist in the workplace.

Policy: Defines a commitment, direction or intention as formally adopted by the entity.

Social enterprise partnering: Entity’s partnerships with organizations that have social objectives which serve as the primary purpose of the organization.

Stakeholder relations: Stakeholder relations is the practice of forging mutually beneficial connections with third-party groups and individuals that have a stake in common interest.

References

RobecoSAM Corporate Sustainability Assessment 2017: 5.2.3, Human rights-assessment

2 points , MP, G

Intent

This indicator identifies the variables included in the entity’s governance risk assessments. Risk assessments refer to the identification and quantification of processes, systems and/or scenarios that could potentially cause harm to the entity and its underlying investors. It is important that entities monitor their exposure to governance-related risks, as these can negatively impact reputation and expose the entity to civil and criminal penalties. RM3.2 asks whether certain governance issues are assessed in a risk assessment by the entity, which is different from the existence of governance policies (PO3).

Requirements

Select yes or no. If yes, select all applicable sub-options.

Validation

Other: State the other governance issue. Ensure that the other answer provided is not a duplicate of a selected option above (e.g., data confidentiality when ‘data protection and privacy is selected). It is possible to report multiple other answers.

See Appendix 2a for additional information about GRESB Validation.

Scoring

Scoring information will be updated on April 1.

Terminology

Bribery: The offering, giving, receiving or soliciting an item of value to influence the actions of an official or other person in charge of a public or legal fiduciary duty.

Corruption: Abuse of entrusted power for private gain.

Cyber security: Protection from an assault by a third party via a computer against another computer or computer system, which is intended to compromise the integrity, availability or confidentiality of that computer or computer system.

Data protection and privacy: Customer privacy includes matters such as the protection of data; the use of information or data for their original intended purpose only, unless specifically agreed otherwise; the obligation to observe confidentiality; and the protection of information or data from misuse or theft.

Executive compensation: The financial payments and non-monetary benefits provided to high-level management in exchange for their work on behalf of an entity.

Fiduciary duty: Refers to the obligations of loyalty and care in regard to the responsibility of managing someone else’s assets. A fiduciary duty is a position of trust and examples include a duty of confidentiality, a duty of no conflict, and a duty not to profit from his position.

Forced or compulsory labor: All work or service which is expected from any person under the menace of any penalty and for which the said person has not offered himself voluntarily.

Fraud: Wrongful deception intended to result in financial or personal gain.

Governance issues: Governance structure and composition of the entity. This includes how the highest governance body is established and structured in support of the entity’s purpose, and how this purpose relates to economic, environmental and social dimensions.

Political contributions: Disclosure for political contributions, such as the amounts and recipients of all monetary and non-monetary contributions made by the entity, including political contributions made through third parties.

Shareholder rights: Can include the right to share in the company's profitability, income, and assets; a proxy statement; a degree of control and influence over company management selection; preemptive rights to newly issued shares; and general meeting voting rights.

References

RobecoSAM Corporate Sustainability Assessment 2017: 5.2.3, Human rights-assessment

2 points , MP, S

Intent

This indicator identifies if the entity performs asset-level environmental and/or social assessments as a standard part of the due diligence process for new acquisitions.

Risk assessments help to reduce exposure to long-term sustainability risks. Integration of sustainability risk assessments into the acquisition process demonstrate a commitment to ESG management, a focus on mitigating risks that might impact returns, and a forward-looking approach to the development of the portfolio.

Requirements

Select yes or no. If yes, select all applicable sub-options.

Validation

Other: State the other risk factor assessed. Ensure that the other answer provided is not a duplicate of a selected option above (e.g., seismic assessments when ‘Natural hazards’ is selected). It is possible to report multiple other answers.

See Appendix 2a for additional information about GRESB Validation.

Scoring

Scoring information will be updated on April 1.

Terminology

Biodiversity and habitat: Issues related to wildlife, endangered species, ecosystem services, habitat management, and relevant topics. Biodiversity refers to the variety of all plant and animal species. Habitat refers to the natural environment in which these plant and animal species live and function.

Building safety: Environmental issues with the potential to create or exacerbate risks to human safety, such as structural failure.

Climate change adaptation: Preparation for long-term change in climatic conditions or climate related events. Example of climate change adaptation measures can include, but are not limited to: building flood defenses, xeriscaping and using tree species resistant to storms and fires, adapting building codes to extreme weather events.

Compliance with regulatory requirements: Examples include, but are not limited to: mandatory energy/carbon disclosure schemes, changes in taxes e.g. carbon tax, extreme volatility in energy prices due to regulation, zoning.

Contaminated land: Land pollution which may require action to reduce risk to people or the environment. As an example, contamination can be assessed through a Phase I or II Environmental Site Assessment.

Due diligence process: The process through which a potential acquirer evaluates a target asset for an acquisition, contributing to well-informed investment decision-making.

Energy efficiency: Refers to products or systems using less energy to provide the same consumer benefit.

Energy supply: Availability of conventional power (generated by the combustion of fuels: coal, natural gas, oil) or renewable energy (e.g. sun, wind, water, organic plant and waste material).

Environmental risks: Impact on living and non-living natural systems, including land, air, water and ecosystems. This includes, but is not limited to biodiversity, transport and product and service-related impacts, as well as environmental compliance and expenditures.

Greenhouse gas emissions: GHGs refers to the seven gases listed in the GHG Protocol Corporate Standard: carbon dioxide (CO2); methane (CH4); nitrous oxide (N2O); hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs); perfluorocarbons (PFCs); nitrogen trifluoride (NF3) and sulphur hexafluoride (SF6). They are expressed in CO2 equivalents (CO2e).

Employee health & well-being: The health & well-being of employees responsible for the entity.

Indoor environmental quality: Refers to the conditions inside the building. It includes air quality, access to daylight and views, pleasant acoustic conditions and occupant control over lighting and thermal comfort.

Natural hazards: Naturally occurring hazards, including but not limited to flooding, drought, hail storms, earthquakes and fire (including wildfire).

Risk assessment: Careful examination of the factors that could potentially adversely impact the value or longevity of a real estate asset. The results of the assessment assist in identifying measures that have to be implemented in order to prevent and mitigate the risks.

Socio-economic risks: Impact on social well-being, livelihoods and prosperity of local communities and individuals. Examples include: economic/political instability, vulnerability to pandemics and epidemics, crime and vandalism, and the displacement of people.

Transportation risks: Risks associated with transportation around the location of a building in relation to pedestrian, bicycle and mass-transit networks, in context of the existing infrastructure and amenities in the surrounding area.

Waste management: Issues associated with hazardous and non-hazardous waste generation, reuse, recycling, composting, recovery, incineration, landfill and on-site storage.

Water efficiency: Refers to the conservative use of water resources through water-saving technologies to reduce consumption.

Water supply: Provision of surface water, groundwater, rainwater collected directly or stored by the entity, waste water from another organization, municipal water supplies or other water utilities, usually via a system of pumps and pipes.

References

World Economic Forum, Global Risks, 2014 Environment Agency, Groundwater protection: Principles and practice, 2013

World Health Organization

SASB-Real Estate Owners, Developers & Investment Trusts (March 2016): IF0402-05; IF0402-09; IF0402-14

RobecoSAM Corporate Sustainability Assessment 2017: 3.2.2 Risk Correlation

Recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures June 2017: Strategy A&B; Risk Management A&B

Management: Stakeholder Engagement

Improving the sustainability performance of a real estate portfolio requires dedicated resources, a commitment from senior management and tools for measurement/management of resource consumption. It also requires the cooperation of other stakeholders, including employees and suppliers.

This aspect identifies actions taken to engage with those stakeholders, as well as the nature of the engagement.

Employees

Employees are key stakeholders in any business. Entities can make use of sustainability reporting metrics to boost employee engagement, motivation, recruitment and retention of talent, work-life balance, teamwork and leadership development. Employee engagement may also contribute to the successful implementation of sustainability best practices across the entity. Furthermore, proper understanding of workplace-related ESG issues, and how these issues are reported will help the entity with its branding as an employer.

Note: There are situations where the entity benefits from services performed by employees of an investment manager under an exclusive investment management agreement. The individuals are completely responsible for investment and portfolio management (including sustainability) of the participating entity's property assets, and have wide discretionary powers for day to day management of these investments (which include supervisory management powers over third party property managers). When these situations occur, you can refer to the employees of the investment manager as the employees of the reporting entity.

Suppliers

ESG issues in the supply chain can pose a reputational risk and put purchasing and contracting strategies at risk. Property companies and fund managers are in a strong position to influence the behavior of external property/asset managers and/or other external suppliers with regard to ESG issues.

Employees

2019 Indicator

2 points , MP, S

Intent

This indicator examines the types and content of training received by employees responsible for this entity. A more skilled and aware workforce enhances the entity's human capital and may help to improve employee satisfaction. Employee training and development contribute to improved business performance.

Requirements

Select yes or no. If yes, select all applicable sub-options.

Percentage of employees covered: The percentage of employees covered based on headcount for employees responsible for the entity . If the number of employees responsible for the entity changed during the reporting year, calculate the percentage based on the average number.

Both percentages should be calculated based on the following formulas:

Number of employees receiving professional training / Total number of employees x 100%

Number of employees receiving ESG-specific training / Total number of employees x 100%

Training topics: Select the applicable training topics included in the training series during the reporting year.

Validation

This indicator is not subject to automatic or manual validation.

See Appendix 2a for additional information about GRESB Validation.

Scoring

Scoring information will be updated on April 1.

Terminology

Employee(s): The entity’s employees whose primary responsibilities include the operation or support of the entity.

Environmental issues: The impact on living and non-living natural systems, including land, air, water and ecosystems. This includes, but is not limited to biodiversity, transport, contamination, GHG emissions, energy, water, waste, natural hazards, supply chain environmental standards, and product and service-related impacts, as well as environmental compliance and expenditures.

ESG-specific training: Training related to environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues.

Governance issues: Governance structure and composition of the entity. This includes how the highest governance body is established and structured in support of the entity’s purpose, and how this purpose relates to economic, environmental and social dimensions.

Professional training: Training related to day-to-day operations, health and safety, specialization career development courses, or related/similar topics. Training can be delivered in person, online or in other formats.

Social issues: Concerns the impacts the entity has on the social systems within which it operates. This includes, but is not limited to community social and economic impacts, safety, health & well-being.

References

EPRA Best Practices Recommendations on Sustainability Reporting, 3rd version, September 2017: 5.3, Employee Training and development

RobecoSAM Corporate Sustainability Assessment 2017: 3.3.2, Coverage

1.5 points , MP, S

Intent

This indicator examines whether and to what extent the entity engages with employees regarding their satisfaction. Employee satisfaction surveys help entities understand critical issues within the business, engage with their staff and increase employee satisfaction, which may contribute to improving retention rates and overall productivity.

Using widely applied employee satisfaction surveys should be translated into easily interpretable metrics that can help analyze and compare outcomes, despite the many variations between departments and teams.

Requirements

Select yes or no. If yes, select all applicable sub-options.

Percentage of employees covered:The percentage of employees covered based on headcount for employees responsible for the entity. If the number of employees responsible for the entity changed during the reporting year, calculate the percentage based on the average number.

Percentage of employees covered = Number of employees receiving the satisfaction survey / Total number of employees x 100%

Survey response rate: Report the proportion of employees that received and completed the survey, compared to the total number of employees that have received the survey expressed as a percentage (see example).

Survey response rate = Number of individual survey responses / Number of employees receiving the satisfaction survey x 100%

Validation

Evidence: Document upload or hyperlink. The evidence should sufficiently support all the items selected for this question. If a hyperlink is provided, ensure that it is not outdated and the relevant page can be accessed within two steps.

The evidence must indicate that the survey was conducted and whether it was undertaken internally or by an independent third party. It can be a sample survey or survey results reports with aggregated feedback. A blank survey template that is not accompanied by aggregated results is not appropriate evidence. The evidence should also indicate that the survey was administered within the last 3 years.

Other: State the other quantitative metric. It is possible to report multiple other answers.

See Appendix 2a for additional information about GRESB Validation.

Scoring

Scoring information will be updated on April 1.

Terminology

Employee(s): The entity’s employees whose primary responsibilities include the operation or support of the entity.

Employee satisfaction survey: Survey measuring overall and work-specific employee satisfaction at the individual and entity levels. The survey should directly address employee concerns and include the opportunity to provide recommendations for improvement.

Net promoter score: The Net Promoter Score ® (NPS) is a customer loyalty metric developed by Bain & Company, Fred Reichheld, and Satmetrix. It divides customers, tenants or employees into three segments: passives, detractors and promoters, using the following question “On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely would you be to recommend this company (or this product) to friends and colleagues?” The Net Promoter Score ® (NPS) ratings of 9 or 10 indicate promoters; 7 and 8, passives; and 0 through 6, detractors. The NPS is the percentage of promoters minus the percentage detractors.

Overall satisfaction score: An overarching metric in a satisfaction survey, with no prescribed scale, that measures how happy an employee or tenant is with the entity, lease, and/or services provided. The industry best practice is a 1-5 scale - very poor, poor, average, good, and excellent, respectively.

Quantitative metric: Any measure or parameter in employee or tenant satisfaction that can be represented numerically.

Survey response rate: The proportion of substantially complete survey responses received as a percentage of the total number of employees or tenants invited to participate.

References

GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards, 2016: 102-43, Approach to stakeholder engagement

Bain & Company, Introducing: The Net Promoter System®

1 point , MP, S

Intent

This indicator evaluates an entity’s response to the outcomes of an employee satisfaction survey. Proactive responses demonstrate commitment to the employee engagement process and to developing, maintaining and enhancing employee satisfaction.

Requirements

Select yes or no. If yes, select all applicable sub-options.

Validation

Other: State measures/activities that were part of the program. It is possible to report multiple other answers.

See Appendix 2a for additional information about GRESB Validation.

Scoring

Scoring information will be updated on April 1.

Terminology

Action Plan: A detailed plan outlining actions needed to enhance tenant satisfaction. An action plan has three major elements (1) Specific tasks: what will be done and by whom; (2) Time horizon: when will it be done; (3) Resource allocation: what specific funds are available for specific activities, and (4) Measurable outcomes.

C-suite level staff: A team of individuals who have the day-to-day responsibility of managing the entity. C-suite level staff are sometimes referred to, within corporations, as senior management, executive management, executive leadership team, top management, upper management, higher management, or simply seniors.

Employee(s): The entity’s employees whose primary responsibilities include the operation or support of the entity.

Focus groups: Working groups established to, in this context, focus on improving employee satisfaction.

Separate teams/departments: Representatives from different departments and disciplines within the entity.

2 points , MP, S

Intent

This indicator evaluates the presence and extent of an entity’s program for promoting employee health and well-being. A complete process to promote employee health and well-being contains needs assessment, goal setting, action and monitoring. Such a process helps entities take systematic action to create value and manage risks.

Requirements

Select yes or no. If yes, select all applicable sub-options.

Validation

Other: State the type of health and well-being check. It is possible to report multiple other answers.

See Appendix 2a for additional information about GRESB Validation.

Scoring

Scoring information will be updated on April 1.

Terminology

Employee(s): The entity’s employees whose primary responsibilities include the operation or support of the entity.

Employee surveys on health and well-being: Written documents containing questions covering health and well being indicators or physical inspections on health and well-being issues. Topics covered can include, but are not limited to: personal health and well being, medical assistance at the workplace and housekeeping.

Health and well-being action: Action to promote the health and well-being of a specific population and meet the established health and well-being goals. Actions can be taken through the design, construction and operation of buildings as well as through health programs.

Health and well-being goal setting: The establishment of goals to promote the health and well-being of a specific population. Goals should be informed by the health and well-being needs assessment. Health and well-being goals might be focused on improving specific health determinants (environmental, social) and/or on improving population health outcomes.

Health and well-being monitoring: Mechanism to observe progress made towards achieving the established health and well-being goals for a specific population. This involves monitoring the operational outcomes of an entity’s actions to promote health & well- being of a specific population. Monitoring performance and outcomes provides feedback to understand, implement, and improve the effectiveness of interventions in order to progress towards health and well-being goals.

Health and well-being needs assessment: Process to identify and understand the health and well-being needs of a specific population. The purpose of a needs assessment is to assess the health & well-being status of the relevant population, including both risks and opportunities for improvement, and use this information to prioritize interventions to promote employee health & well-being. The absence of this information increases the likelihood of inefficient or non-targeted actions.

Physical and/or mental health checks: Physical and/or mental assessments of employees by a medical professional. Examples can include, but are not limited to: eye checks, cholesterol and blood pressure monitoring.

Not scored , MP, S

Intent

This indicator evaluates the scope and quality of the entity’s employee health and well-being program.

Requirements

Select yes or no. If yes, select all applicable sub-options.

Percentage of employees: The percentage of employees offered to do a check or participate in a survey, etc.

Validation

Other:

  1. Other: State the type of needs assessment.
  2. Other: State the health and wellbeing topic.
  3. Other: State the action to promote health.
  4. Other: State the outcome tracking method.

It is possible to report multiple other answers.

See Appendix 2a for additional information about GRESB Validation.

Scoring

Scoring information will be updated on April 1.

Terminology

Access to medical care: Access to health services, including preventive services such as disease screenings and vaccinations. This could include the provision of such services in or around the workplace and/or access to such services through employer-provided or government-provided healthcare programs; as well as, preferentially selecting tenants based on the needs of the surrounding community and/or allowing the entity’s assets to be used for health fairs or expos open to the surrounding community.

Note: offering health insurance to employees can be considered as a form of providing access to physical/mental health care.

Access to mental health care: Access to mental health services, including services such as depression screenings and counseling services. This could include the provision of such services in or around the workplace and/or access to such services through employer-provided or government-provided healthcare programs; as well as, preferentially selecting tenants based on the needs of the surrounding community and/or allowing the entity’s assets to be used for health fairs or expos open to the surrounding community.

Note: offering health insurance to employees can be considered as a form of providing access to physical/mental health care.

Acoustic comfort: Minimizing sound to promote mental well-being and in some instances, physical ear health. This could include building design and materials selection to promote acoustic comfort for employees and efforts to protect the ear health of construction and industrial workers; as well as, building design and materials selection to promote acoustic comfort for tenants, mechanisms to limit noise disturbances in communities surrounding the entity’s assets during both construction and operations.

Biophilic design: Design that draws upon the innate connection between humans and nature. This includes direct connections with nature, access to views, place-based design and interior design that includes plants, water and/or symbolic connections to nature through images, colors, and shapes.

Inclusive design: Design that accommodates individuals of different religions, genders and gender identities, ages, ethnicities and ability levels. This could include the provision of multi-faith space, lactation room, age-friendly design and/or accessible design.

Indoor air quality: The physical or biological characteristics of air within buildings. Indoor air quality (IAQ) is typically the product of outdoor quality mediated by the design and operation of building systems.

Indoor environmental quality metrics: Measures of indoor environmental quality including measures of air quality, thermal comfort, acoustics, and lighting.

Mental health and well-being: Mental health is defined as a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.

Operational performance: Elements of health & well-being observed during the day-to-day operations of a company, fund or asset (e.g., productivity, absenteeism, etc.).

Social and economic determinants of health: Social and economic determinants of health are the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age. Relevant examples of social determinants of health include access to healthy foods and opportunities for physical activity. Relevant examples of economic determinants of health include opportunities for employment and education status.

Social health and well being: Social health and well-being relates to feelings of belonging and social inclusion. Determinants of social health and well-being within the built environment include design features meant to promote social cohesion such as common spaces.

Social interaction: The provision of common spaces to promote social cohesion such as a café area, courtyard, garden, and/or activities that promote social interaction such as employee appreciation days, lunchtime policies, etc.

Thermal comfort: The thermal environment including air temperature, speed and humidity can impact employee thermal comfort. Research suggests that thermal comfort contributes to employee productivity and well-being.

0.5 points , MP, S

Intent

This indicator is intended to describe metrics collected by the entity to understand health, safety and productivity of employees. Monitoring and reporting on occupational health and safety is an indicator of good management and allows for a continuous understanding of entity health and safety issues. Maintaining records of the number of incidents among employees over time helps to analyze incidents and to identify areas where improvements are necessary.

Requirements

Select yes or no. If yes, select all applicable sub-options.

Open text box: It is mandatory to use the open text box to explain the applied calculation method/formula and monitoring scope of each of the selected metrics. The calculations should cover events arising from on-site operations, building maintenance and employees commuting to and from their workplace.

Construction works related metrics: Injuries and fatalities (including third-party workers, visitors, members of the public) that occur during construction or major renovation projects should be reported in the Development Component DSE2.2, if applicable.

Validation

Other metrics: State the other indicator monitored. It is possible to report multiple other answers. Other indicators can include the occupational disease rate (ODR), near miss rate, presenteeism rate, and fatalities.

See Appendix 2a for additional information about GRESB Validation.

Scoring

Scoring information will be updated on April 1.

Terminology

Absentee rate: A measure of absenteeism expressed as a percentage of total days scheduled to be worked by the workforce during the reporting year.

Employee(s): The entity’s employees whose primary responsibilities include the operation or support of the entity.

Injury rate: A measure of the total number of instances of being injured, (including occupational diseases and occupational disabilities, and fatalities) arising from operations expressed as a percentage of total number of employees.

Lost day rate: A measure of the impact of occupational accidents and diseases as reflected in time off work by the affected workers. It is expressed by comparing the total workdays lost due to occupational injury to the total number of hours scheduled to be worked by the workforce during the reporting year.

Workstation checks: Assessment of employee workstations (immediate working environment including desks, IT and other office equipment) performed to monitor compliance with health and safety requirements. The checks can either be performed internally or by independent third parties.

References

RobecoSAM Corporate Sustainability Assessment, 2017: 3.5.2, Risk Culture

GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards, 2016: 403-2

EPRA Best Practices Recommendations on Sustainability Reporting, 3rd version, September 2017: 5.6 H&S-Employee Health and Safety

Not scored , MP, S

Intent

This indicator identifies the metrics used by the entity to monitor diversity at governance and workforce level. Diversity of boards of directors has become a clear priority for investors and is considered to positively impact investment decisions and increases the entity's competitiveness.

Requirements

Select yes or no. If yes, select all applicable sub-options.

Open text box: The content of this open text box is not used for scoring, but will be included in the Benchmark Report. Participants should use this open text box to communicate on the following:

  • Supporting narrative to add context to the information provided;
  • Challenges the entity faces in addressing diversity gaps;
  • Policies and targets to strengthen diversity in the long-term;
  • Any other relevant information, monitoring processes, and/or calculation methods.

See Appendix 2a for additional information about GRESB Validation.

Validation

Evidence: Document upload or hyperlink. The evidence should sufficiently support all the items selected for this question. If a hyperlink is provided, ensure that it is not outdated and the relevant page can be accessed within two steps.

Scoring

Scoring information will be updated on April 1.

Terminology

Age group distribution: Percentage of a population, at each age.

Board tenure: Refers to the period or term of an entity’s board of directors.

Gender pay gap:Percentage difference of average hourly earnings between men and women.

Gender ratio: Proportion of one gender to another in a given population.

Governance body: Committee or board responsible for the strategic guidance of the entity, the effective monitoring of management, and the accountability of management to the broader organization and its stakeholders. Examples of governance bodies may include Board of Directors and Non-Executive Directors.

Socioeconomic background: Combined measure of sociological and economic background of a person.

References

EPRA Best Practices Recommendations on Sustainability Reporting, 3rd version, September 2017: 5.1, Diversity-Employee gender diversity

GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards (2016): 102-22

RobecoSAM Corporate Sustainability Assessment 2017: 3.1.3, Diversity Policy

Suppliers

2019 Indicator

3 points , MP, G

Intent

This indicator describes the management practices and requirements the entity uses to manage supply chain risks. The procurement process is an effective way to integrate the entity’s sustainability-specific requirements into their supply chain. This indicator applies to existing and new contracts.

Requirements

Select yes or no. If yes, select all applicable sub-options.

Validation

Other: .

  1. Other: State the other element of the supply chain engagement program;
  2. Other: State the other topic included in requirements, and/or;
  3. Other: State the other party to whom the requirements apply to. Tenants will not be considered a valid other answer.

It is possible to report multiple other answers for the above sub-options.

See Appendix 2a for additional information about GRESB Validation.

Scoring

Scoring information will be updated on April 1.

Terminology

Action Plan: A detailed plan outlining actions needed to enhance tenant satisfaction. An action plan has three major elements (1) Specific tasks: what will be done and by whom; (2) Time horizon: when will it be done; (3) Resource allocation: what specific funds are available for specific activities, and (4) Measurable outcomes.

Business Ethics: Basic moral and legal principles used to address issues such as corporate governance, insider trading, bribery, discrimination, corporate social responsibility and fiduciary responsibilities.

Child labor: Work that children should not be doing because they are too young, or, if they have reached the minimum age, because it is dangerous or otherwise unsuitable for them.

Environmental process standards: Minimum standards required during the procurement process in relation to environmental processes, such as requirements for disposal of waste generated by contractors.

Environmental product standards: Minimum standards required during the procurement process in relation to environmental products, such as requiring a certain percentage of products to be locally sourced or contain recycled content.

ESG-specific requirements: Includes specification and use of sustainable and energy efficient materials, systems, equipment and onsite operating practices, e.g. regarding access to the site, environmental impact, community impact, health and safety, etc..

Health and safety: employees The health and safety of employees responsible for the entity.

Employee health & well-being: The health & well-being of employees responsible for the entity.

Human health-based product standards: Minimum standards for the health-related attributes of products, such as lists of prohibited chemicals.

Human rights: Human rights are rights inherent to all human beings, whatever their nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, language or any other status.

Suppliers: Organizations or persons that provide a product or service used in the supply chain.

References

GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards, 2016: 204-1; 308, Supplier environmental assessment; GRI 414, Supplier social Assessment

RobecoSAM Corporate Sustainability Assessment, 2017: 3.5.2 Risk Exposure

2 points , MP, S

Intent

This indicator examines the methods used by a participant to monitor property/asset managers’ compliance with the participant’s ESG-specific requirements. Monitoring compliance ensures that property/asset managers are held accountable for implementing ESG requirements as set out by the entity.

Requirements

Select yes or no. If yes, select all applicable sub-options.

Validation

Other: State the other method used for monitoring. It is possible to report multiple other answers.

Professional standard: If ‘require alignment with a professional standard’ is selected, state the professional standard. It is possible to report multiple standards.

See Appendix 2a for additional information about GRESB Validation.

Scoring

Scoring information will be updated on April 1.

Terminology

External property/asset managers: Organizations or persons to which participants outsource some or all of their property and asset management functions.

Internal property/asset managers: The part of the entity or persons that is/are responsible for the entity’s property and asset management functions.

Monitoring of property managers: Performance evaluation and incentives put in place for property managers to employ sustainable processes in their day-to-day work.

Property/asset manager ESG training: A formal and structured training program addressing ESG-related issues and opportunities for action.

Regular meetings with property/asset managers: Meetings with property/asset managers that take place at least four times per year, addressing ESG-specific requirements in place.

References

GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards, 2016: GRI 308; GRI 414; 414-1; 412-1

2 points , MP, S

Intent

This indicator examines the methods used by a participant to monitor external suppliers’ and/or service providers’ compliance with the participants ESG-specific requirements. This indicator refers to suppliers other than the property / asset managers covered in SE7.1.

Requirements

Select yes or no. If yes, select all applicable sub-options.

Validation

Other: State the other method used for monitoring. It is possible to report multiple other answers.

Professional standard: If ‘require alignment with a professional standard’ is selected, state the professional standard. It is possible to report multiple standards.

See Appendix 2a for additional information about GRESB Validation.

Scoring

Scoring information will be updated on April 1.

Terminology

Checks by the entity’s employees or by external property/asset managers: Formal, structured checks that assess the compliance with sustainability-specific requirements in place for that supplier.

ESG-specific requirements: Includes specification and use of sustainable and energy efficient materials, systems, equipment and onsite operating practices, e.g. regarding access to the site, environmental impact, community impact, health and safety, etc..

Monitoring of external suppliers and/or service providers: Performance evaluation and incentives in place for direct external suppliers and/or service providers to employ ESG related processes in their day-to-day work.

Regular meetings with suppliers: Meetings with suppliers that take place at least four times per year, addressing sustainability-specific requirements in place for that supplier.

Update reports: Written reports received from suppliers that address compliance with the sustainability-specific requirements in place for that supplier.

References

GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards, 2016: GRI 308; GRI 414; 414-1; 412-1

RobecoSAM Corporate Sustainability Assessment, 2017: 3.5.2, Risk Exposure

Not scored , MP, S

Intent

This indicator identifies the existence of a grievance mechanism at the reporting entity. An entity’s procurement decisions and activities can lead to significant negative sustainability impacts in the supply chain, including human rights violations, even when entities operate optimally. Grievance mechanisms play an important role to provide access to remedy and reflect an entity’s commitment to ESG management. An entity should establish a mechanism for stakeholders in the supply chain to bring this to the attention of the entity and seek redress.

Requirements

Select yes or no. If yes, select all applicable sub-options.

Validation

Other:

  1. Other: State the other method used for the grievance process. It is possible to report multiple other answers.
  2. Other: State the other stakeholder group. It is possible to report multiple other answers.

Scoring

Scoring information will be updated on April 1.

Terminology

Accessible and easy to understand: Known to all stakeholder groups and providing adequate assistance for those who may face particular barriers to access (e.g. 24/7 availability, simple language).

Anonymous: Made or done by someone whose name is not known or not made public.

Dialogue based: Looks for mutually agreed solutions through engagement between parties.

Equitable & rights compatible: Ensure that parties have reasonable access to sources of information, advice and expertise necessary to engage in a grievance process on fair, informed and respectful terms (e.g. independent review). In addition, ensure that outcomes accord with international norms of behavior.

Grievance mechanism: Formal, legal or non-legal (or ‘judicial/non-judicial’) complaint process that can be used by individuals, communities and/or civil society entities that are being negatively affected by certain business activities and operations. The process enables the complaining party to flag an issue, seek redress and remedy.

Improvement based: Drawing on relevant measures to identify lessons for improving the mechanism and preventing future harms.

Legitimate & safe: Enable trust from stakeholder groups and protect stakeholders from potential threats and retaliations through a secure, anonymous, independent and two-way communication system.

Predictable: Provide a clear procedure with an indicative time frame for each stage, and clarity on the types of process and outcome available.

Special interest groups: Organization with a shared interest or characteristic (e.g. trade unions, non-governmental organizations).

Stakeholder group(s) involved: State all the stakeholder group(s) addressed by this action. Examples of applicable stakeholder groups include: Employees, Contractors, Clients/Customers, Community/Public, Suppliers, Investors, Regulators/Government, Representative and Special Interest groups (e.g. NGOs, Trade Unions, etc), Industry and professional associations, etc.

Suppliers: Organizations or persons that provide a product or service used in the supply chain.

Transparent: Keep parties informed about the progress.

References

ISO 20400, 2017: Sustainable Procurement

UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights

Human Rights and Grievance Mechanism

GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards, 2016: 103-2, The management approach and its components

Performance: Reporting Characteristics

Information provided in the Reporting Characteristics aspect identifies the reporting scope and boundaries of the entity’s standing investments portfolio during the current reporting year. This information is used to determine the structure of the Performance Component response, as well as for peer benchmarking purposes.

Reporting Characteristics

Intent

Portfolio composition determines the scope of the Performance Component, and forms the basis for entity classification and GRESB peer group allocation. In this context, GRESB aims to benchmark participants within similar property types. If that is not possible, property types are aggregated into groups of property types with similar characteristics (property sectors). It is therefore essential that the portfolio boundaries reported by the entity are accurate and complete to ensure relevant outcomes and comparisons.

Refer to Appendix 3b Peer Group Allocation Methodology for more information on the GRESB Peer Group Allocation.

Requirements

In 2020, participants are required to define their portfolio composition at the asset level using the GRESB Asset Spreadsheet. See tab Instructions for detailed guidance on how to interpret and complete each field.

The table in R1.1 is automatically populated once the GRESB Asset Spreadsheetis completed and uploaded to the Asset Portal, with the exception of the “% GAV” column, which will need to be manually completed for each property type.

It is recommended to:

  • Prepare and upload your Asset-level Spreadsheet into your Assessment;
  • Solve all warnings and errors;
  • Complete the potential missing fields in R1.1 (i.e. “% GAV”);
  • Review all fields in R1.1 to ensure the table is accurate and complete;
  • Provide evidence to confirm the portfolio composition, including any acquisitions and dispositions during the reporting year.

Entities reporting to GRESB are expected to represent the full investable vehicle and thereby must include all direct real estate assets held by the vehicle (i.e., the whole portfolio) at any time during the reporting year. Note that this also includes assets that are not under the direct control of the entity, assets that are owned under a joint venture, and/or assets that may not be recorded as physical assets on the entity’s balance-sheet (e.g., structured as financial lease).

Refer to section Reporting Scope and Boundaries of this document for guidance on joint ventures.

Participants are required to corroborate information in the table through the upload of supporting evidence in an explicit way, to avoid confusion and room for interpretation. It should be clear from the uploaded document how the table is reconciled with the supporting evidence. Use the open text box to communicate all relevant information necessary to understand the reconciliation. If applicable, specify and clarify any inconsistencies and potential differences between uploaded documents and values displayed in R1.1.

Situations where the supporting evidence could be inconsistent with the aggregation table include, but are not limited to:

  • The supporting evidence provides the size of the portfolio in LFA (lettable floor area), while the R1.1 table displays the aggregate GFA (gross floor area) - e.g. the reported floor area (GFA) of asset A in GRESB is 10,000 m2, and the supporting evidence only displays its LFA of 8,000 m2. Participants should use the open text box to justify the difference between the floor area sizes.
  • The portfolio includes mixed use assets broken down by property type in the asset reporting - e.g. an asset has ten office floors on top of a retail floor and the spaces are submetered. The participant can list the same asset (address) twice in the GRESB Asset Spreadsheet; once for retail and once for office. Once aggregated, the R1.1 table will display one retail asset and one office asset, but the supporting evidence only confirms the existence of a mixed asset. Participants should use the open text box to justify the difference in the number of assets and property types.
  • The entity uses a different property type classification than GRESB. The 2020 GRESB property type structure follows a three-level hierarchy where a Property Sector contains multiples Property Types, further refined into multiples Property Sub-Types (see Appendix 3a). If this classification differs from the supporting evidence used to corroborate table R1.1, this may lead to inconsistencies in terms of classification granularity and/or terminology. For example, an entity owning 5 Industrial; Distribution Warehouses and 8 Industrial; Manufacturing assets could have all its 13 assets classified as Industrial. Participants should use the open text box to justify the difference in the number of assets and property types.

Validation

Evidence: Document upload is mandatory for this indicator. The evidence should sufficiently support each of the values except “% GAV” reported in R1.1, namely:

  • Property Types represented in the portfolio;
  • Numbers of assets per Property Type;
  • Floor Area per Property Type

Evidence examples can include, but are not limited to:

  • Full audited financial statements with reference to balance-sheet and relevant notes breaking down the entity’s portfolio characteristics;
  • Section in entity reporting to investors. Extracts that do not demonstrate the overall size of the portfolio will not be accepted;
  • Audit statements confirming the composition of the portfolio during the reporting year, including acquisitions and dispositions;
  • Signed statement from CEO or Senior Management confirming that the portfolio composition reported above is truthful, accurate and complete and it represents the entire portfolio during the reporting year. The statement should specifically list all property types, total number of assets and floor area size by property type, to support participants with the validation process, GRESB provides a template statement that can be completed and uploaded. See Appendix 2c.
  • 10K filings.

Multiple documents can be uploaded. For each evidence uploaded, make sure to clearly indicate where (page number, paragraph) the relevant information can be found.

GRESB reserves the right to use alternative sources of information to corroborate the composition of the portfolio, such as publicly available reports and uploaded documentation in other sections of the GRESB Assessment. Non-compliance with the GRESB reporting requirements may lead to a formal request from the Validation Team to adjust the entity’s portfolio boundaries, or the rejection of the Performance Component submission if necessary (see below).

GRESB is amending the scope of the Validation Interview process to be limited to a manual check of the reporting boundaries. This is performed by GBCI for a subset of participants that submit a Real Estate Performance Component response.

Timeline:

June 15: The selected participants are notified by GRESB that they have been selected for a reporting boundaries review which will occur beginning of July 1 (or earlier if the participant submits prior to July 1). There is no action needed from the participant at that time. The selection is based on parameters set by GRESB such as listed vs. non-listed entity, increase/decrease in GAV, asset count and/or floor area year over year. A subset of participants who did not supply sufficient documentation in the previous year may be selected for another review.

July 1: The Reporting Boundaries review commences.

July 10: All selected participants are emailed by GBCI.

  • Participants showing discrepancy will be asked for additional clarifications and / or to make corrections to their reporting scope. They have 5 working days to respond and resolve the request. Non-compliance will lead to the rejection of the Performance Component submission and will result in not being provided with a GRESB Score and GRESB Rating.
  • Participants with sufficient documentation will be contacted with a confirmation email.

July 31: The Reporting Boundaries review is concluded.

Terminology

Percentage (%) GAV: Report the portfolio’s property type diversification by fraction of total GAV or net operating income (NOI). The GAV value for this indicator should be calculated as the GAV of standing investments at the end of the reporting year. If an asset was sold during the reporting year, its GAV should represent the value on the disposition date.

References

EPRA Best Practices Recommendations on Sustainability Reporting, 3rd version, September 2017: 5.1, Organisational Boundaries; 5.2, Coverage; 5.7,Analysis-Segmental Analysis

INREV Reporting Guidelines

INREV Standard Data Delivery Sheet (SDDS)

Intent

The reporting of the entity’s assets by country along with their percentage of GAV are used by GRESB to create country and regional peer groups.

Requirements

In 2020, participants are required to define their portfolio composition at the asset-level through the completion of the GRESB Asset Spreadsheet. See tab Instructions for detailed guidance on how to interpret and complete each field.

Note that all fields in R1.1 will be automatically populated once the GRESB Asset Spreadsheetis completed and uploaded to the Asset Portal, with the exception of the “% GAV” column, which will need to be manually completed for each property type.

It is recommended to:

  • Prepare and upload your Asset-level Spreadsheet into your online Assessment;
  • Solve any warnings and errors;
  • Complete any potential missing fields in R1.2 (i.e. “% GAV”);
  • Review all fields in R1.2 to ensure the table is accurate and complete.

Terminology

Percentage (%) GAV: Report the portfolio’s regional diversification by fraction of total GAV or net operating income (NOI). The GAV value for this indicator should be calculated as the GAV of standing investments at the end of the reporting year. If an asset was sold during the reporting year, its GAV should represent the value on the disposition date.

References

EPRA Best Practices Recommendations on Sustainability Reporting, 3rd version, September 2017: 5.7, Analysis-Segmental-Analysis

INREV Reporting Guidelines

INREV Standard Data Delivery Sheet (SDDS)

Performance: Risk Assessment

This aspect identifies the physical and transition risks that could potentially adversely impact the value or longevity of the real estate assets owned by the entity. Moreover, it tracks the efficiency measures implemented by the entity over a period of three years.

Risk Assessments

2019 Indicator

2 points , IM, E

Intent

This indicator identifies if the entity has performed environmental and/or social risk assessments on its standing investments over the last three years. ESG risk assessments of standing investments demonstrate an ongoing commitment to ESG management, a focus on mitigating risks that may negatively impact returns and a forward-looking approach to the development of the portfolio.

Requirements

Select yes or no. If yes, select all applicable sub-options.

Open text box:The content of this open text box is not used for scoring, but will be included in the Benchmark Report. Participants should use this open text box to communicate on

  1. Risk exposure - Describe the methodology used to identify the main risks to which the entity is exposed, as identified above.
  2. Level of implementation - Identify the parties included in the assessment, e.g., employees, business partners, suppliers, contractors and subcontractors and other third parties, etc
  3. Risk mitigation - Describe the actions taken to mitigate the identified risks. The description can refer to actions taken to:
    • Mitigate the cause of the identified risks (e.g., policies for CO2 reduction to reduce pollution, and thus minimizing exposure to carbon taxes);
    • Mitigate the effects of the identified risks (e.g., policies for protection of the central plant against flooding risk).
  4. Follow-up procedure - Describe the procedure employed if the identified risks occur.

Percentage of portfolio covered: Fraction of the portfolio calculated by floor area for which risk assessments were performed during the last three years. The numerator is the floor area of the assets for which the applicable technical building assessment was performed. The denominator is the total floor area of the portfolio as reported in R1.1.

Validation

Other: State the other risk factor assessed. It is possible to report multiple other answers.

See Appendix 2a for additional information about GRESB Validation.

Scoring

Scoring information will be updated on April 1.

Terminology

Biodiversity and habitat: Issues related to wildlife, endangered species, ecosystem services, habitat management, and relevant topics. Biodiversity refers to the variety of all plant and animal species. Habitat refers to the natural environment in which these plant and animal species live and function.

Building safety and materials: Assessment to identify potential hazards resulting, for example, from vulnerabilities caused by the construction materials used, major structural flaws or the presence of asbestos.

Climate change adaptation: Preparation for long-term change in climatic conditions or climate related events. Example of climate change adaptation measures can include, but are not limited to: building flood defenses, xeriscaping and using tree species resistant to storms and fires, adapting building codes to extreme weather events.

Contaminated land: Land pollution which may require action to reduce risk to people or the environment. As an example, contamination can be assessed through a Phase I or II Environmental Site Assessment.

Energy efficiency: Refers to products or systems using less energy to provide the same consumer benefit.

Energy supply: Availability of conventional power (generated by the combustion of fuels: coal, natural gas, oil) or renewable energy (e.g. sun, wind, water, organic plant and waste material).

Flooding: Refers to a rising and overflowing of a body of water especially onto normally dry land often caused by heavy rain, flash flooding, or sea level rise.

Greenhouse gas emissions: GHGs refers to the seven gases listed in the GHG Protocol Corporate Standard: carbon dioxide (CO2); methane (CH4); nitrous oxide (N2O); hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs); perfluorocarbons (PFCs); nitrogen trifluoride (NF3) and sulphur hexafluoride (SF6). They are expressed in CO2 equivalents (CO2e).

Health and well-being: “Health is a complete state of physical, mental and social well-being, not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”(WHO). Health & well-being is impacted by genetics and individual behavior as well as environmental conditions. Particularly relevant to GRESB stakeholders are the social determinants of health, which are the “conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live and age, and the wider set of forces and systems shaping the conditions of daily life.” These are the conditions that enable or discourage healthy living. This could include issues such as physical activity, healthy eating, equitable workplaces, maternity and paternity leave, access to healthcare, reduction in toxic exposures, etc.

Indoor environmental quality: Refers to the conditions inside the building. It includes air quality, access to daylight and views, pleasant acoustic conditions and occupant control over lighting and thermal comfort.

Natural hazards: Naturally occurring hazards, including but not limited to flooding, drought, hail storms, earthquakes and fire (including wildfire).

Regulatory risks: Examples include, but are not limited to: mandatory energy/carbon disclosure schemes, changes in taxes e.g. carbon tax, extreme volatility in energy prices due to regulation, zoning.

Resilience to catastrophe/disaster: Preparedness of the built environment towards existing and future threats of natural disaster (e.g., the ability to absorb disturbances such as increased precipitation or flooding while maintaining its structure). This can be achieved by management policies, informational technologies, educating tenant, community, suppliers and physical measures at the asset level.

Risk assessment: Careful examination of the factors that could potentially adversely impact the value or longevity of a real estate asset. The results of the assessment assist in identifying measures that have to be implemented in order to prevent and mitigate the risks.

Socio-economic risks: Impact on social well-being, livelihoods and prosperity of local communities and individuals. Examples include: economic/political instability, vulnerability to pandemics and epidemics, crime and vandalism, and the displacement of people.

Transportation risks: Risks associated with transportation around the location of a building in relation to pedestrian, bicycle and mass-transit networks, in context of the existing infrastructure and amenities in the surrounding area.

Waste management: Issues associated with hazardous and non-hazardous waste generation, reuse, recycling, composting, recovery, incineration, landfill and on-site storage.

Water efficiency: Refers to the conservative use of water resources through water-saving technologies to reduce consumption.

Water supply: Provision of surface water, groundwater, rainwater collected directly or stored by the entity, waste water from another organization, municipal water supplies or other water utilities, usually via a system of pumps and pipes.

References

ISO 31000:2009

World Economic Forum, Global Risks Report, 2017

Environment Agency, Groundwater protection: Principles and practice, 2013

SASB-Real Estate Owners, Developers & Investment Trusts (March 2016): IF0402-05; IF0402-09; IF0402-14

EPRA Best Practices Recommendations on Sustainability Reporting, 3rd version, September 2017: 5.8, H&S-Comp asset health and safety compliance

RobecoSAM Corporate Sustainability Assessment 2017: 3.2.2 Risk Correlation

World Health Organization

Recommendations of the Task Force on Climate Related Financial Disclosures June 2017: Strategy A&B; Risk Management A&B

4.5 points , IM, E

Intent

The intent of this indicator is to examine the steps taken by the entity to understand the efficiency, water, and waste improvement opportunities available to the entity.

Requirements

In 2020, participants are required to report their technical building assessments at the asset-level through the completion of the GRESB Asset Spreadsheet. Note that all fields in RA2 will be automatically populated once the GRESB Asset Spreadsheetis completed and uploaded to the Asset Portal

It is recommended to:

  • Prepare and upload your GRESB Asset Spreadsheet into your Assessment;
  • Review all fields in RA2 to ensure they are accurate and complete.

Validation

This indicator is subject to automatic validation.

See Appendix 2a for additional information about GRESB Validation.

Scoring

Scoring information will be updated on April 1.

Terminology

Energy efficiency: Refers to products or systems using less energy to provide the same consumer benefit.

Technical building assessment: Formal documented assessment of a building undertaken by a person with technical expertise. Examples of persons with technical expertise can include, but are not limited to: building engineers and building surveyors. Examples of types of assessment can include, but are not limited to: assessments of the structure of the building and materials used, how the building is operated, and how the building is used by its occupants.

Waste management: Issues associated with hazardous and non-hazardous waste generation, reuse, recycling, composting, recovery, incineration, landfill and on-site storage.

Water efficiency: Refers to the conservative use of water resources through water-saving technologies to reduce consumption.

References

Investor Confidence Project (ICP) Investor Ready Energy Efficiency™ (IREE™)

SASB-Real Estate Owners, Developers & Investment Trusts (March 2016): IF0402-05

Recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures June 2017: Strategy A&B

Efficiency Measures

2019 Indicator

3 points , IM, E

Intent

The intent of this indicator is to improve environmental performance within a portfolio, focusing on opportunities to increase the energy efficiency of assets.

This indicator examines measures (or projects) undertaken to reduce the portfolio’s energy consumption. Usually, the implementation of these measures is the result of technical building assessments, which are focused on investigating the energy use and requirements of the building based on its characteristics and installed equipment.

Requirements

In 2020, participants are required to report their energy efficiency measures at the asset-level through the completion of the GRESB Asset Spreadsheet. Note that all fields in RA3 will be automatically populated once the GRESB Asset Spreadsheett is completed and uploaded to the Asset Portal.

It is recommended to:

  • Prepare and upload your GRESB Asset Spreadsheet into your Assessment;
  • Review all fields in RA3 to ensure they are accurate and complete.

Validation

This indicator is subject to automatic validation.

See Appendix 2a for additional information about GRESB Validation.

Scoring

Scoring information will be updated on April 1.

Terminology

Building automation system upgrades/replacements: Refers to the computer-based centralized system installed in buildings that controls and monitors equipment such as ventilation, airconditioning, heating, lighting, alarms and communications.

Upgrades and replacements refers to the process of ensuring the building automation system is operating at full capacity, as to achieve optimal management of systems and increase energy efficiency.

Building energy management system: Computer‐based automated systems that monitor and control all energy‐related systems, including all mechanical and electrical equipment in buildings.

Installation of high-efficient equipment and electrical appliances: Specification and purchase of electrical equipment and appliances that minimize the building‘s energy needs. This includes, but it is not limited to: energy efficient lighting upgrades/replacements and HVAC system upgrades/replacements.

Installation of on-site renewable energy: Renewable energy produced on-site, to meet some or all of the building’s energy requirements.

Measure: The actual project or activity undertaken/implemented to improve energy efficiency as part of the selected category.

Occupier engagement/informational technologies: Communication and information technologies implemented to inform and engage with tenants in regards to their energy use.

Smart grid/smart building technologies: Computer-based control and automation of electricity network systems, to support and manage electricity demand in a sustainable, integrated manner.

System commissioning: The process of ensuring that systems are designed, installed, and functionally tested, and that they are capable of being operated and maintained to perform optimally.

References

ISO 50001:2011 Energy Management Systems

LEED BD+C: Core and Shell, v4, Optimize Energy Performance LEED O+M: Existing Buildings, v4, Alternative Transportation

EPRA Best Practices Recommendations on Sustainability Reporting, 3rd version, September 2017: 7.9, Narrative on performance

SASB-Real Estate Owners, Developers & Investment Trusts (March 2016): IF0402-05

Recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures June 2017: Strategy A&B

2.5 points , IM, E

Intent

This indicator intends to review the steps taken by the entity to reduce water consumption across the portfolio.

Along with energy performance, water consumption is a key indicator of environmental sustainability performance in real estate portfolios.

Requirements

In 2020, participants are required to report their water efficiency measures at the asset-level through the completion of the GRESB Asset Spreadsheet. Note that all fields in RA4 will be automatically populated once the GRESB Asset Spreadsheet is completed and uploaded to the Asset Portal.

It is recommended to:

  • Prepare and upload your GRESB Asset Spreadsheet into your Assessment;
  • Review all fields in RA4 to ensure they are accurate and complete.

Validation

This indicator is subject to automatic validation.

See Appendix 2a for additional information about GRESB Validation.

Scoring

Scoring information will be updated on April 1.

Terminology

Cooling tower water management: A cooling tower is a heat rejection device which extracts waste heat to the atmosphere through the cooling of a water stream to a lower temperature. Reduction of potable water consumption for cooling towers (or evaporative condenser equipment) can be achieved through effective water management, including conducting a water analysis to measure the concentration of at least five control parameters in order to optimize the cooling tower cycles and/or use of non-potable makeup water for a minimum of 20% of the makeup water.

Drip/smart irrigation: Drip irrigation systems save water by irrigating, fertilizing and aerating trees, shrubs, plants and bushes directly at the roots. Smart irrigation systems save water by adjusting the watering schedule and amount of water used for irrigation based on a variety of factors and inputs, including weather, plant species and soil type.

Drought tolerant/native landscaping: Adapted or indigenous vegetation that has evolved to the geography, hydrology and climate of a region requiring minimal or no supplemental watering beyond natural rainfall.

Dry fixtures: Fixtures that do not require the use of water, such as composting toilet systems and waterless urinals.

Grey water: Wastewater generated from hand basins, showers and other water-using devices and equipment.

High-efficiency fixtures: Appliances and plumbing equipment that conserve water without compromising performance (also known as “ultra-low-flow” fixtures).

Leak detection system: Systems that detect water leaks. Examples can include, but are not limited to: condensate water overflow, chiller water leaks, plumbing line cracks, heating/cooling piping leaks and outside seepage.

Measure: The actual project or activity undertaken/implemented to improve energy efficiency as part of the selected category.

Metering of water subsystems: Installing sub-meters to measure the water consumption of applicable subsystems, such as irrigation, indoor plumbing fixtures, domestic hot water, reclaimed water or other process water uses, which supports effective water management and identifying opportunities for additional water savings.

On-site wastewater treatment: Process of water decontamination as a consequence of any anthropogenic, industrial or commercial use, before the water is released again into the environment or is re-used.

Stormwater: Water that collects during precipitation, which can be stored on-site for eventual reuse for non-potable applications. Examples of applications for reuse can include, but are not limited to: landscape irrigation and/or flush fixtures.

References

LEED BD+C: Core and Shell; and LEED O+M: Existing Buildings, v4, Water Efficiency, Indoor water use reduction

EPRA Best Practices Recommendations on Sustainability Reporting, 3rd version, September 2017: 7.9, Narrative on performance

SASB-Real Estate Owners, Developers & Investment Trusts (March 2016): IF0402-09

Recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures June 2017: Strategy A&B

1 point , IM, E

Intent

This indicator intends to review the steps undertaken by the entity to reduce its waste production/generation, and to obtain optimized disposal methods. Along with energy performance and water consumption, waste management is a key indicator of environmental sustainability performance across real estate portfolios.

Requirements

In 2020, participants are required to report their waste management measures at the asset-level through the completion of the GRESB Asset Spreadsheet. Note that all fields in RA5 will be automatically populated once the GRESB Asset Spreadsheetis completed and uploaded to the Asset Portal.

It is recommended to:

  • Prepare and upload your GRESB Asset Spreadsheet into your Assessment;
  • Review all fields in RA5 to ensure it is accurate and complete.

Validation

This indicator is subject to automatic validation.

See Appendix 2a for additional information about GRESB Validation.

Scoring

Scoring information will be updated on April 1.

Terminology

Composting landscape and/or food waste: Composting is the controlled decomposition of organic material which produces useful soil amendment products. Engage in landscape and/or food waste composting either on-site or by contracting with a composting service provider.

Measure: The actual project or activity undertaken/implemented to improve energy efficiency as part of the selected category.

Ongoing waste performance monitoring: Track and measure ongoing waste volumes generated on a minimum quarterly basis, by either weight or volume, to help identify diversion and recycling opportunities within the entity. Conduct a minimum annual review to evaluate performance.

Recycling program: A program for materials that can be locally recycled and contracted with a recycling service provider. Provide appropriately sized recycling collection and storage areas within the entity’s real estate holdings to enable occupants to sort, collect and divert materials from landfill.

Solid waste management: Hazardous and non-hazardous waste including reuse, recycling, composting, recovery, incineration, landfill, and on-site storage.

Waste stream audit: A formal process used to quantify the type and amount of waste being generated, by weight or volume, to help identify effective waste reduction, separation and recycling opportunities.

References

LEED BD+C: Core and Shell; and LEED O+M: Existing Buildings, v4, Materials and resources

EPRA Best Practices Recommendations on Sustainability Reporting, 3rd version, September 2017: 7.9, Narrative on performance

Recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures June 2017: Strategy A&B

Performance: Targets

Environmental performance targets guide entities and their employees towards measurable improvements and area a key driver for integrating sustainability into business operations. This aspect confirms the existence and scope of performance improvement targets.

Targets

2019 Indicator

3 points , IM, E

Intent

Environmental performance targets guide entities and their employees towards measurable improvements and are a key determinant to integrate ESG into business operations. GRESB assesses the existence of credible targets, not the ambition level of these targets.

Requirements

Select yes or no. If yes, select all applicable sub-options.

If yes, complete the table for all applicable performance indicators for the whole portfolio’s targets.

Validation

Baseline year: Include a baseline year. Participants have the option to select a baseline year from 2000 onwards.

End year: This is the end date for the long-term reduction targets. The end year must be 2020 or later.

Externally communicated: Select yes or no for each performance indicator target.

Target type: Select from the dropdown menu whether the performance indicator target is based on absolute or like-for-like data, or is intensity-based.

Other: State the other performance indicator for which you have set a long-term target. Other answers must be outside the options listed in the question, but must be related to performance indicators.

See Appendix 2a for additional information about GRESB Validation.

Example

In May 2015, Entity A committed to increase coverage of building certifications and reach 50% certified portfolio by 2025. Entity A should complete the table in T1.1 as follows:

  • The long-term target is “50”
  • The baseline year is 2015
  • The end year is 2025

Scoring

Scoring information will be updated on April 1.

Open text box is not scored and is for reporting purposes only.

Terminology

Long-term performance improvement targets: A target that projects three or more years into the future, with the purpose of improving the portfolio’s performance through a reduction of any energy or water consumption, GHG emissions or waste to landfill, or an increase in ESG data or building certifications coverage.

References

CDP Climate Change Reporting Guidance, 2019: C4.1

EPRA Best Practices Recommendations on Sustainability Reporting, 3rd version, September 2017: 7.9, Narrative on performance

Recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures June 2017: Metrics and Targets - C

IM, E

Intent

Science-based targets provide companies with a clearly defined pathway to future-proof growth by specifying how much and how quickly they need to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Setting science-based targets demonstrates a formal commitment to reducing GHG emissions to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement – to limit global warming to well-below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursue efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C. Science-based targets can strengthen investor confidence regarding transition risk and guide the entity in its transition to a low-carbon economy. GRESB assesses the existence of science-based targets, not the ambition level of these targets.

Requirements

Select yes or no. If yes, select all applicable sub-options.

Validation

Other: State the other scope used to define the science-based target.

See Appendix 2a for additional information about GRESB Validation.

Scoring

This indicator is not scored and is used for reporting purposes only.

Terminology

Science-based target: A performance target, approved by the Science Based Targets initiative, which is in line with the Paris Agreement - to limit global warming to well-below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursue efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C. Science-based targets must cover company-wide scope 1 and scope 2 emissions, as defined by the GHG Protocol Corporate Standard, and must cover a minimum of 5 years and maximum of 15 years.

References

CDP Climate Change Reporting Guidance, 2019: C4.1

Recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures June 2017: Metrics and Targets- C

Science Based Targets initiative, 2020

Performance: Tenants & Community

This aspect identifies actions to engage with tenants and community, as well as the nature of the engagement.

Tenants/ Occupiers

Tenant engagement is meant to increase the satisfaction of tenants and, with that, their likelihood of remaining in the building. The relationship between tenants and building owners is important both for securing and maintaining rental income as well as for managing risks that arise from the tenant/occupier’s use of the building.

Community

Local community is another important stakeholder group of real estate companies. Indicators on community engagement examine the strategies used by the entity to involve with the local community.

Tenants/Occupiers

2019 Indicator

4 points , IM, S

Intent

This indicator describes the entity’s approach to engaging tenants on ESG issues. It identifies whether the entity has adopted a formal tenant engagement program and identifies the issues covered. An effective tenant engagement program facilitates communication with the landlord and provides a path for tenant indicators, needs, concerns and suggestions to be integrated into operational and ESG decision-making.

Requirements

Select yes or no. If yes, select all applicable sub-options.

You must provide the portfolio coverage for each selected response.

Validation

Other: State the issue included in the tenant engagement program. Ensure that the other answer provided is not a duplicate of a selected option above (e.g., Online message board when 'Social media/online platform' is selected). It is possible to report multiple other answers.

See Appendix 2a for additional information about GRESB Validation.

Scoring

Scoring information will be updated on April 1.

Terminology

Building/asset communication: Publications, dashboards, elevator messages, and newsletters addressing ESG-related issues.

Engagement meetings: Individual meetings with specific tenants/occupiers to discuss ESG-related issues.

ESG guide: A document written for tenants/customers providing practical guidance on ESG-related issues, including opportunities for action.

ESG-specific issues: Topics related to the management of environmental, social, or governance issues.

Events focused on increasing ESG awareness: Events addressing the above ESG-specific issues. They can be either private or open to the public, but they cannot be individual meetings with specific tenants/ occupiers.

Feedback sessions with individual tenants: Meetings with individual tenants to gather feedback about ESG-specific issues.

Provide tenants with feedback on energy/water consumption and waste: Feedback to tenants regarding the energy/water consumption and waste including areas for improvement and reduction measures.

Tenant ESG training: A formal and structured training program addressing ESG-related issues and opportunities for action.

Social media/online communications: Online or social-media communications providing tenants/customs with information on ESG-related issues and opportunities for action.

References

SASB-Real Estate Owners, Developers & Investment Trusts (March 2016): IF0402-12

GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards, 2016: 102-43, Approach to stakeholder engagement

3 points , IM, S

Intent

This indicator examines whether and to what extent the entity engages with tenants regarding their satisfaction. Tenant satisfaction surveys help entities understand critical issues within the portfolio, engage with their tenants, and increase tenant satisfaction, which may contribute to improving retention rates and productivity.

Using widely applied tenant satisfaction surveys should be translated into easily interpretable metrics that can help analyze and compare outcomes, despite the many variations between tenants.

Requirements

Select yes or no. If yes, select all applicable sub-options.

Percentage of tenants covered: Calculated based on the number of tenants (e.g. entities) in the portfolio that received the tenant satisfaction survey during the reporting year. If the number of tenants changed during the reporting year, use the number at the end of the reporting year. The denominator is the total number of tenants at portfolio level.

Validation

Evidence: Document upload or hyperlink. The evidence should sufficiently support all the items selected for this question. If a hyperlink is provided, ensure that it is not outdated and the relevant page can be accessed within two steps.

The evidence must indicate that the survey was conducted and whether it was undertaken internally or by an independent third party. It can be a sample survey or survey results reports with aggregated feedback. A blank survey template that is not accompanied by aggregated results is not appropriate evidence. The evidence should indicate that the survey was administered within the last 3 years.

The evidence should also indicate that the survey was administered within the last 3 years.

Other: State the other quantitative metric. It is possible to report multiple other answers.

See Appendix 2a for additional information about GRESB Validation.

Scoring

Scoring information will be updated on April 1.

Terminology

Net promoter score: The Net Promoter Score ® (NPS) is a customer loyalty metric developed by Bain & Company, Fred Reichheld, and Satmetrix. It divides customers, tenants or employees into three segments: passives, detractors and promoters, using the following question “On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely would you be to recommend this company (or this product) to friends and colleagues?” The Net Promoter Score ® (NPS) ratings of 9 or 10 indicate promoters; 7 and 8, passives; and 0 through 6, detractors. The NPS is the percentage of promoters minus the percentage detractors.

Overall satisfaction score: An overarching metric in a satisfaction survey, with no prescribed scale, that measures how happy an employee or tenant is with the entity, lease, and/or services provided. The industry best practice is a 1-5 scale - very poor, poor, average, good, and excellent, respectively.

Quantitative metric: Any measure or parameter in employee or tenant satisfaction that can be represented numerically.

Survey response rate: The proportion of substantially complete survey responses received as a percentage of the total number of employees or tenants invited to participate.

Tenant satisfaction survey: A written survey conducted by the landlord, managing agent or by an independent third party on its behalf, which gives the tenant the opportunity to provide feedback on the quality of the building, amenities and customer experience provided.

References

GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards (2016): 102-43, Approach to stakeholder engagement

Brain & Company, Introducing: The Net Promoter System®

1 point , IM, S

Intent

This indicator examines how the entity responds to issues identified in tenant satisfaction surveys. Tenant satisfaction surveys are conducted to identify key issues and concerns, which can then be addressed through improvement measures and/or programs adopted by the landlord. Defining measures and improvement targets based on the outcome of the survey and implementing those measures demonstrates commitment to the tenant engagement process and to the development and maintenance of tenant satisfaction.

Requirements

Select yes or no. If yes, select all applicable sub-options.

Validation

Other: State the issue included in the program to improve tenant satisfaction. It is possible to report multiple other answers.

Open Text Box: The elements covered by the program should be identified and described in detail.

See Appendix 2a for additional information about GRESB Validation.

Scoring

Scoring information will be updated on April 1.

Terminology

Action Plan: A detailed plan outlining actions needed to enhance tenant satisfaction. An action plan has three major elements (1) Specific tasks: what will be done and by whom; (2) Time horizon: when will it be done; (3) Resource allocation: what specific funds are available for specific activities, and (4) Measurable outcomes.

Asset/property manager A person responsible for developing and overseeing financial and strategic developments of real estate investments at asset level.

Feedback sessions with individual tenants: Meetings with individual tenants to gather feedback about ESG-specific issues.

Feedback sessions with asset/property managers: Meetings with asset/property managers to gather feedback about ESG-specific issues.

3 points , IM, E

Intent

This indicator assesses how the entity addresses ESG issues in the fit-out and refurbishment of tenant space. A fit-out and refurbishment program helps to align the views and actions of landlords and tenants during an early stage of the occupancy, prior to the tenant/occupier going into occupation. Guidance and support from the start of the lease reinforce the importance placed on ESG issues and creates the basis for sustainably operated buildings.

Requirements

Select yes or no. If yes, select all applicable sub-options.

Percentage portfolio covered: Coverage is calculated based on floor area. If the floor area covered changed during the reporting year (for example because of a change in the number of tenants), use the floor area percentage applicable at the end of the reporting year. The denominator represents the floor area of the whole portfolio. Select one of the four categories provided in the dropdown menu.

Validation

Other: State the alternative topic included in the fit-out and refurbishment program. It is possible to report multiple other answers.

See Appendix 2a for additional information about GRESB Validation.

Scoring

Scoring information will be updated on April 1.

Terminology

Fit-out: Work to design, refurbish and decorate the tenant-occupied portions of the leased property.

Fit-out and refurbishment assistance: Work to support or inform fit-out or refurbishment activities meeting the minimum fit-out standards.

Minimum fit-out standards: Basic requirements for tenant fit-out and refurbishment. If the landlord is responsible for all fit-outs and the landlord has minimum fit-out standards in place, select this answer and indicate the percentage of portfolio covered.

Procurement assistance for tenants: Assistance for the tenants in the procurement process. It can include, but not limited to, green procurement guidance, procurement channels, and recommendation of green suppliers..

Refurbishment: Renovation or redecoration works undertaken by a landlord or tenant.

Tenant fit-out guide: A formal document providing tenants with information about landlord criteria and requirements for tenant fit-out of a leased building or part of a building, such as requirements for materials selection.

References

SASB-Real Estate Owners, Developers & Investment Trusts, March 2016: IF0402-12

3 points , IM, E

Intent

This indicator describes the strategies to promote ESG performance through lease contracts. The content of lease contracts is the starting point for the relationship between the landlord and the tenant, and defines both parties’ respective rights and duties.

Requirements

Select yes or no. If yes, select all applicable sub-options.

Validation

Other:

  1. Other: State the cooperation and works requirement.
  2. Other: State the management and consumption requirement.
  3. Other: State the reporting and standards requirement.

It is possible to report multiple other answers.

See Appendix 2a for additional information about GRESB Validation.

Scoring

Scoring information will be updated on April 1.

Terminology

Comfort: Clauses can relate to cooperation between the parties to achieve comfort, including complaints monitoring, and programming of the building management system to maximise efficient supply of air-conditioning.

Design/Development ratings: Encourage, facilitate or require the parties to commit to / not interfere with a design/development rating of the premises or building. Clauses can relate to achievement or maintenance of a rating, cooperating with the other party to assist them in obtaining a rating or in achieving a higher than previously achieved rating, sharing rating certificates when achieved or as requested, etc.

Design for performance: A design approach based on measurable performance outcomes to ensure projects meet their design intent and minimize the performance gap.

Enabling upgrade works: Encouraging, facilitating or requiring the parties to upgrade the building or premises to improve the efficiency or environmental performance of the building during the term. Clauses can relate to cooperation between the parties to facilitate the carrying out of works designed to improve the efficiency or environmental sustainability of the building.

Energy management: Clauses can relate to installation of metering equipment to measure energy consumption, programs to reduce the consumption of energy, including education of employees, sharing of energy consumption data between the parties, allowing a party to read the other’s energy meters, installation of energy efficient products, etc.

Environmental Initiatives: Any type of initiative relating to environmental sustainability, such as recycling, green cleaning or land use ecology.

ESG clause: A particular and separate article or element as part of a contract that is directly related to ESG

ESG management collaboration: The lease must require one or both parties to appoint a representative responsible for sharing the ESG-related information.

Information sharing: Encourage, facilitate or require information sharing, related to energy or water consumption, production of waste or greenhouse gases, recycling rates, etc. Clauses can relate to providing the landlord access to the tenant’s meter, or to monthly automated reports being sent to both parties.

Managing waste from works: Clauses can relate to the landlord accepting a make-good payment in lieu of reinstatement works, the monitoring/minimisation of waste from works, enabling fitout to be reused, recycled, repurposed, or redirected from landfill, etc.

Performance rating: Clauses can relate to achievement or maintenance of a rating, cooperating with the other party to assist them in obtaining a rating or in achieving a higher than previously achieved rating, sharing rating certificates when achieved or as requested, etc.

Performance standards: Clauses can relate to works and maintenance contractors being required to adhere to waste programs, or not to interfere with building performance.

Social initiatives: Encourage, facilitate or require initiatives that are designed to improve the wellbeing of the premises’/buildings' surrounding communities. Initiatives can relate to provision of healthy food, commitments to gender equity or diversity, health and safety or above-award pay for building management, responsible use of ground level and surrounding public space that results in enhancement of the surrounding community, etc.

Standard lease contract: Standard lease format that is used by the entity as the basis for negotiations between landlord and tenant.

Sustainable cleaning: Clauses can relate to cleaners being required to use environmentally friendly cleaning products, adhering to the building’s waste strategy, etc.

Sustainable procurement: Encourage, facilitate or require the reduction of consumption of goods within the building or premises and/or the sourcing of sustainable or ethical goods. Clauses can relate to reduction of paper consumption, supply of biodegradable materials, use of recycled paper, building materials, etc.

Sustainable transport: Clauses can relate to preparation of an alternative transport report, sharing of information relating to public transport, environmentally low impact transport, end of trip facilities, bicycle racks, car share services, etc.

Sustainable utilities: Encourage, facilitate or require the parties to discuss procurement of more sustainable utilities/offsets, or install plant and equipment to enable the generation and on-sale of sustainable utilities. Clauses can relate to on-sale of electricity, gas or water, on-sale of certified renewable sources of a utility, installation of renewable energy plant and equipment, installation of recycled water facilities, etc.

Waste management: Issues associated with hazardous and non-hazardous waste generation, reuse, recycling, composting, recovery, incineration, landfill and on-site storage.

Water management: Clauses could relate to installation of metering equipment to measure water consumption, sharing of water consumption data between the parties, allowing a party to read the other’s water meters, installation of water efficient products, etc.

References

Better Building Partnership

Leasing Lifecycle Tool

Green Lease Library and Green Lease Leaders Recognition Program

SASB-Real Estate Owners, Developers & Investment Trusts, March 2016: IF0402-10

1.5 points , IM, S

Intent

The indicator evaluates the presence and extent of an entity program for promoting health and well-being through its real estate assets and services. A complete process to promote tenant, customer and community health and well-being contains needs assessment, goal setting, action and monitoring. Such a process helps entities take systematic action to create value and manage risks.

Requirements

Select yes or no. If yes, select all applicable sub-options.

Validation

This indicator is not subject to automatic or manual validation.

See Appendix 2a for additional information about GRESB Validation.

Scoring

Scoring information will be updated on April 1.

Terminology

Health and well-being action: Action to promote the health and well-being of a specific population and meet the established health and well-being goals. Actions can be taken through the design, construction and operation of buildings as well as through health programs.

Health and well-being goal setting: The establishment of goals to promote the health and well-being of a specific population. Goals should be informed by the health and well-being needs assessment. Health and well-being goals might be focused on improving specific health determinants (environmental, social) and/or on improving population health outcomes.

Health and well-being monitoring: Mechanism to observe progress made towards achieving the established health and well-being goals for a specific population. This involves monitoring the operational outcomes of an entity’s actions to promote health & well- being of a specific population. Monitoring performance and outcomes provides feedback to understand, implement, and improve the effectiveness of interventions in order to progress towards health and well-being goals.

Health and well-being needs assessment: Process to identify and understand the health and well-being needs of a specific population. The purpose of a needs assessment is to assess the health & well-being status of the relevant population, including both risks and opportunities for improvement, and use this information to prioritize interventions to promote employee health & well-being. The absence of this information increases the likelihood of inefficient or non-targeted actions.

Not scored , IM, S

Intent

The indicator evaluates the scope and quality of a program for promoting health and well-being through an entity’s real estate assets and services.

Requirements

Select yes or no. If yes, select all applicable sub-options.

Validation

Other:

  1. Other: State the type of needs assessment.
  2. Other: State the health and wellbeing topic.
  3. Other: State the action to promote health.
  4. Other: State the outcome tracking method.

It is possible to report multiple other answers.

See Appendix 2a for additional information about GRESB Validation.

Scoring

Scoring information will be updated on April 1.

Terminology

Access to medical care: Access to health services, including preventive services such as disease screenings and vaccinations. This could include the provision of such services in or around the workplace and/or access to such services through employer-provided or government-provided healthcare programs; as well as, preferentially selecting tenants based on the needs of the surrounding community and/or allowing the entity’s assets to be used for health fairs or expos open to the surrounding community.

Note: offering health insurance to employees can be considered as a form of providing access to physical/mental health care.

Access to mental health care: Access to mental health services, including services such as depression screenings and counseling services. This could include the provision of such services in or around the workplace and/or access to such services through employer-provided or government-provided healthcare programs; as well as, preferentially selecting tenants based on the needs of the surrounding community and/or allowing the entity’s assets to be used for health fairs or expos open to the surrounding community.

Note: offering health insurance to employees can be considered as a form of providing access to physical/mental health care.

Acoustic comfort: Minimizing sound to promote mental well-being and in some instances, physical ear health. This could include building design and materials selection to promote acoustic comfort for employees and efforts to protect the ear health of construction and industrial workers; as well as, building design and materials selection to promote acoustic comfort for tenants, mechanisms to limit noise disturbances in communities surrounding the entity’s assets during both construction and operations.

Biophilic design: Design that draws upon the innate connection between humans and nature. This includes direct connections with nature, access to views, place-based design and interior design that includes plants, water and/or symbolic connections to nature through images, colors, and shapes.

Inclusive design: Design that accommodates individuals of different religions, genders and gender identities, ages, ethnicities and ability levels. This could include the provision of multi-faith space, lactation room, age-friendly design and/or accessible design.

Indoor air quality: The physical or biological characteristics of air within buildings. Indoor air quality (IAQ) is typically the product of outdoor quality mediated by the design and operation of building systems.

Indoor environmental quality metrics: Measures of indoor environmental quality including measures of air quality, thermal comfort, acoustics, and lighting.

Mental health and well-being: Mental health is defined as a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.

Operational performance: Elements of health & well-being observed during the day-to-day operations of a company, fund or asset (e.g., productivity, absenteeism, etc.).

Social health and well being: Social health and well-being relates to feelings of belonging and social inclusion. Determinants of social health and well-being within the built environment include design features meant to promote social cohesion such as common spaces.

Social interaction: The provision of common spaces to promote social cohesion such as a café area, courtyard, garden, and/or activities that promote social interaction such as employee appreciation days, lunchtime policies, etc.

Social and economic determinants of health: Social and economic determinants of health are the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age. Relevant examples of social determinants of health include access to healthy foods and opportunities for physical activity. Relevant examples of economic determinants of health include opportunities for employment and education status.

Thermal comfort: The thermal environment including air temperature, speed and humidity can impact employee thermal comfort. Research suggests that thermal comfort contributes to employee productivity and well-being.

Community

2019 Indicator

3 points , IM, S

Intent

This indicator examines the strategies used by the entity to support communities associated with its operations. A structured and comprehensive approach to community engagement demonstrates the extent of integration of community engagement issues into the entity’s overall strategy.

Requirements

Select yes or no. If yes, select all applicable sub-options.

Open text box: The open text box will not be used for scoring, but will appear in the Benchmark Committee for reporting purposes. Describe the community engagement program and the monitoring process. The description should refer to the applicable topics included in the community engagement program and elements below:

  1. Program objectives
  2. Examples of specific activities/projects
  3. Scope of the activities/projects

Validation

Other: State the alternative topic included in community engagement. It is possible to report multiple other answers.

See Appendix 2a for additional information about GRESB Validation.

Scoring

Scoring information will be updated on April 1.

Terminology

Assistance or support in case of disaster: Financial, social or other assistance required to respond to disaster situations, such as the formation of a disaster response team and training.

Community/public: Persons or groups of people living and/or working in any areas that are economically, socially or environmentally impacted (positively or negatively) by the entity’s operations.

Community concerns: Issues of importance raised by the community, that are causing social, mental or other distress.

Community engagement: Community engagement refers to the communication, interaction, and formation of relationships between the entity and those groups.

Enhancement programs: Programs designed to improve public spaces to increase accessibility and livability, and encourage greater community interaction and well-being.

Health and well-being program: Program designed to address and increase the health and wellbeing of the local community.

Public spaces: Refers to spaces that are open and accessible to the public for social and recreational use.

Research and network activities: Activities and events organized for/with groups and members of the local community for the purpose of research and networking.

Resilience: Preparedness of the built environment towards existing and future climate changes (i.e., the ability to absorb disturbances such as increased precipitation or flooding while maintaining its structure). This can be achieved by management policies, informational technologies, educating tenant, community, suppliers and physical measures at the asset level.

Supporting charities and community groups: Providing financial, social or other support to local community groups and charities.

ESG education program: A program designed to increase awareness and knowledge of ESG issues within the community.

References

EPRA Best Practices Recommendations on Sustainability Reporting, 3rd version, September 2017: 5.9

1.5 points , IM, S

Intent

This indicator examines the topics considered by the entity to understand its impact on social and environmental conditions in communities associated with its operations. The operation of real estate assets can have positive or negative impacts on the local community. These impacts will often differ per property type. Monitoring helps an entity manage the impact of the operation of an asset on the community.

Requirements

Select yes or no. If yes, select all applicable sub-options.

Validation

Other: State the other impact measure that is monitored. It is possible to report multiple other answers.

See Appendix 2a for additional information about GRESB Validation.

Scoring

Scoring information will be updated on April 1.

Terminology

Crime levels: The impact of the use of the asset and related facilities/direct surroundings on crime levels. For example, inadequate lighting or security may lead to increased crime levels including vandalism and theft.

Housing affordability: Affordable housing refers to housing units that are affordable by the low-income section of society (for example, whose income is below the median household income).

Livability score: A score designed to measure the standard of living, typically within a city.

Local income generated: Contributing to local economic benefits, and creating business diversity and opportunities for economic development and innovation. For example, providing tax revenues.

Local residents’ well-being: Includes health and safety of local residents that may be impacted by the asset’s operation. For example, noise pollution issues.

Monitoring: A structured approach towards measuring and managing the impact of community engagement projects on the local community.

Walkability score: A score designed to measure the walkability of a given address to community amenities.

References

EPRA Best Practices Recommendations on Sustainability Reporting, 3rd version, September 2017: 5.9

RobecoSAM Corporate Sustainability Assessment, 2017: 3.7.2, Valuation disclosure

Green Star, Communities PILOT Version 0.1

Performance: Energy

The following six sections of the Performance component, i.e. Energy, GHG, Water, Waste, Data Monitoring & Review and Building Certifications are populated using information reported by GRESB participants at the asset level through the GRESB Asset Spreadsheet. Check tab Instructions for guidance on how to interpret the fields and fill in the data.

Confidentiality

The asset level data provided to GRESB will be used for aggregation to portfolio level. Any disclosure of such asset data to participants’ investors remains at the full discretion of the GRESB participants.

In addition to the GRESB Asset Spreadsheet, GRESB provides tools to facilitate a smooth asset level reporting process, including Automated Data Feed (ADF) via Real Estate Data Partners. Esmination methodology of Performance Indicators can be found in Appendix 7.

Energy Consumption

2019 Indicator

12 points , IM, E

Intent

Energy consumption accounts for a large share of a building’s environmental footprint. Data measurement and consistent reporting of energy consumption help entities to conceptualize overall energy consumption, increase the energy efficiency of their portfolio, and reduce economic and environmental impacts associated with fossil fuel energy use.

Requirements

In 2020, participants are required to report their energy consumption and renewable energy usage at the asset level, using the GRESB Asset Spreadsheet. See tab Instructions for detailed guidance on how to interpret and complete each field.

It is recommended to:

  • Prepare and upload the GRESB Asset Spreadsheet into the Assessment;
  • Review all fields in EN1 to ensure it is accurate and complete.

Estimates: When landlord-obtained annual consumption data for a particular energy source is partially unavailable or unreliable for an asset, estimations may be necessary. Estimation allows the completion of annual data to be calculated for an asset where data is partially missing or unreliable. GRESB allows participants to use estimated data when reporting on energy consumption if this is aligned with one of the predefined methodologies (see Appendix 7b) and not used as a substitute to gather complete and accurate data.

Data coverage calculationsGRESB calculates Data Coverage based on floor area for which consumption data is available and on the total floor area for which consumption data could have been collected, which is the total supply area. Data Coverage is calculated separately for Whole Building, Base Building and Tenant Space.

Data Coverage: The part of the asset for which data is available, per space and fuel type, as determined in the previous steps. The floor area reported in these fields should reflect the floor area of the portfolio for which Absolute Consumption data is collected from.

Note: If the floor area for common areas is unknown, report an estimated floor area as a proportion of lettable floor area. Participants who do not track the gross floor area of their assets can use the estimated intervals proposed in Appendix 10 to calculate the size of their common areas. Report the details of the estimate in the open text box below the Energy Consumption Table.

Outliers: The consumption data is validated as part of the automatic validation process. If the corresponding consumption is abnormal relative to all reported data for the particular property type,participants are required to explain the identified outliers before submitting the Assessment. The explanation provided for the outliers will be validated and will determine the inclusion of the data points for scoring and analysis. Reasonable and clear explanations prevent the exclusion of data points identified as outliers. The outlier validation guidance can be found in Appendix 7c.

Percentage renewable energy: The percentage of the whole portfolio’s total energy use that is sourced from renewable energy (consumed and/or generated). This is calculated based on (a) the total amount of renewable energy and (consumed and/or generated) and (b) total energy consumption of the whole portfolio, per property type.

Validation

This indicator is subject to automatic validation.

See Appendix 2a for additional information about GRESB Validation.

Scoring

Scoring information will be updated on April 1.

Terminology

See definitions in Appendix 2a and in the Instructions tab of the GRESB Asset Spreadsheet.

References

EPRA Best Practices Recommendations on Sustainability Reporting, 3rd version, September 2017: 5.2, Coverage

SASB-Real Estate Owners, Developers & Investment Trusts, March 2016: IF0402-01; IF0402-02; IF0402-03

RobecoSAM Corporate Sustainability Assessment, 2017: 4.2.4, Energy

Recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures, June 2017: Metrics and Targets- A

GHG Protocol

CDP, Q8 Emissions data

LEED O+M: Existing Buildings, v4, Energy & Atmosphere: Renewable Energy and Carbon Offsets

EPRA Best Practices Recommendations on Sustainability Reporting, 3rd version, September 2017: 5.2, Coverage; Elec-Abs

SASB-Real Estate Owners, Developers & Investment Trusts, March 2016: IF0402-01; IF0402-02; IF0402-03

Recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures, June 2017: Metrics and Targets- A

Performance: GHG

GHG Emissions

2019 Indicator

3.5 points , IM, E

Intent

Greenhouse gas (GHG) accounting has developed significantly in recent years. Many countries have introduced mandatory GHG emissions reporting, in addition to entities often setting their own voluntary GHG emission targets. Evaluating emissions within participants’ portfolios has become standard practice, and entities are increasingly looking at emissions throughout their value chains.

Requirements

In 2020, participants are required to report their GHG emissions at the asset level, using the GRESB Asset Spreadsheet. See tab for detailed guidance on how to interpret and complete each field.

It is recommended to:

  • Prepare and upload the GRESB Asset Spreadsheet onto the Assessment;
  • Review all fields in GH1 to ensure it is accurate and complete.

Outliers: The consumption data is validated as part of the All Participant Outlier Check. If the corresponding consumption is abnormal relative to all reported data for the particular property type,participants should be sure to explain the identified outliers before submitting the Assessment. The explanation provided for the outliers will be validated and will affect the inclusion of the data points scoring and analysis. Reasonable and clear explanations prevent the exclusion of data points identified as outliers. The outlier validation guidance can be found in Appendix 7c.

Validation

This indicator is subject to automatic validation.

See Appendix 2a for additional information about GRESB Validation.

Scoring

Scoring information will be updated on April 1.

Terminology

See definitions in Appendix 9aInstructions tab of the GRESB Asset Spreadsheet.

References

Reporting of GHG emissions is based on: GHG protocol, GRI GRESS (G4-EN15, G4-EN16, G4-EN17,), ISO 14064 and CDP.

EPRA Best Practices Recommendations on Sustainability Reporting, 3rd version, September 2017

INREV Sustainability Reporting Recommendations, 3.5-3.7

International Property Measurement Standard (IPMS)

EPRA Best Practices Recommendations on Sustainability Reporting, 3rd version, September 2017: 5.2, Coverage

RobecoSAM Corporate Sustainability Assessment, 2017: 4.2.1, Direct greenhouse gas emissions

Recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures June 2017: Metrics and Targets- B

Performance: Water

Water Use

2019 Indicator

3.5 points , IM, E

Intent

Consistent collection of water consumption data provides property companies and fund managers the information to monitor their environmental impact, reduce the burden on potable water consumption and wastewater systems, assess exposure to risks of disruptions in water supplies, and reduce water expenditures.

Requirements

In 2020, participants are required to report their water consumption and water reuse and recycling at the asset level through the completion of the GRESB Asset Spreadsheet. Note that all fields in WT1 will be automatically populated once the GRESB Asset Spreadsheet is completed and uploaded to the Asset Portal.

It is recommended to:

  • Prepare and upload the GRESB Asset Spreadsheet onto the Assessment;
  • Review all fields in WT1 to ensure it is accurate and complete.

Estimates: When landlord-obtained annual consumption data is partially unavailable or unreliable for an asset, estimations may be necessary. Estimation allows the completion of annual data to be calculated for an asset where data is partially missing or unreliable. GRESB allows participants to use estimated data when reporting on water consumption if this is aligned with one of the predefined methodologies (see Appendix 7b) and not used as a substitute to gather complete and accurate data.

Data Coverage calculations:GRESB calculates Data Coverage based on floor area for which consumption data is available and on the total floor area for which consumption data could have been collected, which is the total supply area. Data Coverage is calculated separately for Whole Building, Base Building and Tenant Space.

Data Coverage:The part of the asset for which data is available, per space and fuel type, as determined in the previous steps. The floor area reported in these fields should reflect the floor area of the portfolio for which Absolute Consumption data is collected from.

Note: If the floor area for common areas is unknown, report an estimated floor area as a proportion of lettable floor area. Participants who do not track the gross floor area of their assets can use the estimated intervals proposed in Appendix 10 to calculate the size of their common areas. Report the details of the estimate in the open text box below the Water Consumption Table.

Outliers: The consumption data is validated as part of the All Participant Check. If the corresponding consumption is abnormal relative to all reported data for the particular property type,participants should be sure to explain the identified outliers before submitting the Assessment. The explanation provided for the outliers will be validated and will affect the inclusion of the data points scoring and analysis. Reasonable and clear explanations prevent the exclusion of data points identified as outliers.

The outlier validation guidance can be found in Appendix 7c.

Percentage reused and recycled water:The percentage of the whole portfolio’s total water use that is sourced from reused and recycled water. This is calculated based on (a) the total amount of reused and recycled water and (b) total water consumption of the whole portfolio, per property type.

Validation

This indicator is subject to automatic validation.

See Appendix 2a for additional information about GRESB Validation.

Scoring

Scoring information will be updated on April 1.

Terminology

See definitions in Appendix 2a and in the Instructions tab of the GRESB Asset Spreadsheet.

References

EPRA Best Practices Recommendations on Sustainability Reporting 3rd version, September 2017: 5.2, Coverage

GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards (2016): 303-3, Water recycled and reused

INREV Sustainability Reporting Recommendations, 3.8-3.9

LEED v2009 for Existing Buildings, WE Prerequisite 1

International Property Measurement Standard (IPMS).

SASB-Real Estate Owners, Developers & Investment Trusts, March 2016: IF0402-06; IF0402-07

Performance: Waste

Waste Management

2019 Indicator

3.25 points , IM, E

Intent

Consistent collection of waste data gives property companies and funds the information they need to monitor their environmental impact, assess their process efficiency and set targets to reduce the amount of waste produced.

Information on a portfolio’s produced hazardous and non-hazardous waste, together with disposal destinations, are valuable insights for participants to manage environmental impacts and to discover unnecessary financial burdens.

Requirements

In 2020, participants are required to report their energy consumption and renewable energy usage at the asset level, using the GRESB Asset Spreadsheet. See tab for detailed guidance on how to interpret and complete each field.

It is recommended to:

  • Prepare and upload the GRESB Asset Spreadsheet onto the Assessment;
  • Review all fields in WS1 to ensure it is accurate and complete.

Outliers: The generation data is validated as part of the All Participant Check. If the corresponding consumption is abnormal relative to all reported data for the particular property type. Participants should be sure to explain the identified outliers before submitting the Assessment. The explanation provided for the outliers will be validated and will affect the inclusion of the data points scoring and analysis. Reasonable and clear explanations prevent the exclusion of data points identified as outliers. The outlier validation guidance can be found in Appendix 7c.

Validation

This indicator is subject to automatic validation.

See Appendix 2a for additional information about GRESB Validation.

Scoring

Scoring information will be updated on April 1.

Terminology

See definitions in Appendix 9a and in the Instructions tab of the GRESB Asset Spreadsheet.

References

EPRA Best Practices Recommendations on Sustainability Reporting, 3rd version, September 2017: 5.2, Coverage

INREV Sustainability Reporting Recommendations, 3.10-3.11

LEED 2009 for Existing Buildings, MR Prerequisite 2

RobecoSAM Corporate Sustainability Assessment 2017: 4.2.5, Waste

Performance: Data Monitoring & Review

Submitting ESG data for third-party review improves data quality and provides investors with confidence regarding the integrity and reliability of the reported information.

This aspect recognizes the existence and level of third party review of energy, GHG emissions, water, waste data.

Review, verification and assurance of ESG data

2019 Indicator

1 point , IM, E

Intent

Third-party review on ESG data provides investors and participants with confidence regarding the integrity and reliability of the reported information. This indicator refers to the energy consumption data reported across the whole portfolio.

Note: The purpose of this indicator is different from RP1: ESG reporting:

  • RP1: Assurance of reporting process in alignment with a specific reporting framework.
  • MR1: Assurance of data. This data may or may not be used for ESG reporting in the reporting frameworks referenced in RP1.

Requirements

Select yes, no or not applicable. If yes, state whether the energy consumption data has been checked, verified or assured (select one option; the most detailed level of scrutiny to which the data was subject). If applicable, select the assurance/verification standard from the dropdown menu (see Accepted Schemes in the Appendices). GRESB does not require the selected standard to be specific to energy data. As such, a standard initially designed to verify/assure non-energy data (e.g. water) can be selected as long as the same thoroughness and review criteria are clearly applied and referenced to data reported in EN1.

If you would like to add a new Scheme to the dropdown menu list, contact The GRESB team. The requested addition will be subject to validation and only added to the list if it is considered valid.

Validation

Evidence: Document upload or hyperlink. The evidence should sufficiently support all the items selected for this question. If a hyperlink is provided, ensure that it is not outdated and the relevant page can be accessed within two steps.

The provided evidence must cover the following elements:

  1. Proof of the existence of the third-party energy consumption data review. A clear indication that the reviewed data reflects the data reported in EN1.
  2. A confirmation of the type of third-party review (checked, verified, or assured) and the used verification or assurance standard and formal statement (when applicable).
  3. Proof that the energy consumption data review was performed for the underlying assets of the reporting entity.

Note: This indicator differs from RP1 in both granularity (level of detail) and scope:

  • If data granularity required in EN1 is higher than in RP1, participants can not assume that data review documented in RP1 also applies to EN1.
  • However, if data granularity provided EN1 is lower than RP1, then participants can assume that independent review documented in RP1 implicitly covers this indicator.

In the latter case, responses will only be considered valid if the scope of review for both sets of indicators is equivalent. Any difference in that scope needs to be thoroughly supported by evidence and clearly explained by participants.

See Appendix 2a for additional information about GRESB Validation.

Scoring

Scoring information will be updated on April 1.

Terminology

Assured/Verified: The process of checking data, as well as its collection methods and management systems, through a systematic, independent and documented process against predefined criteria or standards. Assurance/Verification services should be in line with a standard and can only be provided by accredited professionals.

Checked: A third-party review that does not comply with the definition of Assurance/Verification.

References

GRESB accepts verification and assurance standards based upon their alignment with CDP's Verification Guidance

EPRA Best Practices Recommendations on Sustainability Reporting, 3rd version, September 2017: 5.4, Third party assurance

0.75 points , IM, E

Intent

Third-party review on ESG data provides investors and participants with confidence regarding the integrity and reliability of the reported information. This indicator refers to the GHG emissions data reported across the whole portfolio.

Requirements

Select yes, no or not applicable. If yes, state whether the GHG emissions data has been checked, verified or assured (select one option; the most detailed level of scrutiny to which the data was subject). If applicable, select the assurance/verification standard from the dropdown menu (see Appendix 6 - Assurance and Verification Schemes); GRESB does not require the selected standard to be specific to GHG data. As such, a standard initially designed to verify/assure non-GHG data (e.g. water) can be selected as long as the same thoroughness and review criteria are clearly applied and referenced to data reported in GH1.

If you would like to add a new Scheme to the dropdown menu list, contact The GRESB team. The requested addition will be subject to validation and only added to the list if it is considered valid.

Validation

Evidence: Document upload or hyperlink. The evidence should sufficiently support all the items selected for this question. If a hyperlink is provided, ensure that it is not outdated and the relevant page can be accessed within two steps.

The provided evidence must cover the following elements:

  1. Proof of the existence of the third-party GHG emissions data review. A clear indication that the reviewed data reflects the data reported in GH1.
  2. A confirmation of the type of third-party review (checked, verified, or assured) and the used verification or assurance standard and formal statement (when applicable).
  3. Proof that the GHG emissions data review was performed for the underlying assets of the reporting entity.

Note: This indicator differs from RP1 in both granularity (level of detail) and scope:

  • If data granularity required in GH1 is higher than in RP1, participants can not assume that data review documented in RP1 also applies to GH1.
  • However, if data granularity provided in GH1 is lower than RP1, then participants can assume that independent review documented in RP1 implicitly covers this indicator.

In the latter case, responses will only be considered valid if the scope of review for both sets of indicators is equivalent. Any difference in that scope needs to be thoroughly supported by evidence and clearly explained by participants.

See Appendix 2a for additional information about GRESB Validation.

Scoring

Scoring information will be updated on April 1.

Terminology

Assured/Verified: The process of checking data, as well as its collection methods and management systems, through a systematic, independent and documented process against predefined criteria or standards. Assurance/Verification services should be in line with a standard and can only be provided by accredited professionals.

Checked: A third-party review that does not comply with the definition of Assurance/Verification.

References

GRESB accepts assurance and verification standards based upon their aligned with CDP's Verification Guidance

RobecoSAM Corporate Sustainability Assessment 2017: 4.2.1, Direct greenhouse gas emissions

EPRA Best Practices Recommendations on Sustainability Reporting, 3rd version, September 2017: 5.4 Third party assurance

Recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures, June 2017: Metrics and Targets- B

0.75 points , IM, E

Intent

Third-party review on ESG data provides investors and participants with confidence regarding the integrity and reliability of the reported information. This indicator inquires about the review of water consumption data across the whole portfolio.

Requirements

Select yes, no or not applicable. If yes, state whether the water consumption data has been checked, verified or assured (select one option; the most detailed level of scrutiny to which the data was subject). If applicable, select the assurance/verification standard from the dropdown menu (see Accepted assurance schemes in the Appendices);GRESB does not require the selected standard to be specific to water data. As such, a standard initially designed to verify/assure non-water data (e.g. energy) can be selected as long as the same thoroughness and review criteria are clearly applied and referenced to data reported in WT1.

If you would like to add a new Scheme to the dropdown menu list, contact The GRESB team. The requested addition will be subject to validation and only added to the list if it is considered valid.

Validation

Evidence: Document upload or hyperlink. The evidence should sufficiently support all the items selected for this question. If a hyperlink is provided, ensure that it is not outdated and the relevant page can be accessed within two steps.

The provided evidence must cover the following elements:

  1. Proof of the existence of the third-party water consumption data review. A clear indication that the reviewed data reflects the data reported in WT1.
  2. A confirmation of the type of third-party review (checked, verified, or assured) and the used verification or assurance standard and formal statement (when applicable).
  3. Proof that the water consumption data review was performed for the underlying assets of the reporting entity.

Note: This indicator differs from RP1 in both granularity (level of detail) and scope:

  • If data granularity required in WT1 is higher than in RP1, participants can not assume that data review documented in RP1 also applies to WT1.
  • However, if data granularity provided in WT1 is lower than RP1, then participants can assume that independent review documented in RP1 implicitly covers this indicator.

In the latter case, responses will only be considered valid if the scope of review for both sets of indicators is equivalent. Any difference in that scope needs to be thoroughly supported by evidence and clearly explained by participants.

See Appendix 2a for additional information about GRESB Validation.

Scoring

Scoring information will be updated on April 1.

Terminology

Assured/Verified: The process of checking data, as well as its collection methods and management systems, through a systematic, independent and documented process against predefined criteria or standards. Assurance/Verification services should be in line with a standard and can only be provided by accredited professionals.

Checked: A third-party review that does not comply with the definition of Assurance/Verification.

Reference

GRESB accepts assurance and verification standards based upon their alignment with CDP's Verification Guidance.

EPRA Best Practices Recommendations on Sustainability Reporting, 3rd version, September 2017:5.4, Third party assurance

RobecoSAM Corporate Sustainability Assessment 2017: 4.2.7, Water

0.75 points , IM, E

Intent

Third-party review on ESG data provides investors and participants with confidence regarding the integrity and reliability of the reported information. This indicator inquires about the review of waste performance data across the whole portfolio.

Requirements

Select yes, no or not applicable. If yes, state whether the waste production data has been checked, verified or assured (select one option; the most detailed level of scrutiny to which the data was subject). If applicable, select the assurance/verification standard from the dropdown menu (see Accepted assurance schemes in the Appendices); GRESB does not require the selected standard to be specific to waste data. As such, a standard initially designed to verify/assure non-waste data (e.g. energy) can be selected as long as the same thoroughness and review criteria are clearly applied and referenced to data reported in WS1.

If you would like to add a new Scheme to the dropdown menu list, contact The GRESB team. The requested addition will be subject to validation and only added to the list if it is considered valid.

Validation

Evidence: Document upload or hyperlink. The evidence should sufficiently support all the items selected for this question. If a hyperlink is provided, ensure that it is not outdated and the relevant page can be accessed within two steps.

The provided evidence should cover the following elements:

  1. Proof of the existence of the third-party waste data review. A clear indication that the reviewed data reflects the data reported in WS1.
  2. A confirmation of the type of third-party review (checked, verified, or assured) and the used verification or assurance standard and formal statement (when applicable).
  3. Proof that the waste data review was performed for the underlying assets of the reporting entity.

Note: This indicator differs from RP1 in both granularity (level of detail) and scope:

  • If data granularity required in WS1 is higher than in RP1, participants can not assume that data review documented in RP1 also applies to WS1.
  • However, if data granularity provided in WS1 is lower than RP1, then participants can assume that independent review documented in RP1 implicitly covers this indicator.

In the latter case, responses will only be considered valid if reporting boundaries for both sets of indicators are equivalent. Any difference in reporting boundaries needs to be thoroughly supported by evidence and clearly explained by participants.

See Appendix 2a for additional information about GRESB Validation.

Scoring

Scoring information will be updated on April 1.

Terminology

Assured/Verified: The process of checking data, as well as its collection methods and management systems, through a systematic, independent and documented process against predefined criteria or standards. Assurance/Verification services should be in line with a standard and can only be provided by accredited professionals.

Checked: A third-party review that does not comply with the definition of Assurance/Verification.

References

GRESB’s accepted assurance and verification standards based upon their alignment with CDP's Verification Guidance.

EPRA Best Practices Recommendations on Sustainability Reporting, 3rd version, September 2017: 5.4, Third party assurance

Performance: Building Certifications

This aspect assesses the entity’s use of green building certifications and energy ratings.

Publicly disclosed asset-level building certifications and ratings provide third-party verified recognition of sustainability performance in new construction, refurbishment and operations. Building certifications affirm that individual assets are designed and/or operated in ways that are consistent with independently developed sustainability criteria.

Building Certifications

2019 Indicator

10 points , IM, E

Intent

This indicator assesses the entity’s use of green building certifications awarded for design, construction and/or major renovation (refurbishment). Green building certificates provide a measure of asset quality that may provide benefits for occupants, society and the environment. Building certifications also serve as an additional layer of transparency and accountability to inform investors and occupiers on the ESG performance of an asset.

Requirements

In 2020, participants are required to report their building certifications at the asset-level through the completion of the GRESB Asset Spreadsheet. Note that all fields in BC1.1 will be automatically populated once the GRESB Asset Spreadsheet is completed and uploaded to the Asset Portal.

It is recommended to:

  • Prepare and upload the GRESB Asset Spreadsheet onto the Assessment;
  • Review all fields in BC1.1 to ensure it is accurate and complete.

This indicator is solely focused on the certificates obtained for building design, development, and structure of standing investments. Operational green building certificates are reported separately in BC1.2. Certifications of assets under development are reported separately in the Building Certifications Aspect of the Development Component.

Only report on green building certificates that were awarded before or during the reporting year. Certifications that are submitted for review, but not yet certified are not valid. In addition, Pre-assessments or other unofficial forms of precertification are not valid.

Validation

This indicator is subject to automatic validation.

See Appendix 2a for additional information about GRESB Validation.

Scoring

Scoring information will be updated on April 1.

Terminology

Green building certificate: Recognition that a project has received a green building rating. A certificate indicates the name and location of the project, version of the rating system, date of certification, and level of recognition.

Green building certification for design and/or construction: Green building certificate obtained for building design, development, and structure. These building certifications affirm that individual assets were designed, developed and structured in ways that are consistent with independently developed criteria.

Level of certification: The level achieved with successful completion of the rating scheme.

Scheme name: The name of the certification scheme.

Standing Investments: Real estate properties where construction work has been completed and which are owned for the purpose of leasing and producing rental income. The level of occupancy is not relevant for this definition. Also known as operating buildings.

Sub-scheme name: A Green Building Certificate’s sub-category to a Scheme name used to certify a particular property type and/or to specify the type of building certificate (whether a Green Building Certificate is an Operational Green Building Certificate or a New Construction Green Building Certificate).

Time of construction: The period during which the asset was built.

12 points , IM, E

Intent

This Indicator intends to assess the entity’s use of green building certifications for building operation and maintenance. Green building certificates provide a measure of asset quality that may provide benefits for occupants, society and the environment. Building certifications also serve as an additional layer of transparency and accountability to inform investors and occupiers on the sustainability performance of an asset.

Requirements

In 2020, participants are required to report their building certifications at the asset-level through the completion of the GRESB Asset Spreadsheet. Note that all fields in BC1.2 will be automatically populated once the GRESB Asset Spreadsheet is completed and uploaded to the Asset Portal.

It is recommended to:

  • Prepare and upload the GRESB Asset Spreadsheet onto the Assessment;
  • Review all fields in BC1.2 to ensure it is accurate and complete.

This indicator is solely focused on the certificates obtained for operating buildings. Building certifications at the time of design / construction are reported separately in BC1.1.

Only include green building certificates that were awarded before or during the reporting year. Many operational green building certificates are valid for a limited period only – the certificate should officially be in effect during the reporting year. Certifications that are submitted for review, but not yet certified are not valid. In addition, pre-assessments or other unofficial forms of precertification are not valid.

Note: Some certification schemes are applicable for both the building design/construction and the building operational phases, but should only be reported once for the applicable phase, in the corresponding indicator.

Validation

This indicator is subject to automatic validation.

See Appendix 2a for additional information about GRESB Validation.

Scoring

Scoring information will be updated on April 1.

Terminology

Green building certificate: Recognition that a project has received a green building rating. A certificate indicates the name and location of the project, version of the rating system, date of certification, and level of recognition.

Level of certification: The level achieved with successful completion of the rating scheme.

Number of certified assets: The number of assets that were awarded a green building certificate before or during the reporting year (excluding pre-assessments or other unofficial forms of pre-certification).

Operational green building certificate: Green building certificate for operational buildings, obtained based on actual operational data for a specific period and the way the building is operated. Typically, these green building certificates certify that individual assets are operated in ways that are consistent with independently developed ESG-related criteria.

Scheme name: The name of the certification scheme.

Standing Investments: Real estate properties where construction work has been completed and which are owned for the purpose of leasing and producing rental income. The level of occupancy is not relevant for this definition. Also known as operating buildings.

Sub-scheme name: A Green Building Certificate’s sub-category to a Scheme name used to certify a particular property type and/or to specify the type of building certificate (whether a Green Building Certificate is an Operational Green Building Certificate or a New Construction Green Building Certificate).

3 points , IM, E

Intent

This indicator assesses the entity’s use of energy ratings and benchmarking. Energy ratings are often government mandated and provide a measure of the energy efficiency performance of buildings. As such, they enable tenants and investors to identify buildings that are both environmentally friendly and have lower utility costs.

Publicly disclosed asset-level building certifications and ratings provide third-party verified recognition of ESG performance in new construction, refurbishment and operations. Typically, building certifications affirm that individual assets are designed and/or operated in ways that are consistent with independently developed ESG criteria.

Requirements

In 2020, participants are required to report their energy ratings at the asset-level through the completion of the GRESB Asset Spreadsheet. Note that all fields in BC2 will be automatically populated once the GRESB Asset Spreadsheet is completed and uploaded to the Asset Portal.

It is recommended to:

  • Prepare and upload the GRESB Asset Spreadsheet onto the Assessment;
  • Review all fields in BC2 to ensure it is accurate and complete.

Some assets may have more than one energy rating. In this case, choose the energy rating that best corresponds to the asset. To do so, using the floor area-weighted average is allowed. For assets with more than one EU EPC, participants have the ability to report the additional EPCs and the corresponding floor via the GRESB Asset Portal.

Only include energy ratings that were awarded before or during the reporting year (pre-assessments or other unofficial rating schemes are not valid). Some energy ratings are valid for a limited period only – the rating should be officially in effect during the reporting year.

Only include energy ratings that were awarded before or during the reporting year. Many energy ratings are valid for a limited period only – the rating should officially be in effect during the reporting year. Ratings that are submitted for review, but not yet official are not valid. In addition, pre-assessments or other unofficial forms of precertification are not valid.

Validation

This indicator is subject to automatic validation.

See Appendix 2a for additional information about GRESB Validation.

Scoring

Scoring information will be updated on April 1.

Terminology

Energy Rating: A scheme that measures the energy efficiency performance of buildings.

References

SASB-Real Estate Owners, Developers & Investment Trusts, March 2016: IF0402-04

Development: Reporting Characteristics

Information provided in the Reporting Characteristics aspect identifies the reporting scope and boundaries of the entity’s development portfolio during the current reporting year. This information is used to determine the structure of the Performance Component response, as well as for peer benchmarking purposes.

Reporting Characteristics

Intent

Portfolio composition information determines the scope of the Development Component, and forms the base for GRESB peer groups. GRESB asims to benchmark participants against similar property types. If that is not possible, property types are aggregated into groups of property types (property sectors).

Requirements

GRESB participants are expected to represent the full scope of their investable vehicles and must include all direct real estate assets held by that vehicle (i.e., the whole portfolio) at any time during the reporting year.

In 2020, participants are required to define their portfolio composition at the asset level by completing the GRESB Asset Spreadsheet. Note that extensive guidance on how to define your portfolio boundaries is provided in the Spreadsheet, tab Instructions.

Note that all fields in DR1.1 (except % of GAV as it remains optional at the asset level) will be automatically populated once the GRESB Asset Spreadsheet is completed and uploaded to the Asset Portal.

It is recommended to:

  • Prepare and upload your GRESB Asset Spreadsheet into your Assessment;
  • Complete the missing fields in DR1.1 (i.e., “% of GAV”);
  • Review all fields in DR1.1 to ensure it is accurate and complete.

You must include the whole floor area for all new construction and major renovation projects, regardless of restrictions on operational control resulting from (a) the landlord and tenant relationship or (b) the ownership structure of the entity.

Land (open or containing dormant buildings) is an unoccupied property type which does not meet the operational profile of other property types. Land should therefore be excluded from the reporting scope.

GAV: Provide the GAV either according to market value/fair value or based on construction costs.

Note: GAV should be reported in millions.

Intent

The reporting of the entity’s assets by country along with their percentage of GAV are used by GRESB to create country and regional peer groups.

Requirements

In 2020, participants are required to define their portfolio composition at the asset level through the completion of the GRESB Asset Spreadsheet. Note that all fields in DR1.2 (except “% of GAV” as it remains optional at the asset level) will be automatically populated once the GRESB Asset Spreadsheet is completed and uploaded to the Asset Portal.

It is therefore recommended to:

  • Prepare and upload your GRESB Asset Spreadsheet onto the Assessment;
  • Complete the missing fields in DR1.2 (i.e. “% of GAV”);
  • Review all fields in DR1.2 to ensure it is accurate and complete.

The percentage of GAV represents the fraction of total GAV of the reporting entity.

References

EPRA Best Practices Recommendations on Sustainability Reporting, 3rd version, September 2017: 5.7, Analysis-Segmental-Analysis

Development: ESG Requirements

Integrating ESG requirements into construction activities can help mitigate the negative impact on ecological systems, and at the same time improve the environmental efficiency of buildings in the operational phase.

This aspect assesses the entity’s efforts to address ESG-issues during the design, construction, and site development of new buildings.

ESG Requirements

2019 Indicator

1 point

Intent

This indicator describes the entity’s ESG strategy for development projects. A well-defined ESG strategy for development projects helps organizations to identify material issues and focus areas during the different phases of these projects.

Requirements

Select yes or no. If yes, select all applicable sub-options.

Evidence: Document upload or hyperlink is required.

Open text box: The content of this open text box is not used for scoring, but will be included in the Benchmark Report. Participants should use this open text box to communicate on

  1. Specific description of the strategy, objectives and approach.
  2. The strategy should apply to the entity level and should address the elements selected from the list.
  3. Scope of implementation (e.g., all projects, some projects, select demonstrations).

Validation

Evidence: Document upload or hyperlink is required. The evidence should sufficiently support all the items selected for this question. If a hyperlink is provided, ensure that it is not outdated and the relevant page can be accessed within two steps.

The provided evidence should cover the following elements:

  1. Existence of an ESG strategy for development projects.
  2. Clearly demonstrated strategies and/or policies on all selected issues.
  3. If applicable, availability of the information to the public.

Other: State the other ESG elements included in the strategy. Ensure that the ‘other’ element is not a duplicate of the provided list of elements (e.g. LEED or BREEAM when 'Green building certifications' was selected). It is possible to add multiple other answers.

See Appendix 2a for additional information about GRESB Validation.

Scoring

Scoring information will be updated on April 1.

Terminology

Biodiversity and habitat: Issues related to wildlife, endangered species, ecosystem services, habitat management, and relevant topics. Biodiversity refers to the variety of all plant and animal species. Habitat refers to the natural environment in which these plant and animal species live and function.

Building safety: Environmental issues with the potential to create or exacerbate risks to human safety, such as structural failure.

Climate change adaptation: Preparation for long-term change in climatic conditions or climate related events. Example of climate change adaptation measures can include, but are not limited to: building flood defenses, xeriscaping and using tree species resistant to storms and fires, adapting building codes to extreme weather events.

Embodied carbon: Refers to emissions that arise from producing, procuring and installing the materials and components that make up a structure. It may also include the lifetime emissions from maintenance, repair, replacement and ultimately demolition and disposal.

Energy consumption: the use of energy by the entity.

ESG strategy: Strategy which (1) sets out the participant’s procedures and (2) sets the direction and guidance for the entity’s implementation of ESG measures.

Greenhouse gas emissions: GHGs refers to the seven gases listed in the GHG Protocol Corporate Standard: carbon dioxide (CO2); methane (CH4); nitrous oxide (N2O); hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs); perfluorocarbons (PFCs); nitrogen trifluoride (NF3) and sulphur hexafluoride (SF6). They are expressed in CO2 equivalents (CO2e).

Green building certification: Recognition that a project has satisfied the requirements of a green building rating system. A certificate typically indicates the name and location of the project, version of the rating system, date of certification and level of recognition.

Health and well-being: “Health is a complete state of physical, mental and social well-being, not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”(WHO). Health & well-being is impacted by genetics and individual behavior as well as environmental conditions. Particularly relevant to GRESB stakeholders are the social determinants of health, which are the “conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live and age, and the wider set of forces and systems shaping the conditions of daily life.” These are the conditions that enable or discourage healthy living. This could include issues such as physical activity, healthy eating, equitable workplaces, maternity and paternity leave, access to healthcare, reduction in toxic exposures, etc.

Indoor environmental quality: Refers to the conditions inside the building. It includes air quality, access to daylight and views, pleasant acoustic conditions and occupant control over lighting and thermal comfort.

Location and transportation: Location of a building in relation to pedestrian, bicycle, and mass transit networks, and existing infrastructure and amenities in the surrounding area.

Material sourcing: Responsible sourcing of materials considers the environmental, social and economic impacts of the procurement and production of products and materials.

Net-zero/carbon neutral design: Reduce the carbon emissions associated with all aspects of the project. This would include the operating energy as well as the construction and materials, and additionally the carbon associated with the commercial, institutional or residential use of the building by the occupants.

Pollution prevention: Any practice that reduces, eliminates, or prevents pollution at its source, also known as "source reduction”.

Renewable energy: Any source of energy that can be used without depleting its reserves including sun, wind, water, biomass or Earth’s core using technologies available on-site, such as photovoltaic panels, wind turbines, transpired solar collectors, solar hot water heaters, solar thermal energy, small-scale hydroelectric power plants, geothermal energy, landfill gas.

Resilience to catastrophe/disaster: Preparedness of the built environment towards existing and future threats of natural disaster (e.g., the ability to absorb disturbances such as increased precipitation or flooding while maintaining its structure). This can be achieved by management policies, informational technologies, educating tenant, community, suppliers and physical measures at the asset level.

Site selection and land use: Encourage the use of previously occupied or contaminated land. Encourage development on land that already has limited value to wildlife and to protect existing ecological features from substantial damage during site preparation and completion of construction works.

Sustainable procurement: Encourage, facilitate or require the reduction of consumption of goods within the building or premises and/or the sourcing of sustainable or ethical goods. Clauses can relate to reduction of paper consumption, supply of biodegradable materials, use of recycled paper, building materials, etc.

Waste management: Issues associated with hazardous and non-hazardous waste generation, reuse, recycling, composting, recovery, incineration, landfill and on-site storage.

Water consumption: The use of water resources by the entity.

References

LEED BD+C: New Construction v4, Sustainable Sites, Location and Transportation

BREEAM International New Construction, 2016

3 points

Intent

This indicator examines the entity’s approach to sustainable site selection. Sustainable site selection encourages the use of previously occupied or contaminated land. It also encourages development on land that already has limited value to wildlife and to protect existing ecological features from substantial damage during site preparation and completion of construction works.

The site selection process should be based on structured, predefined methodologies that include limits on the development of inappropriate sites or projects with a negative impact on the immediate surroundings, and on the environment in general.

Requirements

Select yes or no. If yes, select all applicable sub-options.

Validation

Other: State the topic included in the site selection process.It is possible to add multiple other answers.

See Appendix 2a for additional information about GRESB Validation.

Scoring

Scoring information will be updated on April 1.

Terminology

Aquatic ecosystems: Ecosystems such as coastal and riparian areas, wetlands and deepwater habitats that provide critical ecosystem functions for aquatic organisms, other wildlife and people.

Brownfield sites: Areas of land or premises that have been previously used, but have subsequently become vacant, derelict or contaminated. Brownfield sites typically require preparatory regenerative work before any new development goes ahead, and can also be partly occupied.

Farmland: Agricultural land, designated as such by a national, local, or intergovernmental authority (e.g., US Department of Agriculture, US Food and Agriculture Organization, Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, French Ministry of Agriculture, Agrifood and Forestry).

Floodplain functions: A floodplain is an area of land adjacent to types of waterways and watercourses (e.g., a stream or a river) that experience flooding during periods of high discharge. It functions as water storage, protects habitat and benefits water quality.

Habitats for threatened and endangered species: Areas that contain habitat for plant and animal species identified as threatened or endangered by a national or intergovernmental authority (e.g., US Fish and Wildlife Service, Australian Department of Environment, EU Habitats Directive, European Red List of Threatened Species, and International Union for the Conservation of Nature).

Heritage and historical sites: Preservation of buildings or land which are of as historical, heritage, or cultural significance.

Locate projects within existing developed areas: Development projects are prioritized in areas that have existing infrastructure, development, and urban infill as opposed to greenfield development.

Multi-modal transit networks: Pedestrian, bicycle, and mass-transit networks.

References

SITES v2 Rating System for Sustainable Land Design and Development

LEED BD+C: New Construction, v4, Sustainable Sites, and Location & Transportation

BREEAM International New Construction, 2016; and BREEAM Communities Manual, 2012

1.5 points

Intent

Sustainable site development requirements help to minimize the negative direct and indirect impact of construction sites.

Requirements

Select yes or no. If yes, select all applicable sub-options.

Validation

Other: State the sustainable site design/construction criteria. It is possible to add multiple other answers.

See Appendix 2a for additional information about GRESB Validation.

Scoring

Scoring information will be updated on April 1.

Terminology

Environmental Assessment: An assessment during the due diligence process that ensures the environmental implications of the site are taken into account. This can include contamination from historical and/or current use, to any potential environmental or human health hazard arising from the site.

Manage waste by diverting construction and demolition materials from disposal: Support a low waste construction site and minimize down-cycling of materials with actions such as diverting, reusing or recycling construction and demolition materials.

Manage waste by diverting reusable vegetation, rocks, and soil from disposal: Minimize the disposal of reusable vegetation, minerals, rocks and soil with actions such as using these materials as resources in site design or to produce compost.

Minimize light pollution to the surrounding community: Minimize the effects of light pollution caused by construction lighting and other human-made sources to the surrounding areas of the development sites.

Minimize noise pollution to the surrounding community: Minimize the effects of noise pollution caused by construction activities to the surrounding areas of the development sites.

Protect air quality during construction: Protect air quality and reduce pollution by using construction equipment that reduces emissions of localized air pollutants and greenhouse gasses.

Protect and restore habitat and soils disturbed during construction and/or during previous development: Support healthy plants, biological communities, water storage, and infiltration with actions such as the protection of on-site habitat, restoring disturbed soils, and supporting off-site land conservation.

Protect surface water and aquatic ecosystems by controlling and retaining construction pollutants: Protect receiving waters (including surface water, groundwater, and combined sewers or stormwater systems) with measures such as the creation and implementation of a stormwater pollution prevention plan or erosion and sedimentation control plan.

References

SITES v2 Rating System for Sustainable Land Design and Development

LEED BD+C: New Construction, v4, Sustainable Sites; and Materials & Resources

BREEAM International New Construction, 2016, 05 Management; and 12 Land Use and Ecology; and BREEAM Communities Manual, 2012

Development: Materials

Construction activities consume resources such as water and natural materials, while the construction process generates large quantities of waste.

This aspect assesses criteria on material selection related to (1) environmental and health attributes and (2) life cycle emissions, as well as disclosure on embodied carbon emissions.

Materials

2019 Indicator

2.5 points

Intent

This indicator examines the entity’s strategy to understand and manage health and environmental risks associated with building material supply chains. Including environmental and health requirements in the selection of construction materials assists entities with conserving resources, reducing waste and limiting the impact (including embodied carbon) of new buildings. It also mitigates health risks associated with the use of harmful materials.

Requirements

Select yes or no. If yes, select all applicable sub-options.

Validation

Evidence: Document upload or hyperlink. The evidence should sufficiently support all the items selected for this question. If a hyperlink is provided, ensure that it is not outdated and the relevant page can be accessed within two steps.

Depending on the selected answer options, the document upload can represent a:

  1. Copy of the entity’s formal policy with respect to environmental and health attributes and performance of building materials, including specific information about individual requirements (e.g., red list) AND/OR
  2. Copy of specific requirements for disclosure of health and environmental attributes from suppliers (e.g., embodied carbon, etc.) AND/OR
  3. Copy of specific building product specifications or certificates AND/OR
  4. Information about compliance procedures (e.g., reporting, audit, job site accountability).

Note that a checklist from a green building rating system that includes criteria for materials is not sufficient evidence. Evidence must support the implementation of a policy with clear requirements surrounding these issues.

Other:

  1. State the type of health and environmental information.
  2. State the material characteristics specification.

It is possible to add multiple other answers

See Appendix 2a for additional information about GRESB Validation.

Types of third-party certification used: Specify the third-party certification required for wood-based products.

Scoring

Scoring information will be updated on April 1.

Terminology

Environmental Product Declarations: Products and materials for which life-cycle information is publicly available and which have positive, sustainable, life-cycle impacts. An Environmental Product Declaration should conform to ISO 14025, 14040, 14044, EN 15804 or ISO 21931, or have publicly available, critically reviewed life-cycle assessment, confirming to ISO 14044.

Health and environmental information: Fully disclosed and publicly available information about the human health and environmental impacts or characteristics of the products or materials used. (e.g., MSD sheets)

Health Product Declarations: Products and materials for which the inventory of all ingredients used is publicly available, with a full disclosure of all known hazards and associated effects.

Locally extracted or recovered: Materials that are extracted, harvested or recovered within a specified distance from the construction site.

Low-emitting VOC materials: Materials that have reduced concentrations of chemical contaminants (volatile organic compounds or VOC) that can damage air quality, human health, productivity, and the environment.

Low embodied carbon materials: Embodied carbon is the sum of all the carbon required to produce materials, considered as if that carbon was incorporated or embodied in the product itself. Also known as “low embodied energy materials.”

Materials and packaging that can be easily recycled: Materials and packaging that make are composed of elements that can be easily recycled in waste management systems.

Rapidly renewable materials: Materials made from agricultural products that are typically harvested within a 10-year or shorter cycle, such as bamboo, wool, cotton insulation, agrifiber, linoleum, wheatboard, strawboard and cork.

Red list of prohibited materials: Contains the worst in class materials prevalent in the building industry as published by the International Living Future Institute

Recycled content materials: Products made from pre-consumer and/or post-consumer material diverted from the waste stream.

Third-party certified wood-based materials and products: Certification that encourages responsible and sustainable forest management. Certification bodies include, but are not limited to:

  • Forest Stewardship Council (FSC);
  • Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC);
  • Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI).

References

LEED BD+C: New Construction, v4, Materials & Resources

BREEAM, International New Construction, 2016: 10 Materials

International Living Future Institute, Living Building Challenge 4.0

SCS Ecolabels, Recycled Content, V6-0 Standard

ISO 14021, Environmental labels and declarations

GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards, 2016: GRI 301; 301-1; 301-2; 301-3

2 points

Intent

This indicator examines the entity’s approach to life cycle assessments and emissions methodology. GHG emissions or energy consumption are linked to every stage of the life cycle of buildings – starting from extraction or manufacturing of materials and their transportation, through construction, use phase and to final demolition of buildings. Understanding and consistent measurement of life-cycle emissions of built projects is important for identifying the best opportunities for reducing lifetime emissions and target setting.

Requirements

Select yes or no. If yes, select all applicable sub-options.

Percentage of development projects completed during the last three years using any calculation method: The percentage of projects completed within the last three years having undergone any life cycle emissions assessment.

Percentage of development projects completed during the last three years using the whole building LCA: The percentage of projects completed within the last three years having undergone a whole building LCA.

Open text box: The contents of this open text box are not used for scoring, but will be included in the Benchmark Report. Participants may use this open text box to communicate on:

  1. The applied standard/methodologies and boundaries of the calculation;
  2. The results of the assessments carried out by the entity.

Validation

Other:

  1. Other: State the boundaries on calculation applied.
  2. Other: State the standard/methodology/tool applied.

It is possible to report multiple other answers.

See Appendix 2a for additional information about GRESB Validation.

Scoring

Scoring information will be updated on April 1.

Terminology

Cradle-to-gate: Includes raw materials extraction and supply, transport to manufacturing plant, and manufacturing and fabrication. Emissions across this stage are usually calculated by assigning suitable embodied carbon factors to the given elemental material quantities: Cradle to gate emissions = Material quantity × Material embodied carbon factor.

Cradle-to-grave: Encompasses embodied carbon over the life cycle, including emissions in the previous stage (cradle to practical completion/handover) plus emissions from Use Stage and End-of-life stage.

Cradle-to-practical completion/handover: Includes emissions in the previous stage (cradle to gate) plus the emissions from the construction process. In total, this boundary includes raw materials extraction and supply, transport to manufacturing plant, manufacturing and fabrication, transportation of the materials and components from the factory gate to the project site and their assembly into a building.

Embodied carbon: Refers to emissions that arise from producing, procuring and installing the materials and components that make up a structure. It may also include the lifetime emissions from maintenance, repair, replacement and ultimately demolition and disposal.

End-of-life stage: Any emissions arising from decommissioning, stripping out, disassembly, deconstruction and demolition operations as well as from transport, processing and disposal of materials at the end of life of the project.

Use stage: Any emissions relating to operational energy and water use as well as any embodied carbon impacts associated with maintenance, repair, replacement and refurbishment of building components.

Whole life: Includes emissions in the previous stage (cradle to grave) plus potential environmental benefits or burdens of materials and components beyond the life of the project. It captures the avoided emissions (or potential loads) from utilising repurposed items to substitute primary materials and can be used as a metric for quantifying circularity and assessing future resource efficiency.

References

CDP Climate Change 2020 Questionnaire, C-CN6.6/C-CRE6.6, C-CN6.6a/C-RE6.6a

Intent

This indicator assesses the level of embodied carbon disclosure undertaken by the entity. Assessment of the embodied carbon emissions is necessary to acquire an overall understanding of a built project’s total carbon impact. This indicator provides investors and data users with information on the embodied carbon of buildings that have been completed in the last three years. Disclosure of embodied carbon demonstrates an entity’s transparency in explaining the efforts towards embodied carbon emissions assessments.

Requirements

Select yes or no. If yes, select all applicable sub-options.

Evidence: Hyperlink is mandatory for this indicator. The evidence should sufficiently support all the items selected for this question. Ensure that the hyperlink is not outdated and the relevant page can be accessed within two steps. The evidence should sufficiently support the disclosure of embodied carbon by the entity to its stakeholders.

Evidence: Hyperlink is mandatory for this indicator. The evidence should sufficiently support all the items selected for this question. Ensure that the hyperlink is not outdated and the relevant page can be accessed within two steps.

The evidence should sufficiently support the disclosure of embodied carbon by the entity to its stakeholders.

Validation

This indicator is not subject to automatic or manual validation.

See Appendix 2a for additional information about GRESB Validation.

Scoring

Scoring information will be updated on April 1.

Terminology

Disclosure: The act of making information or data readily accessible and available to all interested individuals and institutions. Disclosure must be external and cannot be an internal and/or ad hoc communication within the participating entity.

Embodied carbon: Refers to emissions that arise from producing, procuring and installing the materials and components that make up a structure. It may also include the lifetime emissions from maintenance, repair, replacement and ultimately demolition and disposal.

References

CDP Climate Change 2020 Questionnaire, C-CN6.6b/C-RE6.6b, C-CN6.6c/C-RE6.6c

Development: Building Certifications

This aspect assesses the entity’s alignment with green building standards and the existence of green building certifications in the entity’s portfolio.

Building Certifications

2019 Indicator

2 points

Intent

This indicator is focused on green building rating standards utilized as part of the development process. Green building standards provide a measure of the intrinsic quality of the asset and its design in order to meet environmental standards requirements. Building certifications provide external assurance on the ESG performance of an asset.

Requirements

Select year or no. If yes, also (1) select all applicable sub-options (2) select portfolio coverage and (3) specify:

  1. Green building standard: include all applicable green building rating systems that projects are aligned with AND/OR
  2. Green building certificates: include all applicable green building certificates that projects are required to earn AND/OR
  3. Level of certification: include all applicable rating systems and certification levels adopted as a standard by the entity.

The full list of recognized green building certifications is provided in the Real Estate Reference Guide Appendix 3a.

Portfolio coverage: Portfolio coverage is calculated based on floor area. The numerator is the floor area to which the selected answer option applies. The denominator is the total floor area of all development projects as reported in DR1.1.

Validation

Green building rating systems: State the green building standard used by the entity.

Level of certification (above the minimum) adopted as standard by the entity: State the level of certification adopted as standard by the entity that is above the minimum level of certification.

See Appendix 2a for additional information about GRESB Validation.

Scoring

Scoring information will be updated on April 1.

Terminology

Green building rating standard: A rating system/certificate for real estate assets that uses a wide set of environmental criteria. Successful completion of the rating assessment typically results in the award of a certificate that records (a) the completion of the rating assessment process and (b) the level achieved.

Level of certification: The level achieved with successful completion of the rating scheme.

5 points

Intent

This indicator is focused on green building rating standards utilized as part of the development process. Green building standards provide a measure of the intrinsic quality of the asset and its design in order to meet environmental standards requirements. Building certifications provide external assurance on the ESG performance of an asset.

Requirements

Select yes or no. If yes, select all applicable sub-options.

Scheme name and sub-scheme name: Select from the dropdown list of green building certifications at time of design/construction. The full list of certifications can be found in Appendix 5c of the Reference Guide.

Note: If you cannot find a Scheme in the dropdown list and want to add a new scheme name and/or sub-scheme name, contact the GRESB Helpdesk. You are also required to answer a set of additional questions about the scheme. These questions are not scored, but they are required for GRESB’s data validation process.

Only include green building certificates that were awarded before or during the reporting year. Participants may list pre- or interim- assessments conducted by the official certification authority, but this needs to be designated in the scheme name. Pre-assessments and other unofficial forms of pre-certification are not valid.

Some green building certificates are valid for a limited period only – the certificate should be effective and official during the reporting year.

Projects registered to obtain a green building certificate: Report projects that have registered with the certification body to obtain (but not yet achieved) a green building certificate by the end of the reporting year.

Projects that obtained a green building certificate: Report projects that have obtained a green building certificate by the end of the reporting year.

Portfolio coverage: Portfolio coverage is calculated based on floor area. The numerator is the floor area to which the selected answer option applies. The denominator is the total floor area of all development projects as reported in DR1.1. Projects with multiple standard requirements should only report once, using the green building certification scheme that is the most stringent in the region in which the project is located. The total combined portfolio coverage cannot exceed 100%.

Number of registered/certified projects: The number should be smaller than or equal to the number of reported assets in DR1.1.

Validation

This indicator is not subject to automatic or manual validation.

See Appendix 2a for additional information about GRESB Validation.

Scoring

Scoring information will be updated on April 1.

Terminology

Green building certificate: Recognition that a project has received a green building rating. A certificate indicates the name and location of the project, version of the rating system, date of certification, and level of recognition.

Level of certification: The level achieved with successful completion of the rating scheme.

Number of certified projects: The number of projects within the total portfolio for which green building certificates were obtained for projects (a) that are complete and/or (b) were in progress at the end of the reporting year.

Scheme name: The name of the certification scheme.

Sub-scheme name: A Green Building Certificate’s sub-category to a Scheme name used to certify a particular property type and/or to specify the type of building certificate (whether a Green Building Certificate is an Operational Green Building Certificate or a New Construction Green Building Certificate).

References

EPRA Best Practices Recommendations on Sustainability Reporting, 3rd version, September 2017: Cert-Tot, CRE8

Development: Energy

This aspect describes the entity’s strategy to integrate energy efficiency measures, incorporate on-site renewable energy generation and approach to define and achieve net-zero energy performance throughout design and construction activities.

Energy

2019 Indicator

3 points

Intent

This Indicator is intended to describe the entity’s strategy to integrate energy efficiency measures throughout design and construction activities. Implementing energy efficiency measures in the design and construction of a building contributes to reducing the energy consumption of the building during the operational phase.

Requirements

Select yes or no. If yes, select all applicable sub-options.

Post-construction monitoring: If the entity has requirements on post-construction performance monitoring, specify the required number of years. If the entity monitors performance in perpetuity, for an infinite period, enter “100”.

Validation

Evidence: Document upload or hyperlink. The evidence should sufficiently support all the items selected for this question. If a hyperlink is provided, ensure that it is not outdated and the relevant page can be accessed within two steps.

The evidence must sufficiently support the promotion of energy efficiency requirements and the elements that it covers. If "Requirements for planning and design" is selected, the document upload must include information on the selected options (e.g., RFP language requesting integrated design process, above code design, policy documents that include the selected requirements, etc.).

Other:

  1. Other: State the entity’s requirement for planning and design.
  2. Other: State the energy efficiency measure.
  3. Other: Describe the entity’s actions to verify delivered performance.

It is possible to add multiple other answers.

See Appendix 2a for additional information about GRESB Validation.

Scoring

Scoring information will be updated on April 1.

Terminology

Air conditioning: Refers to energy efficient air-conditioning units, such as those rated with a high energy efficiency rating, and secondary measures to promote efficiency, such as strategic location and integration into building functionality design.

Building energy management system: Computer‐based automated systems that monitor and control all energy‐related systems, including all mechanical and electrical equipment in buildings.

Commissioning: Quality-orientated review and verification process during the design and construction phase, to ensure that the performance of facilities, systems and assemblies meet defined objectives during the operational phase.

Energy codes or standards: Energy requirements set in building codes and standards such as US Energy Efficiency standards and International Energy Conservation Code (2012).

Energy modeling: Refers to a virtual or computerized simulation of a building that can be used to estimate the energy use of a building and evaluate its energy efficiency.

Energy use analytics: Analysis of energy use to determine discrepancies between baseline and actual energy use. Energy use analytics help determine whether energy use targets are reached, and can highlight opportunities to improve energy efficiency.

High-efficiency equipment and appliances: Specification and purchase of electrical equipment and appliances that minimize the building’s energy needs.

Integrative design: A design process that considers and involves multiple aspects, stakeholders and functions, instead of addressing each separately, to align and achieve objectives.

Lighting: Energy efficient lighting refers to units such as those rated with a high-energy efficiency rating. Common energy efficient lighting includes: LEDs, CFLs and halogen incandescents. It also includes aspects such as sensors, timers, and the promotion of natural daylight, to reduce the amount of light energy consumed.

Minimum energy-use intensity post-occupancy: Requirement for buildings to achieve a predetermined energy use intensity once the building is fully operational.

Occupant controls: Individual controls for heating, cooling and other building systems. They support individual comfort of building occupants, while reducing energy consumption. Occupant controls also enable occupants to respond rapidly to alleviate discomfort when it is experienced.

Operational energy efficiency monitoring: Monitoring of energy consumed during the operational phase of a building. The operational energy consumption of buildings leads to substantial environmental impact. Monitoring consumption is an important basis for reducing this impact.

Passive design: Passive design uses layout, fabric and form to reduce or remove mechanical cooling, heating, ventilation and lighting demand.

Post-construction energy monitoring: Monitoring of energy consumption during the operational phase of the building, to identify that energy use objectives are being met.

Requirements for planning and design: Policy requirements such as planning obligations, building codes and standards.

Space heating: Energy efficient space heating systems for internal spaces within a building. This includes energy efficient mechanical systems, and maximizing the maintenance of internal heating via insulation, seals and windows and doors

Sub-meter: A system that allows the measurement of utility use by an individual occupant within a multi-tenant property, such as individual electricity meters.

Ventilation: The process of supplying and removing air through an indoor space. Energy efficient ventilation refers to the use of efficient mechanical or natural ventilation systems.

Water heating: Energy efficient water heating systems such as those with a high-energy efficiency rating, including those which are demand-based, that do not lose energy on stand-by heating. Also includes efficient hot water distribution systems to reduce energy losses throughout the building.

References

BREEAM, International New Construction, 2016: 6 Health and wellbeing, 10 Materials

LEED BD+C: New Construction, v4: Sustainable Sites and Materials & Resources

BREEAM International New Construction, 2013: 04 Management and 11 Land Use; and BREEAM Communities Manual, 2012

3 points

Intent

This indicator intends to assess the entity’s involvement in the design of on-site renewable energy generation. On-site renewable energy generation reduces environmental and economic impacts associated with fossil fuel energy use.

Requirements

Select yes or no. If yes, select all applicable sub-options.

Average design target for the fraction of total energy demand met with on-site renewable energy:Percentage of energy demand that by design should be provided by on-site renewable energy. The numerator is the total design capacity of all reported on-site renewable energy sources. The denominator is total energy demand for all projects reported in DR1.1.

Validation

Other: State the on-site renewable source. It is possible to report multiple other answers. Note that:

  1. On-site renewable sources do not include off-site generation, the use of green power, renewable energy credits (RECs) or carbon offsets.
  2. Co-generation and tri-generation systems are not seen as renewable energy sources. Although they may produce low-carbon energy, these systems typically use fossil fuels (e.g., natural gas).

See Appendix 2a for additional information about GRESB Validation.

Scoring

Scoring information will be updated on April 1.

Terminology

Biofuels: Liquid of gaseous fuels, such as bioethanol and biodiesel, which are made from biomass.

Geothermal energy: Energy from heat generated by the earth’s matter (e.g. ground pump heating systems). This includes geothermal storage.

Hydro energy: Energy generated by the gravitational force of falling or flowing water.

On-site renewable energy: Any source of energy produced at the site that can be used without depleting reserves, including energy from the sun, wind, water and the earth’s core. Technologies should be available onsite, such as photovoltaic panels, wind turbines, transpired solar collectors, solar hot water heaters, small-scale hydroelectric power plants, ground pump heating systems, etc.

Solar/photovoltaic energy: Energy generated from solar heat and/or radiant light. This includes solar water heating. Photovoltaic energy results from the conversion of the sunlight by using solar panels or semiconductors.

Wind energy: Energy generated from wind power by using wind turbines.

References

LEED BD+C: New Construction, v4, Energy & Atmosphere

BREEAM, International New Construction, 2016: 07 Energy

SASB-Real Estate Owners, Developers & Investment Trusts, March 2016: IF0402-02

1 point

Intent

This Indicator intends to examine the entity’s approach to achieve net zero carbon performance for its development projects. Net zero carbon standards assist entities with achieving zero greenhouse gas emissions, through energy-efficient design and the use of renewable energy technologies. In line with TCFD recommendations, regulatory measures such as a transition to low-carbon properties may affect the financial viability of buildings. Understanding the percentage of an entity’s development projects that were designed as net zero carbon provides stakeholders with an indication of the potential impact of regulatory measures on the business.

Requirements

Select yes or no. If yes, select all applicable sub-options.

Validation

Standard: Specify the full name of the referenced national and/or international standard on net zero carbon.

Other:

  • Other: State the other definition of net zero carbon used. Include just one other answer.
  • Other: State the other net zero carbon code/standard used. Include just one other answer.

Percentage of projects covered:The percentage of projects completed within the last three years designed to meet net zero carbon.

Scoring

Scoring information will be updated on April 1.

Terminology

Net zero carbon building: Highly energy efficient building that is fully powered from on-site and/or off-site renewable energy sources and offsets.

Net zero carbon – construction: When the amount of carbon emissions associated with a building’s product and construction stages up to practical completion is zero or negative, through the use of offsets or the net export of on-site renewable energy.

Net zero carbon code/standard: A code and/or standard that defines a net zero carbon building.

Net zero carbon – operational energy: When the amount of carbon emissions associated with the building’s operational energy on an annual basis is zero or negative. A net zero carbon building is highly energy efficient and powered from on-site and/or off-site renewable energy sources, with any remaining carbon balance offset.

References

World Green Building Council, The Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment

UK Green Building Council, Net Zero Carbon Buildings: A Framework Definition

Development: Water

This aspect describes the entity’s strategy to integrate water conservation measures in development projects.

Water Conservation

2019 Indicator

2 points

Intent

This Indicator intends to assess the entity’s strategy to water conservation through design and construction. Implementing water efficiency measures in the design and construction phases of a building contributes to reducing the water consumption of the building during the operational phase.

Requirements

Select yes or no. If yes, select all applicable sub-options.

Post-construction monitoring: If the entity has a requirement on post-construction performance monitoring, specify the required number of years. If the entity monitors performance for an infinite period, enter “100”.

Validation

Evidence: Document upload or hyperlink. The evidence should sufficiently support all the items selected for this question. If a hyperlink is provided, ensure that it is not outdated and the relevant page can be accessed within two steps.

The evidence must demonstrate the promotion of water efficiency requirements and the elements that it covers. Depending on the selected answer options, the document upload must include information on the selected options of If "Requirements for planning and design" is selected the document upload must include information on the selected options (e.g., RFP language requesting integrated design process, policy documents that include the selected requirements etc).

Post-construction monitoring: If the entity has requirement on post-construction performance monitoring, specify the required number of years. If the entity monitors performance for an infinite period, enter “100”.

Other:

  1. Other: State the requirement for planning and design.
  2. Other: State the water efficiency measure.
  3. Other: State the operational water efficiency monitoring type.

It is possible to report multiple other answers.

See Appendix 2a for additional information about GRESB Validation.

Scoring

Scoring information will be updated on April 1.

Terminology

Net-zero energy: A net-zero energy building relies on energy-efficient design and renewable sources to produce as much energy as it consumes, usually measured over the course of a year.

Drip/smart irrigation: Drip irrigation systems save water by irrigating, fertilizing and aerating trees, shrubs, plants and bushes directly at the roots. Smart irrigation systems save water by adjusting the watering schedule and amount of water used for irrigation based on a variety of factors and inputs, including weather, plant species and soil type.

Drought tolerant/low-water landscaping: Reduction of water use through landscaping characteristics such as areas requiring little to no irrigation.

Dry fixtures: Fixtures that do not require the use of water, such as composting toilet systems and waterless urinals.

Grey water: Wastewater generated from hand basins, showers and other water-using devices and equipment.

High-efficiency fixtures: Appliances and plumbing equipment that conserve water without compromising performance (also known as “ultra-low-flow” fixtures).

Indoor water: Water use that occurs within the constraints of the building interior.

Integrative design: A design process that considers and involves multiple aspects, stakeholders and functions, instead of addressing each separately, to align and achieve objectives.

Leak detection system: Systems that detect water leaks. Examples can include, but are not limited to: condensate water overflow, chiller water leaks, plumbing line cracks, heating/cooling piping leaks and outside seepage.

Minimum water-use intensity post-occupancy: Requirement for buildings to achieve a predetermined water use intensity once the building is fully operational.

Non-potable applications: Use of non-potable water in applications such as toilet flushing and cooling tower make up water

Occupant sensors: Motion sensor devices that turn water fixtures on (or off) in response to the presence (or absence) of people.

On-site wastewater treatment: Process of water decontamination as a consequence of any anthropogenic, industrial or commercial use, before the water is released again into the environment or is re-used.

Operational water efficiency monitoring: Monitoring of water consumed during the in-use phase of a building’s life. The operational water consumption of buildings leads to substantial environmental impact. Monitoring consumption is an important basis for reducing this impact.

Outdoor water: Water use that occurs outside of the building structure.

Post-construction water monitoring: Monitoring of water consumption during the operational phase of the building, to identify that water conservation objectives are being met.

Process water: Water that is used for building systems and industrial processes, such as cooling towers, boilers, and chillers. It can also include water used for operational processes, such as dishwashing.

Requirements for planning and design: Policy requirements such as planning obligations, building codes and standards.

Stormwater: Water that collects during precipitation, which can be stored on-site for eventual reuse for non-potable applications. Examples of applications for reuse can include, but are not limited to: landscape irrigation and/or flush fixtures.

Sub-meter: A system that allows the measurement of utility use by an individual occupant within a multi-tenant property, such as individual electricity meters.

Water conservation: The standards, strategies and actions to manage and conserve water in a sustainable manner.

Water efficiency measures: Actions undertaken to reduce water consumption and improve efficient use of water as a sustainable resource.

Water supply: Provision of surface water, groundwater, rainwater collected directly or stored by the entity, waste water from another organization, municipal water supplies or other water utilities, usually via a system of pumps and pipes.

Water use analytics: Analysis of water use to determine discrepancies between baseline and actual energy use. Water use analytics help determine whether water use targets are reached, and can highlight opportunities to improve water efficiency and conservation.

References

LEED BD+C: New Construction, v4, Indoor Environmental Quality/p>

BREEAM, International New Construction, 2016: 09 Water

GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards, 2016: 303, Water

Development: Waste

This aspect describes the entity’s strategy to integrate efficient on-site waste management during the construction phase of its development projects.

Waste Management

2019 Indicator

2 points

Intent

This Indicator describes the entity’s strategy to manage waste from construction and demolition. A waste policy assists enitites with reducing waste from construction and demolition disposed of in landfills and incineration facilities, by recovering, reusing and recycling materials.

Requirements

Select yes or no. If yes, select all applicable sub-options for (1) management and construction practices (2) on-site waste monitoring.

Validation

Other:

  1. Other: State the waste management practice.
  2. Other: State the type of waste monitored.

It is possible to add multiple other answers.

See Appendix 2a for additional information about GRESB Validation.

Scoring

Scoring information will be updated on April 1.

Terminology

Audits: A systematic review and assessment performed by qualified personnel to determine by investigation, examination, or evaluation of objective evidence, the adequacy and compliance of the contractors with the sustainability-specific requirements.

Construction waste signage: Visible signage that clearly indicates the process of properly dealing with waste generated during construction.

Diversion rate requirements: Requirements to meet a specified diversion rate which is materials diverted from landfill, incineration (WTE), and the environment / total generation.

Education on waste management: Educating employees, contractors and crews on materials recovery techniques and procedures, such as sorting and storage methods, recoverable materials and removal techniques.

Hazardous waste: A solid waste, or combination of solid wastes, which because of its quantity, concentration, or physical/chemical/infectious characteristics may either cause, or significantly contribute to an increase in mortality/serious irreversible illness. Hazardous waste might also pose a substantial present or potential hazard to human health or the environment when improperly treated, stored, transported, disposed of, or otherwise managed.

Incentives for contractors: Incentives, for example, to allow contractors and crews to retain a portion of revenues and/or savings from materials recovery and sales.

Management and construction practices: Measures and strategies implemented by management and construction employees throughout the construction project.

Non-hazardous waste: Waste that does not have the potential to cause harm to humans, animals or the environment.

On-site waste monitoring: Monitoring of waste generated during the design and construction phase of the building, to identify that waste generation and disposal objectives are being met.

Recovering building materials: Diverting building material waste from landfill by recovery of the material from site to be recycled or sent for energy recovery.

Recycling building materials: Diverting building material waste from landfill to an on or off-site recycling facility.

Reusing building materials: Diverting building material from landfill by reemploying the material on site or on other approved sites in the same or related capacity as their original application.

Waste management plan: Plan that addresses the collection and disposal of waste generated during construction or renovation, usually including the collection, transfer, treatment and disposal of a variety of waste types.

Waste separation facilities: A designated facility where waste is separated into different elements to be correctly disposed of, recycled, or otherwise managed.

Waste stream: The complete flow of waste from generation to final disposal.

References

LEED BD+C: New Construction, v4, 09 Material & Resources

BREEAM, International New Construction 2016, 11 Waste

EPA, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, Construction Sector (NAICS 23)

GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards (2016): 303, Effluents and Waste

TRUE Zero Waste Rating System, 2017

Development: Stakeholder Engagement

This aspect identifies actions to engage with tenants and community, as well as the nature of the engagement during the project development phase.

This aspect identifies actions taken to engage with those stakeholders, as well as the nature of the engagement.

Tenants/Occupiers

Tenant engagement is meant to increase the satisfaction of tenants and, with that, their likelihood of remaining in the building. The tenant/occupier is the person with whom the landlord of the property has a direct contractual relationship to occupy part or all of the building. In most cases, this will be a landlord/tenant relationship documented by a lease. However, it also includes occupiers that occupy on the basis of other types of contractual agreement, for example as a franchisee. The relationship between tenants and building owners is important both for securing and maintaining rental income as well as for managing risks that arise from the tenant/occupier’s use of the building.

Community

Local community is another important stakeholder group of real estate companies. Indicators on community engagement examine the strategies used by the entity to involve with the local community.

Health, Safety & Well-being

2019 Indicator

2 points

Intent

This indicator is intended to describe the entity’s strategy to design and build buildings that promote occupant health and well-being. Buildings designed with occupant health and well-being in mind lead to increased employee satisfaction and greater productivity.

Requirements

Select all applicable sub-options for (1) requirements for planning and design (2) common occupant health and well-being measures, (3) operational occupant health and well-being verification provisions.

Post-construction monitoring If the entity has requirement on post-construction performance monitoring, specify the required number of years. If the entity monitors performance for an infinite period, enter “100”.

Validation

Other:

  1. Other: State the requirement for planning and design.
  2. Other: State the health and well-being measure. Measures should be related to the physical building. Location-related measures (e.g., walkability, proximity to public transport or to nearby amenities) are not valid.
  3. Other: State the method for monitoring health and well-being measure.

It is possible to add multiple other answers.

See Appendix 2a for additional information about GRESB Validation.

Evidence: Document upload or hyperlink. The evidence should sufficiently support all the items selected for this question. If a hyperlink is provided, ensure that it is not outdated and the relevant page can be accessed within two steps.

The evidence must demonstrate the promotion of occupant health and well-being and the elements selected of health and well-being "Requirements for planning and design". Examples of acceptable uploads include but are not limited to a description of typical project requirements (e.g., RFP language, owner's project requirements, similar).

Scoring

Scoring information will be updated on April 1.

Terminology

Acoustic comfort: Minimizing sound to promote mental well-being and in some instances, physical ear health. This could include building design and materials selection to promote acoustic comfort for employees and efforts to protect the ear health of construction and industrial workers; as well as, building design and materials selection to promote acoustic comfort for tenants, mechanisms to limit noise disturbances in communities surrounding the entity’s assets during both construction and operations.

Active design features: Design features specifically aimed to positively contribute towards occupant health and well-being, e.g. centrally located staircases to get occupants to be more active.

Biophilic design: Design that draws upon the innate connection between humans and nature. This includes direct connections with nature, access to views, place-based design and interior design that includes plants, water and/or symbolic connections to nature through images, colors, and shapes.

Commissioning: Quality-orientated review and verification process during the design and construction phase, to ensure that the performance of facilities, systems and assemblies meet defined objectives during the operational phase.

Daylight: The capacity of a building to provide maximum daylight exposure to occupants, via building design (e.g. angle of orientation, number of and size of windows) and material (e.g. reflective coatings) features. Maximizing daylight exposure not only benefits occupant health and well-being, but also can reduce the need for artificial light, and therefore energy expenditure.

Ergonomic workplace: Aims to increase efficiency and productivity and reduce discomfort in the workplace.

Health Impact Assessment: A mean of assessing the health impacts of policies, plans and projects using quantitative, qualitative and participatory techniques.

Humidity: A measure of the concentration of water vapor present in the air.

Illumination: Light falling on a surface per unit area, measured in lux.

Inclusive design: Design that accommodates individuals of different religions, genders and gender identities, ages, ethnicities and ability levels. This could include the provision of multi-faith space, lactation room, age-friendly design and/or accessible design.

Indoor air quality: The physical or biological characteristics of air within buildings. Indoor air quality (IAQ) is typically the product of outdoor quality mediated by the design and operation of building systems.

Integrated planning process: A planning process that considers and involves multiple aspects, stakeholders and functions, instead of addressing each separately, to align and achieve objectives.

Natural ventilation: The process of supplying and removing air through an indoor space without using mechanical systems. There are two types of natural ventilation occurring in buildings: wind driven ventilation and buoyancy-driven ventilation.

Occupant controls: Individual controls for heating, cooling and other building systems. They support individual comfort of building occupants, while reducing energy consumption. Occupant controls also enable occupants to respond rapidly to alleviate discomfort when it is experienced.

Occupant education: Education and training of building occupants to increase knowledge on sustainability principles and the benefits to their health and well-being, including behavioral change and techniques.

Occupant well-being: Health and comfort of building occupants. Healthy indoor environments (including indoor air quality, thermal comfort, lighting, visual quality and acoustic performance) are an essential part of realizing the potential benefits of occupant well-being.

Post-construction health and wellbeing monitoring: A structured approach towards measuring and managing the health and well-being of occupants, such as occupant comfort and satisfaction.

Provisions for active transport: Active transport is transport via walking or bicycling. Provisions for active transport include designating safe and accessible pedestrian walkways as a building design measure, bike storage areas and shower facilities.

Thermal comfort: The thermal environment including air temperature, speed and humidity can impact employee thermal comfort. Research suggests that thermal comfort contributes to employee productivity and well-being.

Water quality: Reduction of water contamination risk and provision of clean fresh sources of water.

References

LEED BD+C: New Construction, v4, Indoor Environmental Quality

BREEAM, International New Construction, 2016: 06 Health and well-being

BREEAM, UK New Construction, 2018: Health and Wellbeing

GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards, 2016: GRI 416; 416-1

1 point

Intent

The dangerous nature of project construction work and some building services work can lead to hazardous and harmful events, such as incidents, injuries, and fatalities. These have the potential to undermine a business’ brand and long-term success. Occupational health and safety (OHS) performance can be seen as a key measure of an entity’s duty of care. Monitoring of and reporting on on-site occupational health and safety is an indicator of prudent risk management.

Requirements

Select yes or no. If yes, select all applicable sub-options for (1) promotion means and (2) requirements and standards.

Validation

Other: State the alternative means applied to promote on-site health and safety.Ensure that the ‘other’ means is not a duplicate of the provided list of elements (e.g. safety signage when 'Communicating safety information' was selected).

It is possible to add multiple other answers.

See Appendix 2a for additional information about GRESB Validation.

Scoring

Scoring information will be updated on April 1.

Terminology

On-site health and safety: Requirements that focus on protecting the safety, health and welfare of people engaged in construction work.

On-site health and safety professional (coordinator): A person whose primary responsibility is overseeing and managing the on-site health and safety of projects.

References

BS OHSAS 18001/18002, Occupational Health and Safety Management

ISO 9001, Quality Management Systems; and ISO 14001, Environmental Management System

ILO-OSH 2001, Guidelines on Occupational Safety and Health Management Systems

NAICS 23

GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards, 2016: GRI 403 Occupational health and safety

1 point

Intent

Monitoring of and reporting on on-site health and safety is an indicator of prudent risk management. Keeping records of the number of incidents, injuries and fatalities over time help to identify patterns that can guide the implementation of measures needed to minimize health and safety risks.

Requirements

Select yes or no. If yes, select all applicable sub-options and complete the additional open fields.

Injury rate: Report the injury rate for the total workforce, i.e. total employees and supervised workers, as well as independent contractors working on site to whom the entity is liable for the general safety of the working environment.

Open text box: For injury rates, it is mandatory to use the open text box to explain the applied calculation method/formula.

Fatalities: Fatalities are expressed as a number.

Validation

Other: State the other metric. It is possible to add multiple other answers.

See Appendix 2a for additional information about GRESB Validation.

Scoring

Scoring information will be updated on April 1.

Terminology

Fatalities: The death of a worker arising from an occupational injury or disease sustained or contracted while in the entity’s employ.

Injury: Any instance of being injured, (including occupational diseases and occupational disabilities, and fatalities) arising from operations. Includes incidents involving contractors/sub-contractors, site visitors and members of the public. The injury rate is expressed as a rate (e.g. a fraction). Use the open text box to explain the applied calculation method/formula.

Injury rate: A measure of the total number of instances of being injured, (including occupational diseases and occupational disabilities, and fatalities) arising from operations expressed as a percentage of total number of employees.

Lost day rate: A measure of the impact of occupational accidents and diseases as reflected in time off work by the affected workers. It is expressed by comparing the total workdays lost due to occupational injury to the total number of hours scheduled to be worked by the workforce during the reporting year.

Near misses: A work-related event with the potential to cause injury, disability or disease to workers or the public (also known as “dangerous occurrences”).

Severity rate: A measure of the severity of incidents. It is expressed by taking the total number of lost work days over the total number of recordable incidents.

References

GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards, 2016: 403-2

RobecoSAM Corporate Sustainability Assessment, 2017: 3.5.2 Risk culture

Occupational Safety and Health Administration, US Department of Labor

Supply Chain

2019 Indicator

2 points

Intent

This Indicator examines the entity’s strategy to ensure contractors support the entity’s ESG objectives and follow ESG management requirements. ESG-specific requirements for contractors can ensure proper implementation of the entity’s ESG policies for development projects. Relationships with contractors and the written agreements that define those relationships make ESG requirements enforceable upon a wider range of stakeholders.

Requirements

Select yes or no. If yes, select all applicable sub-options.

Percentage of all projects: Provide the percentage of all projects covered. The numerator is the floor area of the projects for which the applicable requirements are in place. The denominator is the total floor area of all projects reported in DR1.1.

Validation

Other: State the ESG-specific requirement. It is possible to add multiple other answers.

See Appendix 2a for additional information about GRESB Validation.

Scoring

Scoring information will be updated on April 1.

Terminology

Business Ethics: Basic moral and legal principles used to address issues such as corporate governance, insider trading, bribery, discrimination, corporate social responsibility and fiduciary responsibilities.

Child labor: Work that children should not be doing because they are too young, or, if they have reached the minimum age, because it is dangerous or otherwise unsuitable for them.

Community engagement: Community engagement refers to the communication, interaction, and formation of relationships between the entity and those groups.

Environmental process standards: Minimum standards required during the procurement process in relation to environmental processes, such as requirements for disposal of waste generated by contractors.

Environmental product standards: Minimum standards required during the procurement process in relation to environmental products, such as requiring a certain percentage of products to be locally sourced or contain recycled content.

ESG-specific requirements: Includes specification and use of sustainable and energy efficient materials, systems, equipment and onsite operating practices, e.g. regarding access to the site, environmental impact, community impact, health and safety, etc..

External contractors: Organizations or persons working on-site or off-site on behalf of an entity with a relationship determined by a contract. A contractor may hire their own staff directly or hire sub-contractors or independent contractors.

Employee health & well-being: The health & well-being of employees responsible for the entity.

Human health-based product standards: Minimum standards for the health-related attributes of products, such as lists of prohibited chemicals.

Human rights: Human rights are rights inherent to all human beings, whatever their nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, language or any other status.

Labor standards and working conditions: Labor standards and working conditions are at the core of paid work and employment relationships. Working conditions cover a broad range of topics and issues, from working time (hours of work, rest periods, and work schedules) to remuneration, as well as the physical conditions and mental demands that exist in the workplace.

Occupational safety (for employees): Occupational safety focuses on the primary prevention of hazards within the workplace. This includes the reduction of risk factors at the workplace leading to cancers, accidents, musculoskeletal diseases, respiratory diseases, hearing loss, circulatory diseases, stress related disorders and communicable diseases and others.

References

BREEAM, International New Construction, 2016: 05 Management

United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948

EPRA Best Practices Recommendations on Sustainability Reporting, 3rd version, September 2017: 5.6, H&S-Employee health and safety

2 points

Intent

Monitoring measures ensure that contractors comply with the contractual specifications and requirements regarding ESG issues.

Requirements

Select yes, no, or not applicable if you answered no to DSE3.1. If yes, select all applicable sub-options including the additional information requested.

Percentage of projects audited/visited: Provide the percentage of all projects covered. The numerator represents the floor area of the projects for which the applicable requirements are in place. The denominator is the total floor area of all projects reported in DR1.1.

Validation

Other: State the method of monitoring. It is possible to add multiple other answers.

See Appendix 2a for additional information about GRESB Validation.

Scoring

Scoring information will be updated on April 1.

Terminology

Ad hoc site visits: Visits without advance notice.

Audits: A systematic review and assessment performed by qualified personnel to determine by investigation, examination, or evaluation of objective evidence, the adequacy and compliance of the contractors with the sustainability-specific requirements.

Environmental issues: The impact on living and non-living natural systems, including land, air, water and ecosystems. This includes, but is not limited to biodiversity, transport, contamination, GHG emissions, energy, water, waste, natural hazards, supply chain environmental standards, and product and service-related impacts, as well as environmental compliance and expenditures.

Social aspects: Includes increased noise, traffic congestion, lack of housing, resettlement requirements or pressure on access to local services that arise from influx of personnel, site development work or operational processes that are new to the area, etc.

References

ISO 14001, Environmental Management Standard

SITES v2 Rating System

LEED BD+C: New Construction, v4, Sustainable Sites

BREEAM International New Construction, 2016

RobecoSAM Corporate Sustainability Assessment, 2017: 3.5.5, ESG integration in supply chain strategy

Community Impact and Engagement

2019 Indicator

3 points

Intent

This indicator examines the strategies used by the entity to support communities associated with its development projects. A structured and comprehensive approach to community engagement demonstrates the extent of integration of community engagement issues into the entity’s overall strategy.

Requirements

Select yes or no. If yes, select all applicable sub-options.

Open text box: The open text box will not be used for scoring, but will appear in the Benchmark Committee for reporting purposes. Describe the community engagement program and the monitoring process for development projects. The description should refer to the applicable topics included in the community engagement program and elements below:

  1. Program objectives
  2. Examples of specific activities/projects
  3. Scope of the activities/projects

Validation

Other: State the alternative topic included in community engagement. It is possible to report multiple other answers.

See Appendix 2a for additional information about GRESB Validation.

Scoring

Scoring information will be updated on April 1.

Terminology

Assistance or support in case of disaster: Financial, social or other assistance required to respond to disaster situations, such as the formation of a disaster response team and training.

Community/public: Persons or groups of people living and/or working in any areas that are economically, socially or environmentally impacted (positively or negatively) by the entity’s operations.

Community concerns: Issues of importance raised by the community, that are causing social, mental or other distress.

Community engagement: Community engagement refers to the communication, interaction, and formation of relationships between the entity and those groups.

Enhancement programs: Programs designed to improve public spaces to increase accessibility and livability, and encourage greater community interaction and well-being.

ESG education program: A program designed to increase awareness and knowledge of ESG issues within the community.

Health and well-being program: Program designed to address and increase the health and wellbeing of the local community.

Public spaces: Refers to spaces that are open and accessible to the public for social and recreational use.

Research and network activities: Activities and events organized for/with groups and members of the local community for the purpose of research and networking.

Resilience: Preparedness of the built environment towards existing and future climate changes (i.e., the ability to absorb disturbances such as increased precipitation or flooding while maintaining its structure). This can be achieved by management policies, informational technologies, educating tenant, community, suppliers and physical measures at the asset level.

Supporting charities and community groups: Providing financial, social or other support to local community groups and charities.

References

ISO 14001, Environmental Management Standard

SITES v2 Rating System

LEED BD+C: New Construction, v4, Sustainable Sites

BREEAM International New Construction, 2016

RobecoSAM Corporate Sustainability Assessment, 2017: 3.5.5, ESG integration in supply chain strategy

1.5 points

Intent

The built environment has a significant direct and indirect socio-economic impact, for example on social well-being, quality of life, and the prosperity of local communities and individuals. Assessing the socio-economic impact helps to minimize the potential negative impact of development projects and can create more livable, prosperous and sustainable communities.

Requirements

Select yes or no. If yes, select all applicable sub-options.

Validation

Other: State the other area of impact assessed. It is possible to report multiple other answers.

See Appendix 2a for additional information about GRESB Validation.

Scoring

Scoring information will be updated on April 1.

Terminology

Housing affordability: Affordable housing refers to housing units that are affordable by the low-income section of society (for example, whose income is below the median household income).

Impact on crime levels: The impact of the use of the asset and related facilities on crime levels, e.g. inadequate lighting or security may lead to increased crime levels, including vandalism, theft, etc.

Livability score: A score designed to measure the standard of living, typically within a city.

Local income generated: Contributing to local economic benefits, and creating business diversity and opportunities for economic development and innovation. For example, providing tax revenues.

Local job creation: Contributing to local employment creation so as to ensure all members of the labor force can participate in, and contribute to, future economic growth.

Local residents’ well-being: Includes health and safety of local residents that may be impacted by the asset’s operation. For example, noise pollution issues.

Walkability score: A score designed to measure the walkability of a given address to community amenities.

References

Green Star, Communities PILOT Version 0.1

Mercer Quality of Life Index

AARP Livability Index

1.5 points

Intent

Development projects are likely to impact/disrupt the local community. These disruptions will differ per project and per phase of the development process. Monitoring helps an entity manage and reduce the impact of development projects on the local community during the development process.

Requirements

Select yes or no. If yes, select all applicable sub-options.

The response of this indicator must be specific to the impact of new construction and major renovation projects during different stages.

Open text box: The content of this open text box is not used for scoring, but will be included in the Benchmark Report. Participate may use this open text box to communicate on

  1. An explanation of the approach per phase of the development project;
  2. An explanation of how impact is monitored;
  3. The actions taken when an issue arises;
  4. The process for developing and implementing improvements.

Validation

Evidence: Document upload or hyperlink. The evidence should sufficiently support all the items selected for this question. If a hyperlink is provided, ensure that it is not outdated and the relevant page can be accessed within two steps.

The provided evidence must demonstrate the existence of the monitoring process and the elements that it covers. Examples of acceptable documents include but are not limited to impact reports, data illustrating the collection of relevant information, and communications on the implementation of the selected issues.

Other: State the alternative means through which the entity monitors impact on the local community. It is possible to report multiple other answers.

See Appendix 2a for additional information about GRESB Validation.

Scoring

Scoring information will be updated on April 1.

Terminology

Analysis and interpretation of monitoring data: A structured approach to analyzing and interpreting data obtained from monitoring processes, in order to make actionable use of the data.

Communication plan: A specific, objective-based plan identifying commitments to engaging with the community by obtaining their input and feedback during different stages of construction and renovation projects.

Community impact: Community refers to individuals or groups of people living and/or working in any areas that are economically, socially or environmentally impacted (positively or negatively) by the construction/renovation activities. Impact includes increased noise, traffic congestion, lack of housing, resettlement requirements or pressure on access to local services that arise from influx of construction personnel, site development work or operational processes that are novel to the area.

Community monitoring plan: A specific, objective-based plan to ensure that monitoring of the community during different stages of the construction and renovation projects is implemented and maintained.

Monitoring: A structured approach towards measuring and managing the impact of community engagement projects on the local community.

Nuisance and/or disruption risks: Risks that are likely to cause a nuisance or disruption to stakeholders/impacted groups/communities, such as excess noise or increase traffic congestion.

Risk mitigation plan: A structured and purposeful process of identifying risks and developing actions to eliminate or reduce the adverse impacts of the risk, and planned responses should the risk occur.

Stakeholders and impacted groups: All individuals or groups of people who may be affected by the objectives and/or actions of a construction/renovation project, either directly or indirectly.

References

BREEAM Communities Manual, 2012

Appendix 1 - 2020 Assessment Changes

2020 GRESB Real Estate Assessment Changes

Management Component

High-level comments

Structure

The Management Component is comprised of 30 indicators structured in five aspects

  • Leadership
  • Policies
  • Reporting
  • Risk management
  • Stakeholder engagement

Terminology: "ESG" instead of "sustainability"

Rationale for change: We replaced all instances where we refer to “sustainability” with “ESG” in order to get closer to the terminology used by the investor community, financial institutions and other initiatives.

Indicator Titles

Each indicator has been assigned a title, which will facilitate easy referencing across documents and data download tools.

Entity-level reporting

All indicators reference the reporting entity ("Does the entity...>"). If the entity is part of a larger organization, the responses may relate to the organization level activities as long as they also apply to the entity.

Indicator-level comments

EC2

Removed classification by "Finite or infinite structure"

Rationale for change: Not relevant for analysis and not used by investors.

Added classification for "Type of investment vehicle"

Rationale for change: Can be used for peer grouping classification in the future.

EC3

Separated "Commencement of entity" into a new indicator. This used to be part of EC2.

RC4

New indicator on Property type and Geography of operations

Rationale for change: This information will be used for entity classification.The Management Component assesses corporate strategy and manager performance and is independent from portfolio structure (regional and sector allocation of assets).

Leadership

LE1

(Former PD6) Expanded the list of predefined options and moved to the new Leadership aspect

Rationale for change: The list has been increased based on an analysis of the "Other" options previously reported as well as alignment with the GRESB Infrastructure Assessment.

LE6

(Former MA5) Scope of the indicator is expanded to capture the types of incentivized KPIs

Rationale for change: The updated indicator ensures full compliance and reporting alignment with RobecoSAM 2.6.2. Management Incentives.

Impact of change: Restructured indicator to allow the selection of different groups of employees and the recognition of both financial and non-financial consequences.

Policies

PO1

(Former PD1) Amended the list of options to align with Infrastructure Asset PD1

PO2

(Former PD2) Amended the list of options to align with Infrastructure Asset PD2

PO3

(Former PD3) Amended the list of options to include cybersecurity

Reporting

RP1

(Former PD5.1 and PD5.2) The two indicators have been merged together, forming a combined indicator on ESG disclosure and third-party reporting review

Rationale for change: Combining these two indicators together will simplify the validation process and will provide participants with clear overview of their ESG disclosure and third-party reporting review. The name of the service provider will no longer be reported. "Other" answers provided to the Scheme name dropdown menu are subject to validation. The list of available options will be reviewed.

Impact of change: Scoring mechanism will change to better reflect the contents and specificity of reporting, as well as the alignment standard.

RP2.1

(Former PD7.1) Expanded the list of stakeholders to align with Infrastructure Fund 13

RP2.2

(Former PD7.2) Small terminology edits to align with GRESB Infrastructure. Included "number of pending investigations" in the scope of the indicator

Risks and Opportunities

RM1

(Former ME1) Indicator moved from the Monitoring & EMS section to the newly defined Risk Management section

Rationale for change: All other indicators from the Monitoring & EMS aspect were either removed or transferred to the Performance Component, since they refer to the performance of the real estate assets.

RM2

(Former RO1) Expand list of answer options

Rationale for change: The updated indicator provides partial compliance with RobecoSAM 1.4.4 Systems & Procedures. It provides all answer options for the identification of a system or a procedure implemented to ensure compliance with PD3, but it does not require external audit or assurance of these systems.

RM3.1 and RM3.2

(Former RO2) The indicators have been split into two individual indicators - one referring to social risk assessments and another one for governance ones.

RM4

(Former RO3.1) Removed request for supporting evidence

Stakeholder engagement

SE1

(Former SE1) Removed the list of training-specific issues in the Environmental and Social categories

Rationale for change: Simplified indicator by removing the list of training-specific issues in the Environmental and Social categories. The new list simply asks participants to identify whether training is structured on E/S/G issues. The training-specific issues were not used for scoring and they will be included as examples in the Reference Guide.

SE2.2

(Former SE2.2) List of predefined options expanded to align with the GRESB Infrastructure Assessment

-

(Former SE12.1) Removed indicator

Rationale for change: Integrated content into the new SE3.1.

-

(Former SE4.1) Removed indicator

Rationale for change: The intent was already covered in SE5.2 (the new SE10.2). This indicator was not scored in 2019.

SE5

(Former PD4) Reclassified the indicator as Social instead of Governance and added evidence request

Rationale for change: The reclassification provides alignment with EPRA and GRESB Infrastructure Assessment. Added mandatory evidence upload to support the manual validation of the indicator.

SE6

(Former SE7) Adapted indicator for the Management component

Rationale for change: This becomes a strategy indicator that relates to the corporate strategy for tenant engagement. The indicator should be applicable to entities that do not have any assets and no tenants.

-

(Former SE8.2) Removed indicator

Rationale for change: Integrated content into the new SE5.

SE3.2

(Former SE12.2) Expanded the list of predefined options to include the ones specified by RobecoSAM. These answers would have been accepted as Other answers, in all cases

SE6

(Former SE4.1) Added "Child labor" and "Working conditions" to the list of pre-defined answer options. Removed request for supporting evidence

Rationale for change: The update is to fully align with RobecoSAM 1.7.1 Supplier Code of Conduct.

SE8

(Former SE6) List of predefined options aligned with Infrastructure Assessment

Rationale for change: Removed options "External property/asset managers and "Service provides", both of which are covered by the option "Contractors".

Impact of change: Indicator will be scored as of 2020.

Performance Component

High-level comments

Structure

The Performance component is comprised of 10 aspects:

  • Reporting Characteristics
  • Risk Assessment (Asset + Entity level)
  • Targets
  • Tenants and Community
  • Energy (Asset level)
  • GHG (Asset level)
  • Water (Asset level)
  • Waste (Asset level)
  • Data Monitoring and Review
  • Building Certifications (Asset level)

Entity & Reporting Characteristics

Portfolio composition confirmation (indicator R1.1 former RC5.2) is now included in the validation scope

Rationale for change: It is essential that the portfolio boundaries reported by the entity are accurate and complete to ensure relevant outcomes and comparisons. The request for supporting evidence is an important step for reporting accuracy and consistency.

Impact of change: GRESB validation of the completeness and accuracy of the reporting entity’s portfolio is now integrated into the Validation process, whereby a percentage of all reporting entities will be selected for a check of supporting evidence. If a material discrepancy between the portfolio reported and supporting evidence is identified, GRESB may reach out to the participants and request the submitted data to be amended. Should there remain a material discrepancy after the outreach process, GRESB reserves the right to reject the submission.

Risk Assessment

Energy, Water and Waste efficiency measures (former RO5, RO6 and RO7) as well as technical building assessments (former RO4) have now a timeframe reduced from four to three years and the information is collected at asset level on a TRUE/FALSE basis

Rationale for change:The indicators examine the measures undertaken by the entity to improve performance data of the entity’s assets. The timeframe has been reduced from four to three years to provide a better view of recent activity in the portfolio and allow market analysis of trends. This change is consistent with the introduction of mandatory asset-level reporting for Energy, GHG, Water and Waste in 2020. As all performance indicators are now to be reported at the asset-level, it is necessary to also capture recently implemented measures at the asset level to provide context to the reported performance.

Targets

T1.2: New indicator on science based targets for GHG emissions

Rationale for change: Indicator T1.2 is linked to T1.1. Setting up science-based targets for GHG emissions is considered leading practice in the industry as it allows entities to specify how their emissions must reduce to align with the Paris Agreement requirements.

High-level Asset Level Spreadsheet Changes

The latest version of the GRESB Asset Spreadsheet is available here.

Each row represents an asset and a year. This means that an asset can have multiple rows, for multiple years.

Rationale for change: Alignment with tidy data best practices

  • The new format makes it easier to adjust data from internal Data Management Systems.
  • It is no longer needed to calculate and provide the data coverage changes columns in the asset characteristics tab because the floor areas corresponding to consumption values reported will be collected for both current year (CY) and last year (LY).
  • Provides the ability to expand the like-for-like portfolio in some cases.
  • Reduces the size of the spreadsheet, making it easier to review data.

Eliminate the concept of Managed and Indirectly managed assets

GRESB introduced this terminology a few years ago, without it being generally used in the industry. This concept is replaced by "Landlord Controlled" and "Tenant Controlled" areas, where the same notion of operational control as before is used to differentiate one from the other. As a reminder, the notion of operational control is aligned with the GHG Protocol. Moreover, while the notion of Managed/Indirectly Managed was applied on an asset, the distinction between Landlord and Tenant Controlled is applied at the space level, allowing an asset to include both Landlord and Tenant Controlled areas.

Replace columns for indirectly/directly managed assets with columns that make the separation between landlord and tenant controlled areas

Rationale for change: The direct consequence of eliminating the concept of indirectly managed assets. Data previously reported under Indirectly Managed Assets should now be reported under Tenant Controlled consumption columns.

Split the former Building Characteristics tab into Asset Characteristics and Reporting Characteristics

Rationale for change: Given that the GRESB Asset Spreadsheet covers at least two reporting years (Current Year and Last Year), the purpose is to separate asset-level metrics that vary over time (e.g. vacancy rate) from the constant characteristics of an asset (e.g. Property type, Location, etc.). Splitting these into two separate tabs clarify the reporting under the new approach where one asset is represented in two rows (see point above).

Introduce columns that identify the period of Data Availability for each asset

Rationale for change: GRESB used to only capture Period of Ownership of an asset. Since there may be a difference between the Period of Ownership of an asset and the Period during which consumption data is known (Data Availability), only the latter can be used for analytical/normalization purposes. As such, while the Period of Ownership is used to define an entity’s reporting boundaries, Data Availability fields are introduced for analytical purposes.

Vacancy Rate becomes a mandatory field for all assets

Rationale for change: Along with property type and weather conditions, the vacancy rate of an asset represents one of the most important criteria to consider when it comes to understanding its consumption profile. Given that GRESB’s purpose is to provide comparable (normalized) intensities to the industry, it is necessary to start collecting this datapoint consistently for all reported assets.

Energy

Renewable energy now collected at the asset level

Rationale for change: Improved data quality and ability to benchmark renewable energy at a more granular level.

GHG emissions

Report on both Market and Location-based Scope 2 Emissions separately

Rationale for change: Requirement for alignment with the GHG Protocol Corporate Standard 2015 Scope 2 Guidance Amendment. Including this variable in the Assessment is important for complete and accurate investor carbon footprinting. Without either one, investors will have insufficient understanding of why and how GHG emissions declined or increased. Additionally, comparing both variables provides insights into the efforts undertaken to reduce emissions through selecting an entity’s electricity provider. Reporting of market-based emissions remains optional in 2020.

Water

Water reused and recycled now collected at the asset level

Rationale for change: Improved data quality and ability to benchmark water reused and recycled at a more granular level.

Recognition of water reused/recycled purchased off-site

Rationale for change: A minority of real estate assets have the capacity to have on-site water reuse facilities. In addition to making more sense from a business perspective, purchasing recycled water off-site does positively contribute to the overall ESG performance of an asset

Waste

Waste management indicators now collected at the asset level

Rationale for change: Improved data quality and ability to benchmark water reused and recycled at a more granular level.

Building certifications

Building certifications and Energy ratings are reported at the asset level

Rationale for change: Mapping building certifications and energy ratings to the asset-level is the logical next step for reporting purposes. Certifications can be reported in both the GRESB Asset Spreadsheet or directly in the Asset Portal. This will allow for an enhanced understanding of which assets have certain certifications and can be used for further analysis.

Indicator Changes Overview

Aspect 2019 Code 2020 Indicator Changes
Risks and Opportunities RO3.2 RA1 Risk assessments performed on the standing investments portfolio
RO4 RA2 Technical building assessment Tracked at asset level through TRUE/FALSE dropdown
RO5 RA3 Energy efficiency/conservation measures Tracked at asset level through TRUE/FALSE dropdown
RO6 RA4 Water efficiency/conservation measures Tracked at asset level through TRUE/FALSE dropdown
RO7 RA5 Waste efficiency/management measures Tracked at asset level through TRUE/FALSE dropdown
Data Monitoring and Review ME2 ME2 Data management system (DMS) Deleted
ME3 MR1 Energy consumption monitoring methods Deleted (except AMR at asset level)
ME4 MR2 Water consumption monitoring methods Deleted (except AMR at asset level)
ME5 MR3 Waste consumption monitoring methods Deleted
PI1.4 MR4 Third-party review of Energy data
PI2.3 MR5 Third-party review of GHG data
PI3.4 MR6 Third-party review of Water data
PI1.4 MR7 Third-party review of Energy data
Energy PI1.0 Composition of floor area types & reporting at asset-level for energy Deleted (no longer required)
PI1.1 Energy consumption data Asset level
PI1.2 Energy intensity rates Deleted (calculated automatically)
PI1.3 Renewable energy generated Asset level
GHG emissions PI2.0 GHG emissions collection method, reporting boundaries approach & reporting at asset-level for GHG Deleted (no longer required)
PI2.1 GHG emission data Asset level
PI2.2 GHG intensity rates Deleted (calculated automatically)
Water PI3.0 Reporting at asset-level for water Deleted
PI3.1 Water consumption data Asset level
PI3.2 Water intensity rates Deleted (calculated automatically)
PI3.3 Water reuse and recycling Asset level
Waste PI4.0 Reporting at asset-level for waste Deleted
PI4.1 Waste generation data Asset level
Building Certifications BC1.1 Design/construction/renovation building certifications Asset level
BC1.2 Operational building certifications Asset level
BC2 Energy Ratings Asset level
Tenants & Community SE7 TC1 Tenant engagement program on ESG issues
SE8.1 TC2.1 Tenant satisfaction survey
SE8.2 TC2.2 Program to improve tenant satisfaction
SE9 TC3 Fit-out & refurbishment program for tenants on ESG
SE10.1 TC4 Sustainability-specific requirements in lease contracts (green leases)
SE10.2 Monitoring of sustainability-specific requirements Deleted
SE13.1 TC5.1 Tenant health & well-being program
SE13.2 TC5.2 Tenant health & well-being measures
SE11.1 TC6.1 Community engagement program
SE11.2 TC6.2 Monitoring impact on community

Development Component

High-level comments

Structure

The Development component is comprised of 7 aspects:

  • ESG Requirements
  • Materials
  • Building Certifications
  • Energy
  • Water
  • Waste
  • Stakeholder Engagement

Terminology: "ESG" instead of "sustainability"

Rationale for change: All instances of reference to “sustainability” were replaced with “ESG” in order to get closer to the terminology used by the investor community, financial institutions and other initiatives.

Indicator titles

Each indicator was assigned a title, which will facilitate referencing in different documents and data download tools.

Entity-level reporting

All indicators reference the reporting entity ("Does the entity..."). If the entity is part of a larger organization, the responses may relate to the organization level activities as long as they also apply to the entity.

Indicator-level comments

ESG requirements

DRE1

(Former NC1) Expanded the list of answer options

Rationale for change: Additional options added to be more material to NCMR, based on frequently provided other answers in 2019, and to align with PO1.

DRE2.1

(Former NC2) Expanded the list of answer options

Rationale for change: Additional options added based on frequently provided other answers in 2019.

DRE2.2

(Former NC3) Expanded the list of answer options and removed the “alignment section”, which was not scored

Rationale for change: Additional options added based on building certification requirements and frequently provided other answers in 2019.

Materials

DMA1

(Former NC4) Expanded the list of answer options

Rationale for change: Additional options added for granularity.

DMA2.1

New indicator on life-cycle assessments and methodology

Rationale for change: The new indicator provides full alignment with CDP 2020 Questionnaire.

DMA2.2

New indicator on disclosure of embodied carbon

Rationale for change: The new indicator provides full alignment with CDP 2020 Questionnaire.

Building Certifications

DBC1

(Former NC5.1) Improved wording to clarify between the provided options

Rationale for change: Improved clarity of answer options to ensure accurate reporting.

Energy

DEN1

(Former NC6) Expanded list of answer options and added evidence request

Rationale for change: Additional options added based on based on frequently provided other answers in 2019. Added mandatory evidence upload for Requirements for planning and design to align with indicator DWT1 and to support the manual validation of the indicator.

DEN2.2

(Former NC7.2) Net-zero carbon as opposed to net-zero energy

Rationale for change: Amended indicator to net-zero carbon to align with CDP 2020 and other industry frameworks.

Waste

DWS1

(Former NC9) Expanded list of answer options

Rationale for change: Additional option added based on frequently provided other answers in 2019.

Stakeholder Engagement

DSE1

(Former NC11) Amended indicator to align with TC5.2

Rationale for change: Options cleaned up and amended to further align with TC5.2.

DSE2.1

(Former NC12.1) Expanded list of answer options

Rationale for change: Additional option added based on frequently provided other answers in 2019.

DSE2.2

(Former NC12.2) Expanded list of answer options

Rationale for change: Additional options added based on frequently provided other answers in 2019 and OSHA methodologies.

DSE3.1

(Former NC10.1) Expanded list of answer options

Rationale for change: Updated indicator is fully aligned with RobecoSAM 1.7.1 Supplier Code of Conduct.

DSE3.2

(Former NC10.2) Expanded list of answer options

Rationale for change: Additional option added based on frequently provided other answers in 2019.

DSE4

New indicator on community engagement program

Rationale for change: Alignment with TC6.1.

DSE5.1

(Former NC13) Expanded list of answer options

Rationale for change: Additional option added based on frequently provided other answers in 2019.

Appendix 2a - Validation

2020 GRESB Data Validation Process

Data validation is an important part of GRESB’s annual benchmarking process. The purpose of data validation is to encourage best practices in data collection and reporting. It provides the basis for GRESB’s continued efforts to provide investment grade data to its investor members.

GRESB validation is a check on the existence, accuracy, and logic of data submitted through the GRESB Assessments. The validation process includes both automatic and manual validation.

Automatic Validation

Automatic validation is integrated into the portal as participants fill out their Assessments, and consists of errors and warnings displayed in the portal to ensure that Assessment submissions are complete and accurate.

The automatic validation process reviews all quantitative data points requested in the Portal and includes:

The automatic validation process generates:

Participants cannot submit their Assessments unless all errors are resolved.

Additional automatic validation for Real Estate asset-level reporting

There is a comprehensive set of validation rules implemented for asset-level reporting. These rules consist of logical checks on the relationships between different data fields in the asset portal. Participants cannot submit their Assessments unless all validation errors are resolved.

Many validation rules check for the existence of certain data fields if other fields are already present. For instance, if the asset is owned for the entire reporting year and is classified as a standing investment for the entire reporting year, performance data is expected to be present.

Another set of validation rules are designed to enforce the reporting requirements. For instance, if the asset is classified as a whole building under tenant control, then the asset portal only expects data in fields that relate to whole building and tenant control, and will throw errors if the participant enters data in landlord-controlled data fields.

There are also validation rules on the relationships between energy and GHG emissions. For instance, if a participant reports maximum floor areas for tenant-controlled data fields in the energy tab, they will be required to report maximum floor areas for Scope 3 emissions in the GHG tab. For the full set of conditional rules between energy data fields and GHG emissions data fields, refer to the table in the GRESB Asset Spreadsheet, tab Instructions, section GHG.

Outlier detection for Real Estate asset-level reporting for energy, GHG emissions, water, waste data

Based on statistical modelling, GRESB identifies outliers in reported performance data for selected selected indicators in the Real Estate Performance component. This analysis is performed to ensure that all participating entities included in the benchmarking and scoring process are compared based on a fair, quality-controlled dataset.

The model is built to detect outliers at the asset level. Outliers are flagged in the asset portal so that participants can check their input data, and make corrections if necessary. Additional information about the outlier validation process will be added on April 1, at the start of the 2020 GRESB reporting period.

Manual Validation

Manual validation takes place after submission, and consists of document and text review to check that the answers provided in Assessment are supported by sufficient evidence. The manual validation process reviews the content of all Assessment submissions for accuracy and consistency. This work is performed by GBCI, a third party under contract to GRESB. GBCI is a specialist third party verification service provider that undertakes certification and credentialing for organisations like GRESB. The validation rules and process are set and overseen by GRESB but the validation is performed by a third party, GBCI. Manual validation takes place from July 1 - 31.

During manual validation, the following data are checked for their content:

Indicator-specific validation requirements can be found after each indicator’s description, under the header “Validation”.

Evidence validation

Evidence uploads and provided hyperlinks are validated based on the content of the documents relative to both the requirements stated in the guidance for the indicator and the specific answer choices selected by the participant.

Evidence uploads and Other answers that were accepted in previous GRESB Assessment submissions may not be accepted in subsequent submissions. Enhanced validation checks, a change in indicator content and requirements, and/or a change in the level of validation may result in different validation outcomes. In order to be accepted, the provided evidence should meet the requirements as stipulated in this Reference Guide.

The 2020 list of indicators selected for manual validation and that request evidence upload is:

ComponentIndicatorIndicator Title
ManagementLE6Personnel ESG performance targets
ManagementPO1Policy on environmental issues
ManagementPO2Policy on social issues
ManagementPO3Policy on governance issues
ManagementRP1ESG reporting
ManagementRM1Environmental Management System (EMS)
ManagementSE2.1Employee satisfaction survey
ManagementSE5Inclusion and diversity
PerformanceTC2.1Tenant satisfaction survey
PerformanceMR1External review of energy data
PerformanceMR2External review of GHG data
PerformanceMR3External review of water data
PerformanceMR4External review of waste data
DevelopmentDRE1ESG strategy during development
DevelopmentDMA1Materials selection requirements
DevelopmentDEN1Energy efficiency requirements
DevelopmentDWT1Water conservation strategy 
DevelopmentDSE5.2Community impact monitoring

Real Estate Performance Component - Reporting Boundaries Review

GRESB is amending the scope of the Validation Interview process to be limited to a manual check of the reporting boundaries. This is performed by GBCI for a subset of participants that submit a Real Estate Performance Component response.

GRESB reserves the right to use alternative sources of information to corroborate the composition of the portfolio, such as publicly available reports and uploaded documentation in other sections of the GRESB Assessment. Non-compliance with the GRESB reporting requirements may lead to a formal request from the Validation Team to adjust the entity’s portfolio boundaries, or the rejection of the Performance Component submission if necessary (see below).

Participants showing discrepancy will be asked for additional clarifications and / or to make corrections to their reporting scope. They have 5 working days to respond and resolve the request. Non-compliance will lead to the rejection of the Performance Component submission and will result in not being provided with a GRESB Score and GRESB Rating.

Portfolio composition determines the scope of the Performance Component, and forms the basis for entity classification and GRESB peer group allocation. In this context, GRESB aims to benchmark participants within similar property types. If that is not possible, property types are aggregated into groups of property types with similar characteristics (property sectors). It is therefore essential that the portfolio boundaries reported by the entity are accurate and complete to ensure relevant outcomes and comparisons.

Process and timeline:

June 15: The selected participants are notified by GRESB that they have been selected for a reporting boundaries review which will occur beginning of July 1 (or earlier if the participant submits prior to July 1). Approximately 5% of submissions will be selected for this review. There is no action needed from the participant at that time. The selection is based on parameters set by GRESB such as listed vs. non-listed entity, increase/decrease in GAV, asset count and/or floor area year over year. A subset of participants who did not supply sufficient documentation in the previous year may be selected for another review.

July 1: The Reporting Boundaries review commences.

July 10: All selected participants are emailed by GBCI.

July 31: The Reporting Boundaries review is concluded.

Ensuring accuracy and consistency in validation decisions

GRESB works with GBCI to ensure that validation decisions accurately reflect the requirements set out in the reference guides, and that decisions are consistent across indicators and submissions. The GBCI validation team uses the same requirements described in the reference guides as their main source of validation guidance when reviewing submission answers. The validation process also includes a review of selected decisions by a second validator.

Additionally, GRESB checks a sample of all validation decisions to ensure that the requirements are being interpreted correctly by the GBCI validators.

To ensure consistency across answers, the GBCI validators review all answers for a given indicator at a time, and are typically assigned to validate related sets of indicators. It is important to note that validators are not assigned to validate a participant’s entire Assessment, but rather a consistent set of indicators across all submitted Assessments. This means that individual validators become “experts” on their set of indicators and can ensure that their decisions are consistent across all submissions. Moreover, GRESB runs additional consistency checks using a model that verifies the similarity between provided answers per indicator, and flags any answers that have inconsistent validation decisions.

This means that all information relevant for validating for one indicator variable must be uploaded next to that indicator. There is no cross checking of information across other indicators.

Validation Statuses

Each indicator component has specific set of validation decisions that could be assigned dependent on the indicator requirements. The list of these validation decisions are described below:

ComponentValidation statusExplanationScoring impact
'Other'AcceptedProvided other answer falls outside the provided options and fulfills indicator requirements.Full points will be awarded for this answer.
 DuplicateProvided answer fulfills indicator requirements but duplicates already selected answer.No points will be awarded for this answer.
 Not acceptedProvided answer does not fulfill indicator requirements.No points will be awarded for this answer.
Evidence and open text boxesAcceptedProvided evidence fully supports answer and fulfills indicator requirements.Points based on answer that are covered by evidence are fully awarded.
 Partially acceptedProvided evidence only supports some of the selected answer choices and/or only partially fulfills indicator requirements.Points based on answer covered by evidence are multiplied by 0.5.
 Not acceptedProvided evidence does not support answer and/or does not meet the indicator requirements.No points are awarded for the section of the answer covered by evidence.

Appendix 2b - Document upload cover page

GRESB Evidence Cover Page

Click to download

Appendix 2c - Reporting scope evidence template

Reporting Scope Evidence Template

Click to download

Appendix 3a - Property Types Classification

Property Types Classification

Property Sector Property Type Property Sub-Type Description Common Area Ratio
Retail Retail, High Street Retail, High Street Retail properties located on the high street in a particular area, usually terraced properties located in the city center or other high-traffic pedestrian zones. [1%-5%]
Retail Centers Retail, Shopping Center Enclosed centers for retail purposes. Examples may include, but are not limited to, regional malls and shopping malls. [20%-30%]
Retail, Strip Mall Strip mall refers to properties comprising more than one retail store, restaurant, or other business, in an open-air configuration where each establishment has an exterior entrance to the public and there are no internal walkways. [1%-5%]
Retail, Lifestyle Center Retail centers that consist of both enclosed and unenclosed spaces. [1%-5%]
Retail, Warehouse A big box, single-tenant retail property [1%-5%]
Retail, Restaurants/Bars Retail, Restaurants/Bars Restaurants/Bars refers to buildings used primarily for social/entertainment purposes and is characterized by most of the revenue being generated from the sale of beverages or food. [1%-5%]
Retail, Other Retail, Other Other Retail properties that do not fit in the aforementioned property types. [1%-15%]
Office Office, Corporate Low-Rise Office Low-rise office properties with 1 to 4 stories. [20%-30%]
Mid-Rise Office Mid-rise office properties with 5 to 9 stories. [20%-30%]
High-Rise Office Office properties with 10 or more stories. [20%-30%]
Office, Medical Office Office, Medical Office Examples may include but are not limited to: offices specifically used for the purpose of medical administration, secondary research or other purposes, exclusive of the property types specified for Healthcare center. [20%-30%]
Office, Business Park Office, Business Park Other Office properties that do not fit in the aforementioned property types. [20%-30%]
Office, Other Office, Other A group of office properties being classified as a single financial asset and for which individual property consumption data is not available. [20%-30%]
Industrial Distribution Warehouse Distribution Warehouse Industrial buildings used for the purpose of storing, processing, and distribution of goods to wholesalers, retailers, and/or consumers. [1%-5%]
Industrial Park Industrial Park An industrial business park is an area zoned for the purpose of industrial development, where (lightweight) industrial properties are grouped together with offices. Examples may include, but are not limited to: industrial estate, trading estate and enterprise zone. [1%-5%]
Manufacturing Manufacturing Industrial properties used for the purpose of manufacturing, otherwise known as a factory or manufacturing plant. [1%-5%]
Industrial, Other Industrial, Other Other Industrial properties that do not fit in the aforementioned property types. [1%-5%]
Residential Residential Multi-Family Low-Rise Multi-Family Refers to multi-family residential buildings of 1 to 3 occupiable stories above grade. [20%-30%]
Mid-Rise Multi-Family Refers to multi-family residential buildings of 4 to 8 occupiable stories above grade. [20%-30%]
High-Rise Multi-Family Refers to multi-family residential buildings of more than 8 occupiable stories above grade. [20%-30%]
Family Homes Family Homes Includes both single-family homes and multi-dwelling units not including apartment blocks. Single-family homes are separate, free-standing residential properties. A multi-dwelling family home includes those such as two-flats, duplex, semi-detached, and townhouses. Synonyms include: Single-family home, single-detached dwelling, detached house, single-family residence, separate house, free-standing house, townhouse, duplex, condo, semi-detached, villa. [1%-10%]
Student Housing Student Housing Residential properties used for the purpose of housing students, otherwise known as student apartments, student houses, student residence, student quarters, and student accommodation. [25%-35%]
Retirement Living Retirement Living Retirement living, otherwise known as retirement villages, are communities comprised of people at a similar stage in life who are seeking a specific lifestyle. Retirement villages are made up of private homes and usually offer a range of shared facilities. [25%-35%]
Residential, Other Residential, Other Other Residential properties that do not fit in the aforementioned property types. [1%-35%]
Hotel Hotel Hotel Includes hotels, motels, and youth hostels. [15%-25%]
Lodging, Leisure & Recreation Lodging, Leisure & Recreation Indoor Arena Enclosed structures used primarily for professional or collegiate sports and entertainment events. Examples include closed stadiums and indoor sports courts. [15%-25%]
Fitness Center Properties used for recreational or professional athletic training and related activities. [15%-25%]
Performing Arts Properties used for public or private artistic or musical performances. [15%-25%]
Swimming Center Recreational center with a heated swimming pool located either inside or outside. [15%-25%]
Museum/Gallery Properties that display collections to outside visitors for public viewing and enjoyment and for informational/educational purposes. [15%-25%]
Lodging, Leisure & Recreation, Other Other lodging, leisure & recreation properties that do not fit in the aforementioned property types. [15%-25%]
Education Education School Properties or campuses used as a school for Kindergarten through 12th grade students. [1%-5%]
University College/University refers to properties used for the purpose of higher education. [1%-5%]
Library Properties used to store and manage collections of literary and artistic materials such as books, periodicals, newspapers, films, etc. that can be used for reference or lending. [1%-5%]
Education, Other Other education properties that do not fit in the aforementioned property types. [1%-5%]
Technology/Science Technology/Science Data Center Properties specifically designed and equipped to meet the needs of high-density computing equipment, such as server racks, used for data storage and processing. Typically, these facilities require dedicated uninterruptible power supplies and cooling systems. Data center functions may include traditional enterprise services, on-demand enterprise services, high performance computing, internet facilities, and/or hosting facilities. [1%-10%]
Laboratory/Life sciences Laboratory refers to properties that provide controlled conditions in which scientific research, measurement, and experiments are performed or practical science is taught [20%-30%]
Technology/Science, Other Other technology/science properties that do not fit in the aforementioned property types [1%-30%]
Healthcare Healthcare Center Healthcare Center Properties used for the purpose of primary healthcare. Examples may include, but are not limited to: hospitals, clinics, physical therapy centers and mental health centers. [15%-35%]
Senior Homes Senior Homes Healthcare properties used for the purpose of housing seniors, otherwise known as senior assisted living homes,, old-age homes, or aged care. [15%-35%]
Healthcare, Other Healthcare, Other Other healthcare properties that do not fit in the aforementioned property types. [15%-35%]
Mixed Use Mixed Use Mixed Use, Office/Retail Mixed use properties containing Office and Retail spaces. [5%-30%]
Mixed Use, Office/Residential Mixed use properties containing Office and Residential spaces. [5%-30%]
Mixed Use, Office/Industrial Mixed use properties containing Office and Industrial spaces. [5%-30%]
Mixed Use, Other Other mixed use properties that do not fit in the aforementioned property types. [5%-30%]
Other Other Parking (Indoors) Enclosed, indoor vehicle parking facilities, usually consisting of numerous levels for which vehicles are intended to be parked. Otherwise known as multi-story car park, parking building, parking garage, stacked car parking and indoor parking. [5%-35%]
Self-Storage Indoor property or warehouse used for the purpose of self-storage for individuals and/or organizations, otherwise known as self-service storage. [5%-15%]
Other Other properties that do not fit in the aforementioned property types. [5%-35%]

Appendix 3b - Peer Group Allocation Methodology

Peer Group Allocation Methodology

The peer group composition is determined by a simple set of quantitative rules and provides consistent treatment for all participants.The table below shows how peer groups are created for each participating entity.

Each table row represents a trial in which the system will create the optimum peer group for the entity. It describes the entity characteristics that are used to select the other entities for the peer group. The minimum peer group size is six entities. If there are insufficient entities with similar characteristics, one of the characteristics will be dropped and a new peer group will be determined from the remaining characteristics, based on the sequence displayed in the table.

The methodology includes multiple levels of specificity for location and property type.

For location, these are (in order of sequence): country, subregion, region, and super-region. If there are insufficient entities to create a peer group at the country level, the system will move on to sub-region, region, and finally super-region level, before moving on to the next trial.

The same logic is applied to property types. The starting point is the specific Property Sub-Type as reported in R1.1, followed by Property Type, and finally Property Sector.

Real Estate Benchmark Peer Group Allocation Logic

Trial # Min size Property Sub-Type Property Type Property Sector Country Subregion Region Super-region Legal status Strategy Tenant Controlled
16     
26      
36      
46       
56     
66      
76      
86       
96     
106      
116      
126       
136     
146      
156      
166       
176     
186      
196      
206       
216     
226      
236      
246       
256     
266      
276      
286       
296     
306      
316      
326       
336     
346      
356      
366       
376       
386        
396       
406        
416       
426        
436       
446        
456       
466        
476       
486        
496       
506        
516       
526        
536       
546        
556      
566       
576        
586       
596        
606         
616      
626       
636        
646       
656        
666         
676      
686       
696        
706       
716        
726         
736       
746        
756       
766        
776       
786        
796       
806        
816       
826        
836       
846        
856       
866        
876       
886        
896       
906        
916         
926         
936         
946         
956         
966         
976         
986         
996         
1006         
1016         
1026         
1036         
1046         
1056         
1066         
1076         
1086         
1096       
1106        
1116        
1126         
1136         
1146         

Development Benchmark Peer Group Allocation Logic

Trial # Min size Property Sub-Type Property Type Property Sector Country Subregion Region Super-region Legal status Strategy
16     
26      
36     
46      
56     
66      
76     
86      
96     
106      
116     
126      
136     
146      
156     
166      
176     
186      
196       
206       
216       
226       
236       
246       
256       
266       
276       
286     
296      
306       
316      
326       
336        
346     
356      
366       
376      
386       
396        
406     
416      
426       
436      
446       
456        
466      
476       
486      
496       
506      
516       
526      
536       
546      
556       
566      
576       
586      
596       
606      
616       
626      
636       
646        
656        
666        
676        
686        
696        
706        
716        
726        
736        
746        
756        
766        
776        
786        
796        
806        
816        
826      
836       
846       
856        
866        
876         

Refer to Appendix 3a: Property Types Classification for a complete overview of the GRESB property types structure.

Property Type:

If 75% or more of an entity’s GAV belongs to one Property Sub-Type, the entity gets allocated to the peer group corresponding to that Property Sub-Type (assuming minimum size of 6 is met).

Similarly, if less than 75% of an entity’s GAV belongs to one Property Sub-Type, but that 75% or more of the entity’s GAV belongs to one Property Type, the entity gets allocated to the peer group corresponding to that Property Type (assuming minimum size of 6 is met).

The same logic as above applies for Sub-Property type and Sector.

Region:

If 60% or more of an entity’s GAV is located in a Country, the entity gets allocated to the peer group corresponding to that Country (assuming minimum size of 6 is met).

Similarly, if less than 60% of an entity’s GAV is located in a Country, but that 60% or more of the entity’s GAV is located in a Subregion, the entity gets allocated to the peer group corresponding to that Subregion (assuming minimum size of 6 is met).

The same logic as above applies for Subregion and Region.

Geographies

The country, subregion, region are defined using the UN country classification guidelines available here. The only Super-region used is Asia Pacific, grouped from Asia (code 142 in the UN classification) and Oceania (code 142 in the UN classification).

[Legal status] can take one of the following values:

[Strategy] can take one of the following values:

[Tenant Controlled] portfolios are defined as portfolios with more than 75% portfolio (by floor area) classified as Tenant controlled.

Customized Benchmark Reports

Participants who would like to be compared against a different peer group than the one assigned by GRESB can request a Customized Benchmark Report (click here for details). The GRESB Customized Benchmark Report provides advanced analytics through alternative indicator-level performance comparisons and rankings based on a self-selected peer group. It builds on the detailed insights you can draw from the standard Benchmark Report and adds additional flexibility to understand your relative performance in the market.

Sector Leaders

Section will be updated on April 1.

Appendix 4a - Review Period

Review Period

With the increased importance given to GRESB Scores and rankings by investors, lenders using GRESB Scores in Sustainability Linked Loans (SLLs), indices based on our results/data, and managers having financial incentives based on their GRESB results, providing accurate, credible and investment-grade data has become even more crucial. New in 2020, GRESB will introduce a new Review Period in the Assessment timeline to further strengthen the reliability of the Assessments and benchmark results.

Timeline and process:

Timeline Item Comments
1 April - 1 July
  • Reporting period
1 July - 1 August
  • GBCI Validation period
1 August – 1 September
  • GRESB data checks on items with frequent mistakes (e.g. ISIN, Nature of Ownership, reporting scope documentation, etc)
  • GRESB outlier checks on Performance Indicators
  • GRESB quality and consistency checks on GBCI validation process
  • Finalize scoring model, run scoring, generate reports and in-house testing
1 September
  • Launch the “Preliminary Benchmark Reports” for external review
The Preliminary reports do not include rankings or peer group comparisons
1 - 15 September
  • Participants can file official requests for validation or scoring reviews. Requests are made at entity level and are charged a 4000 EUR fee (similar to the participation fee)
  • GRESB reviews each case individually and communicates the resolution path to the participant.
  • If the request relates to wrong input data, GRESB will reopen the relevant Assessments and participants can correct it
  • If the request relates to wrong validation or scoring decisions, GRESB will evaluate the request and communicate the final result to the participant (the 4000 EUR fee is reimbursed in these cases)
The official requests are filed using a standard form – see Appendix 4b below. Requests filed outside the standard process will not be reviewed.
15 September - 22 September (1 week)
  • Participants can correct any mistakes in their input data
  • GRESB can correct any mistakes in scoring or validation
22 September - 29 September (1 week)
  • GRESB solves any pending validation items and reruns scoring
  • Final testing round and preparation of sector leaders, etc
1 October
  • Launch the official/final “2020 GRESB results”
These are the official results and they cannot change after this date

Appendix 4b - Review Period Process Form

Review Period Form

Click to download

Appendix 5a - Building Certification Schemes

Building Certification Schemes

List of design and/or construction green building certification schemes:

List of operational green building certification schemes:

This list indicates certifications that have been submitted to GRESB as part of participation and accepted for full or partial recognition. Additional schemes may also receive recognition if they meet GRESB’s criteria.

Appendix 5b - Energy Ratings

Energy Ratings