Amsterdam-based GRESB, the Global ESG Benchmark for real assets, has released the results of its annual 2017 GRESB Real Estate Assessment for the North American real-estate sector.
Globally, a record 850 property companies and real estate funds completed the assessment, representing 77,000 assets and more than $3.7 trillion in value. The average GRESB score increased to 63 points, up 3 from 2016. Listed property companies continue to outperform private entities, and entities focused on offices outperform other property types.
The new GRESB data shows tangible improvements in environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance. Globally in 2017, the sector:
- Reduced like-for-like energy consumption by 1.1 percent, equivalent to 79,827 U.S. homes.
- Reduced like-for-like carbon emissions by 2.2 percent, equivalent to 113,000 passenger cars.
- Reduced like-for-like water consumption by 0.5 percent, equivalent to 999 Olympic swimming pools.
- Diverted 52.9 percent of landfill waste, equivalent to 399,008 truck loads.
The results show the energy improvements made in recent years by the global real-estate sector are in line with the energy reduction targets set out in the United Nations-supported Sustainable Development Goals.
Sander Paul van Tongeren, co-founder and managing director at GRESB, says: “We are delighted to see an increase in the number of participants and assets across all regions for eight consecutive years. It’s encouraging that, once again, GRESB participants were able to lower energy, water and carbon emissions. We hope that the commitment and meaningful actions taken by the 850 GRESB participants serve as an example to others and help to drive improved sustainability performance more
broadly across the market.”
Two-hundred-four companies and funds in North America representing $2.3 trillion in assets under management reported on their ESG performance in 2017. This represents a 15 percent increase in participants from 2016. The average GRESB Score for the region increased to 64 from 59. This not only represents a higher rate of increase than other regions, but also places the North American sector ahead of the global average.
North American property companies and funds achieved a 2.5 percent reduction in energy consumption, 2.9 percent reduction in carbon emissions and 1.3 percent reduction in water consumption.
More than 59 companies and funds in North America completed the voluntary Health & Well-being Module, a sign that the region is embracing this important industry theme.
For more information about the 2017 GRESB data and Regional Sector Leaders, visit the GRESB real estate results page.