Nils Kok in Sydney in 2011

4 April 2012 – The Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark has announced it will partner with the Global Reporting Initiative to enhance disclosure on sustainability reporting in a move that organiser say will thrust the real estate sector to the top tier of global sustainability disclosure.

Co-founder of GRESB Nils Kok said the move was supported by 30 of the world’s largest pension asset managers, major real estate industry associations and a large group of stakeholders.

The partnership would enhance energy and resource efficiency, Professor Kok said.

“It is our belief that benchmarking can help generate and strengthen market forces needed for more efficient use of energy and other resources by the real estate sector, lowering operational costs.”

Professor Kok said GRESB had become an important tool in creating more transparency in the environmental and social performance of real estate investment managers.

In 2011 more than 350 real estate fund managers and property companies responded to the GRESB Survey and the annual benchmark was now actively used by more than 30 institutional investors to engage with their investments,” he said.

Sander Paul van Tongeren of APG Asset Management, a founding member of GRESB said: “For investors, benchmarking sustainability performance provides the opportunity to take into account directly the risks of higher (and more volatile) energy prices, stricter legislation targeted directly at the real estate sector and changing preferences of (corporate) tenants.”