The 2014 Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark results have been released, and it shows Australia and New Zealand still lead in overall performance, but with Asian property company performance in hot pursuit. Australia’s Lend Lease and ISPT were also announced in a list of 11 global leaders, while Australand was named a regional leader.

Australia and NZ outperformed all other regions (North America, Europe and Asia) on all aspects measured, including on management, policy and disclosure, risks and opportunities, monitoring and EMS, performance indicators, building certifications, stakeholder engagement, and new construction and major renovations.

Overall, sustainability reporting was improving in terms of coverage and quality, and sustainability performance was also on the up. Regionally, the overall performance of property companies and funds in Asia increased most significantly, by 23 per cent to 46 points (out of 100), the survey shows, while Australia/NZ leads in overall sustainability performance, with a score of 61. By contrast the average score is 44 in North America and 47 in Europe.

Results show 36 per cent of participants have achieved Green Star status (not to be confused with the rating tool), which recognises outstanding management and implementation of key sustainability issues, up from 22 per cent in 2013. Among total participants in Australia/NZ a hefty 70 per cent are Green Stars, compared with 32 per cent of participants in North America and Asia. In Europe, 35 per cent of property companies and funds are Green Stars.

The benchmark, now in its fifth year, has more than 40 institutional investors representing US$5.5 trillion in assets under management, and details portfolio-level sustainability data for the real estate industry, focusing on executive decisions, plans and policies; performance measurement; and stakeholder engagement.

Australia had 44 participants in the survey, with a gross asset value of $131 billion.

”The need for reliable, investment grade data continues to increase with the advent of capital market interest in the topic of energy efficiency and sustainability in real estate, and GRESB will be at the forefront of providing increasingly granular, high-quality data to the industry,” GRESB executive director Nils Kok said.

GRESB global leaders

  • Bentall Kennedy Group
  • Steen & Strom AS
  • UBS Real Estate KAG mbH
  • Lend Lease
  • Invesco Advisors
  • Host Hotels & Resorts
  • HCP
  • Ventas
  • ISPT
  • Workspace

GRESB Australia/NZ leaders

  • Australand
  • Lend Lease (Retail and Commercial)
  • ISPT

Other highlights

  • The overall GRESB score increased by nine points and is now 47 (out of 100), mainly driven by an increase in the Implementation & Measurement score (+23 per cent)
  • Collectively, in 2013, the commercial real estate sector reduced its energy consumption by about 0.8 per cent, carbon emissions fell by 0.3 per cent, and water consumption fell by 2.3 per cent
  • Regionally, the overall performance of property companies and funds in Asia increased most significantly, by 23 percent to 46 points, while Australia/NZ still lead in overall sustainability performance, with a score of 61. The average score in North America is 44 and the average score in Europe is 47
  • Listed property companies obtain on average a seven points higher score compared to private funds. The overall score for listed companies is 52
  • 637 listed property companies and private equity real estate funds submitted data, covering 56,000 buildings with an aggregate value of USD 2.1 trillion
  • GRESB covers 52 per cent of the FTSE EPRA/NAREIT Developed Index, with 38 per cent in Asia Pacific, 76 percent in Europe, and 51 percent in North America

Read the full report.

One reply on “GRESB 2014: Australia still global sustainability leader”

  1. ‘Sustainability’ Indexes based on self reporting, is a ‘low bar’ outcome.
    Most ‘positive’ results are noted as 0.3, 0.8 & 2.3% for commercial real estate. So we now know ‘Sustainability’ is much of the same – shameful!.

    GRESB appears to be now intertwined with the major global ‘real estate’ houses. Promoting GRESB reporing outcomes from within these ‘houses’ is not a desirable ‘governance’ outcome for GRESB or ‘built’ industry.

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