Whenever you make a big purchase or an important decision, research is always a huge component before signing the dotted line. When hiring an employee, for example, you’ll carefully read resumes, cover letters, reference checks, and conduct interviews. The same can be said about buying a car. Scanning auto review sites, learning about the manufacturer, and scheduling a test drive are all considered standard practice.
These types of well researched decisions may seem like a no-brainer. After all, when it comes to investing a large sum of money, taking the time to analyze the data is somewhat expected. This same logic explains why many investors are placing more importance on the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB). GRESB is an industry-driven organization that assesses the sustainability performance of real estate portfolios around the globe. This initiative is about protecting and enhancing shareholder value, allowing those to see how their current building stands, and whether they want to – or not want to -- invest in a development.
In our last two blog posts, we discussed two important sustainable benchmarks in green building: LEED and The WELL Being Standard. Now we’re adding GRESB to the list. While LEED provides a standardized assessment of the energy, materials, and water efficiency of buildings, GRESB aims to provide the global industry standard for the environmental, social, and management of the real estate portfolios.
A survey released this year found that investors increasingly recognize the importance of sustainability assessment for their decision-making process. And because GRESB provides investors with detailed information on how companies actually implement sustainability, it’s a valuable asset.
But what makes it so valuable? Three reasons. One is that consumers are savvier, demanding eco-friendly and mindful building practices. The second is that there’s a direct correlation between a WELL Certified building and workers’ productivity, with evidence showing a relationship between sustainability and financial performance. And third, because it’s the right thing to do. According to Thomas Mueller, President & CEO of the Canada Green Building Council, in Canada, green building and management was named as the top driver behind sustainable development.
Thought of as a "nutritional label" for the commercial market, GRESB's goal is to provide these shareholders with the tools they need to monitor and manage sustainability performance accurately. It’s this information that will help investors better understand any immediate sustainability risks. Consequently, this means developers and building managers will be held more accountable if they want to attract outside investment.