The Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) has officially announced scores for the 2016 Reporting Season. Verdani Partners’ clients have continued to effectively implement their sustainability programs and prove themselves as industry leaders. We are honored to work with such progressive firms and proud of all they have accomplished.
This year, 759 real estate companies and funds reported to GRESB, representing more than 66,000 assets, 63 countries, and $2.8 trillion. This year’s data reflects the fact that GRESB is gaining traction rapidly among stakeholders. Overall, significantly more funds are reporting and improving across all aspects of ESG performance. With increased participation and more competition, Verdani Partners is thrilled to announce our clients results for their continued commitment in staying ahead of the market.
“Our team is very proud of CommonWealth Partners, Clarion Partners, Parkway Properties, Colony Capital, and Jamestown for their achievements this year. Five of our clients ranked within the top five of their respective sectors, two within the top ten, and five received GRESB’s “Green Star” for their industry leadership. Our clients’ forward thinking management and talented property teams facilitate wide-spread implementation of our ESG programs and initiatives. As sustainability gradually becomes common-practice, staying ahead of competition is becoming more and more challenging. This year’s GRESB participation and results is a reminder that we need to continue to do even more by increasing investor value, tenant demand, and operational savings while supporting sustainable organizations and creating healthier places to live and work,” said Daniele Horton, Founder and President of Verdani Partners.
Today, CommonWealth Partners (CWP) was recognized for their continued leadership and commitment to sustainability. CommonWealth Partners has reported to GRESB for three consecutive years and continued to improve their score annually despite increased participation in one of GRESB’s most competitive sectors. CWP ranked 2nd among privately held office funds in the United States. In addition, CWP was awarded a “Green Star”, the highest level of recognition from GRESB, for the third year in a row. CWP’s success is a result of their exceptional management and seamless integration of sustainability into their core business model. Read CommonWealth Partners’ 2015 Sustainability Report here.
Jessica Loeper, Senior Sustainability Manager for CommonWealth Partners states, “I am proud of our team and what we have accomplished to improve overall building performance across the portfolio and achieve 2nd place in the office non-listed sector for GRESB.” By establishing a solid Environmental Management System has helped us stick to the goals we have set for ourselves and all our hard work is paying off!”
“We are honored to receive second place among our peers and proud to be ranked one of the nation’s highest performers in sustainability,” said Kirsten Quezambra, Vice President of CommonWealth Partners. “By integrating sustainability into our core business model, we consistently achieve and exceed our sustainability goals. We will work closely with our teams and tenants across our portfolio to improve our sustainability programs and continue the tradition of innovation that has made us an industry leader in sustainability.”
For three years in a row, Clarion Partners has proven their continued dedication to corporate responsibility by reporting for three funds encompassing diversified, multifamily, and industrial sectors. With $42.3 billion in total assets under management, Clarion has used their influential platform to set the bar high among their peers. This year, their funds ranked 2nd, 7th, and 5th in their respective sectors in addition to being recognized as a top quartile performer for the second year in a row.
“We are proud to have received Green Stars for all three Clarion funds that participate in the GRESB assessment as well as to have achieved performance and peer ranking improvements, particularly in the competitive diversified fund category,” said Sara Schoen, Director of Sustainability for Clarion Partners.
Parkway Properties has improved their GRESB ranking for the fourth consecutive year ranking 3rd among publicly-traded REITS in the United States. Since 2014, GRESB has awarded Parkway Properties annually with a “Green Star” as a leader in environmental, social, and governance performance indicators. Parkway Properties’ sustainability program has had wide-spread implementation across their portfolio including 99% of their buildings benchmarked on ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager and 17 LEED certifications since 2014. Their investments have paid off, as GRESB continues to acknowledge their progress.
“I’m very proud of Parkway’s continuous improvements across all sustainability metrics over the past three years,” says Jeff Dunbar, Director of Sustainability for Parkway Properties, “It is immensely gratifying to see those improvements reflected in Parkway’s continued rise in the GRESB rankings from 8th place to 5th place to 3rd place among its peers.”
In 2015, Colony Capital made the decision to invest in their ESG program. In one year, they rolled out 21 corporate policies, designed an EMS program, published their first annual sustainability report, and reported for both a real estate and debt fund, among other initiatives. With over $60 billion of total capital, Colony Capital has tremendous potential to lower their carbon footprint and impact the industry in a positive way. Today, GRESB ranked Colony’s funds as 2nd and 9th in global debt and global diversified sectors. Needless to say, Colony Capital is on the right track to becoming an industry leader in no time. Read Colony Capital’s first Corporate Responsibility Report here.
“I am thrilled with Colony Capital’s GRESB results and what our team has accomplished in the very first year of reporting. This report gives us great validation for the success of our sustainability program and is a testament to all the hard work in implementing it,” says Shubha Mohunta, Senior Sustainability Manager for Colony Capital.
“We are very pleased with these results in our first year participating in GRESB. ESG principles are an important part of Colony’s business and earning these designations is validating that our hard work is paying off,” said Ryan McManus, Senior Vice President at Colony Capital.
Since reporting initially in 2014, Jamestown has steadily established their presence in the diversified sector climbing to 4th in 2016 in North America. Aside from ranking well, Jamestown improved their GRESB score by 9 points, due to continued effort to implement their sustainability programs across their portfolio. GRESB also recognized Jamestown as a “Green Star” for the third consecutive year, as a consistent top quartile performer. With a management team committed to sustainability, Jamestown will continue strengthening its sustainability program in coming years.
“I am honored to work with the Jamestown team as we continue to improve their ESG programs, and we are proud of the progress we have made together! Their commitment to improving their sustainability program is reflected in the great results they achieved this year and the improvement in their GRESB score for the second consecutive year,” said Mariana Young, Sustainability Manager for Jamestown.
“We are proud to see our GRESB results increase each year, and to have maintained our Green Star status since 2014 as participation in the survey has increased. GRESB not only serves as a way to demonstrate our commitment to sustainability to our investors, but also functions as a best in class roadmap for refinements and improvement over time,” said Matt Bronfman, CEO of Jamestown.
GRESB is an industry-driven organization committed to assessing the sustainability performance of real estate portfolios (public, private, and direct) around the globe. More than 100 investor members representing nearly US $9 trillion in assets under management use GRESB results to optimize the risk-return profile of their real estate investments. The dynamic benchmark is used by institutional investors to engage with their investments with the aim to improve the sustainability performance of their investment portfolio, and the global property sector at large.
WHY PARTICIPATE IN GRESB?
GRESB is widely recognized as the leading global ESG data provider for real assets.
GRESB’s mission is to enhance and protect shareholder value by evaluating and improving the sustainability performance of real assets.
GRESB has developed its benchmarking framework to give real asset investors tools to monitor, manage and engage with investment managers.
Benchmarking sustainability performance helps generate and strengthen the market forces needed to bring environmental, social and governance issues to the forefront of business decision-making. By participating in GRESB’s annual assessments, companies and funds are able to better manage portfolios, funds and assets in the face of more volatile energy prices, stricter legislation to combat climate change, increased energy efficiency requirements and changing preferences of corporate tenants.
Benchmark results provide member companies with the opportunity to identify areas for improved sustainability performance, both in absolute terms and relative to industry peers.