American Realty Advisor’s (ARA) core strategy fund scored an 89 and earned 5 stars for its ESG performance on the Standing Investments Benchmark of the 2022 GRESB Real Estate Assessment, maintaining its 2nd place ranking among U.S. Diversified Core Funds.  “The fund’s strong GRESB performance celebrates the leadership and contribution of every ARA employee and we believe demonstrates the success of the ESG+R program” said Dominique Hargreaves, ARA’s Director of Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility.
The GRESB Assessments are shaped by ESG issues that investors and the industry consider to be financially material to the performance of real estate and infrastructure investments; using GRESB data, investors and asset managers can benchmark investments across portfolios and make increasingly informed decisions on ESG risks and opportunities.
Combining assets participating in the Real Estate and Infrastructure Assessments, GRESB ESG Benchmarks grew this year to cover more than $8.6 trillion of assets under management, up from $6.4 trillion the year before.
“Looking at this year’s benchmark, the industry’s embrace of ESG continues to be reflected in our strong participation numbers and increased data coverage, signaling that real assets investors and managers alike remain steadfast in their commitment to sustainability,” said Sebastien Roussotte, CEO of GRESB.
Key ARA accomplishments in 2021 include:
· 34.5 million square feet of real estate actively managed in the ESG+R program
· Hired Director of Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility
· Achieved and surpassed 2027 energy, water, emissions, and waste reduction goals for the fund
· Property upgrades resulted in 2.8 million kWh of electricity saved
· Tomorrow’s Real Estate Leaders program received Verdical Group’s 2021 Trailblazer Award 
BENCHMARKING AND REPORTING
· 9th consecutive annual fund GRESB submission in 2022
· Fund submission for United States of America, Diversified, Core
· 5 Star rated and 2nd in the United States of America, Diversified, Core peer group of 56 in 2022
· 2021–2022 ESG+R Report published with reference to the GRI index
· Submitted first Principles for Responsible Investment report for ARA in 2021
GREEN AND HEALTHY BUILDING CERTIFICATIONS FOR ALL ASSETS MANAGED BY ARA
· 46 properties with active certifications as of 01/04/2022, covering 11.2 million square feet
· 26 new ENERGY STAR® labels earned 
· 6 new IREM certifications earned
· 2 new Fitwel certifications earned 
· 1 new WELL certification earned
· A new LEED certification earned[ 5]
COMMUNICATION AND EDUCATION
· Weekly sustainability update with Verdani, ARA’s ESG+R advisor
· Annual, company-wide ESG+R program overview with ARA staff completed virtually
· Energy, water, and waste awareness email campaigns, with 65% tenant open rate
· 10 industry engagement speaking events in 2021–2022
Learn more about ARA’s sustainability program in their 2021–2022 ESG+R Report
About American Realty Advisors
ARA is a premier investment manager of institutional quality commercial real estate portfolios focused on providing superior risk-adjusted returns. ARA is privately held with more than 550 investors in funds it sponsors and $13.3 billion in assets under management as of September 30, 2022. ARA is headquartered in Los Angeles, CA, with additional offices in Chicago, Boston, New York, Orlando, and Philadelphia.
For more information, visit https://www.aracapital.com
Verdani Partners is a leading full-service consulting firm whose team members have over 25 years of experience in real estate, sustainability and ESG. Verdani currently manages ESG programs for 15 national and international commercial real estate firms with over 4,500 equity properties across 1.1 billion square feet of diversified real estate portfolios, representing over $460 billion assets under management or total market capitalization.
Verdani is a GRESB Premier Partner and member of the GRESB Benchmarking Committee that manages GRESB reporting. Verdani also produces annual sustainability reports for some of the nation’s top real estate firms. The certification experts at Verdani oversee a wide range of certification systems for clients, such as Fitwel, LEED, ENERGY STAR, USGBC’s Arc Platform, WELL, Green Globes, BREEAM, IREM and more. Verdani’s corporate ESG, green building certifications, technical services, communications department, and educational programs bring an impressive breadth of expertise to each portfolio and project. For more information visit https://www.verdani.com
GRESB is a mission-driven and industry-led organization that provides standardized and validated Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) data to financial markets. Established in 2009, GRESB has become the leading ESG benchmark for real estate and infrastructure investments around the world; it is used by 170 institutional investors, representing over $51 trillion in assets under management.
In 2022, more than 1,820 property companies, REITs, funds, and developers participated in the Real Estate Assessment, representing $6.9 trillion in gross asset value and covering over 150,000 assets across 74 countries. The Assessment methodology is consistent across regions, investment vehicles, and property types, and aligns with global ESG reporting frameworks (e.g., GRI, TCFD), climate risk tools (e.g., CRREM), and emerging sustainability disclosure regulations (e.g., SFDR).
Learn more at www.GRESB.com
 GRESB B.V. (GRESB) created and tabulated the core fund’s score which covers activities taking place during calendar year 2021 and the first quarter of 2022 and released the results on or around October 1, 2022. In order to obtain a rating, the core fund must pay a participation assessment fee per submission to GRESB.
 The award was conveyed on September 16, 2021, from Verdical Group to ARA in recognition of Tomorrow’s Real Estate Leaders Program that was held in March of 2021
.  ENERGY STAR certifications are conveyed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and are given on an annual basis so must be certified year to year. Please see page 87 of ARA’s 2021–2022 ESG+R Report for important information regarding Energy Star certifications including a complete list of awarded properties and the most recent certification or renewal date. Certification summary statistics cover all properties certified as of January 4, 2022.
 Fitwel certifications are conveyed by Active Design Advisors Inc. WELL certifications are conveyed by the Green Business Certification Inc. IREM certifications are conveyed by the Institute for Real Estate Management. In order to receive any of the foregoing certifications, the entity or property was required to pay a project registration and certification fee to the applicable certification provider. The time period covered by each certification, and the date of grant for each certification vary by property. Information regarding Fitwel, WELL, and IREM certifications including a complete list of awarded properties and the most recent certification or renewal date is available upon request. Certification summary statistics cover all properties certified as of December 31, 2021.
 LEED certifications are conveyed by Green Business Certification Inc. and require a project registration and certification fee. Please see page 85 of ARA’s 2021–2022 ESG+R Report for important information regarding LEED certifications including a complete list of awarded properties and the most recent certification or renewal date. Certification summary statistics cover all properties certified as of December 31, 2021.
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The information contained within this article was developed in accordance with best industry practices. This article was prepared without reference to any specific property or scenario and is not intended to substitute for the professional advice of an attorney, engineer, or other climate change professional. This article should not be relied on exclusively when conducting risk assessments or developing response plans. Neither Verdani LLC nor its employees or agents can be held responsible for the use or misuse of the information contained herein, and Verdani LLC hereby disclaims any liability for damages arising from the use of this information, including without limitation, direct, indirect, or consequential damages including personal injury, property loss, loss of revenue, loss of opportunity, or other loss.