On 24 November, GRESB – the global real-estate sustainability benchmark for real assets – announced the results of its annual assessment, an investor-driven global sustainability benchmark and reporting framework for listed property companies, private property funds, developers and investors that invest directly in real estate.
The assessment is shaped by what investors and the industry consider to be material issues in the sustainability performance of real-estate investments. Scoring covers seven areas: management, policy and disclosure, risks and opportunities, monitoring and environmental management systems, performance indicators, building certifications and stakeholder engagement.
This year, GRESB had made significant changes to its methodology and scoring process. Nonetheless, our funds and assets performed well across the board – and particularly within development, which has its own rankings.
In the overall ratings, centre:mk, the shopping centre in Milton Keynes that we manage on behalf of Australian Super and the BT Pension Scheme (BTPS), retained the five-star rating it achieved last year – this recognises entities placed in the top 20% of the benchmark – and was listed number one in the UK retail shopping-centre sector. In addition, the BTPS Fund retained its four-star rating and came second in its peer group.
Looking more closely at the development ratings, BTPS achieved a five-star score, was ranked first among its peers for development and gained a green star, while our HPUT fund was awarded four stars, came second out of its peer group for development and also achieved a green star. Wellington Place – which makes up part of the BTPS score as a joint-venture fund – achieved a four-star rating, came first in its peer group of for development and gained a green star.
Our positive results in the development category clearly reflect our Real Estate team’s consistent approach to responsible property development, as well as its emphasis on asset-level active decarbonisation and data integrity – something that has been a consistent focus of ours since we first set carbon-reduction targets in 2006.