EPRA, GRESB move closer to shared sustainability language

The European Public Real Estate Association (EPRA) and the real estate sustainability benchmarking organisation GRESB have completed the comparative Gap analysis of EPRA’s latest Sustainability Best Practices Recommendations (sBPR) Guidelines with the 2018 GRESB Real Estate Assessment that encompasses public and private equity property investments.

The Gap analysis concludes that the industry represented by both bodies is, in the main, converging on common definitions of ESG performance in real estate, though further consolidation still needs to be achieved.

EPRA and GRESB have recently updated their own frameworks to introduce new social and corporate governance indicators, such as gender diversity, health and safety of employees and assets, to provide investors with a wider set of information to monitor and manage the ESG (environmental, social and governance) risks and opportunities of their investments. The extension of the two organisations’ reporting scope was the catalyst for initiating the Gap analysis across their respective guidelines.

Hassan Sabir, EPRA director of finance said: 'There are a bewildering number of standards and frameworks for measuring and disclosing ESG performance in the market, so this first Gap analysis between the two most recognised initiatives in our industry, is an important step towards ensuring we all use and understand a common language and metrics.'

EPRA and GRESB’s Gap analysis streamlines and unifies the number of data sets companies, investors and regulators need to use to make informed and responsible decisions. Corporate and fund management sustainability officers were repeatedly required to complete multiple surveys on their corporate and portfolio performances for often the same overlapping, or perhaps incomparable data. A huge amount of time and costs could be saved if the industry was working from fewer and more unified methodologies, the organisations said.


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