Environmental engagement through benchmarking

Engaging real estate fund managers on their carbon footprint will be more easily implemented following the creation of a Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark, the result of collaborative work by a group of 11 of the world’s largest pension asset managers and Maastricht University.

The investors – which include APG, PGGM, USS, ATP and OTPP – have collaborated to create an index which aims to create shareholder value and reduce the sector’s substantial carbon footprint.

It follows on from an initiative in 2009 by APG, PGGM and USS, which saw the university’s centre for corporate engagement measure the energy efficiency and sustainability of their real estate investments.

The GRESB Foundation will do an annual survey to scrutinise the sustainability of fund managers in the real estate industry.

The index will cover the global property market and the entire universe of private and listed entities.

The idea is that by using information collected by GRESB, institutional investors will be able to compare the environmental performance of individual property investments with their environmental real estate targets, and that benchmarking will serve as a catalyst for environmental engagement in real estate.

The results of the first survey are expected in September.

For more information on the 2011 survey, click here.