GRESB (http://gresb.com/), the Global ESG Benchmark for Real Assets, is an annual benchmarking assessment to measure ESG integration of real estate companies and funds. It was founded in 2009 by a group of European institutional investors who played leading roles in launching Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI).

Currently there are more than 75 “Investor Members” representing over USD 18 trillion in asset under management using GRESB data upon their investment decision-making and engagement processes with investees. In Japan, DBJ (Development Bank of Japan) has actively supported GRESB since its early stage as an Investor Member. Also ARES (Association for Real Estate Securitization), JREI (Japan Real Estate Institute) and JSBC (Japan Sustainable Building Consortium) have been operating as official “GRESB Supporters” to promote GRESB in the market, and several participants including J-REIT asset managers have become “Company & Fund Manager Members” to show their proactive ESG integration strategy as well as to engage in GRESB development process.

CSRD has been the only GRESB Partner in the Japanese market since 2011, and is designated as the recommended Prime Partner for Japan.

Each of annual GRESB Assessments is open during April to July, and the results is launched in September. The results are only available for participants themselves and the “Investor Members”. Thus GRESB works as a reporting tool from real estate companies and funds as well as a monitoring tool of their ESG performance.

GRESB Assessments

Scope of GRESB Assessments has been expanding to cover wider real assets as follows.

GRESB Variations

GRESB Real Estate

Since the inaugural survey in 2009 until 2015, GRESB Real Estate was named as “GRESB Survey”. Although there have been several green building certifications such as CASBEE (Japan), LEED (U.S.) and BREEAM (U.K.), GRESB is virtually the only benchmarking tool of company or fund level sustainability performance in the real estate sector.

Several agencies provide ESG assessments or ratings of issuers. That said, GRESB is regarded as a global de-facto standard in the real estate sector due to investors active commitment for its development and operation. It covers the wide range of material issues from investors view points, and is used for due diligence and monitoring of real estate investments by global institutional investors. GRESB is also unique in that it can compare listed and non-listed entities by the same tool.

In 2018, 903 entities participated in GRESB Real Estate globally. From Japan, 61 (42 listed entities including 38 J-REITs, and 19 private entities from 16 companies) responded to the Assessment. It is noteworthy that a record of 89% of J-REITs (based on market cap. as of 7th September 2018) participated in the 2018 Real Estate Assessment.

Response Rate_Japan

Real Estate Assessment & Developer Assessment

GRESB Real Estate consists of two core Assessments namely “Real Estate Assessment” and “Developer Assessment”. While Real Estate Assessment targeting entities only with management of standing investments, Developer Assessment was launched in 2016 as a separate, stand-alone Assessment for those solely focus on real estate development. 25 including 4 from Japan participated in Developer Assessment in 2018. (903 “GRESB Real Estate” Participants includes both “Real Estate Assessment” and “Developer Assessment” participants.)

Health & Well-being Module

"Health & Well-being Module" started in 2016 as a Supplement. In 2018, which is the third and the final year, as much as one third of Real Estate Assessment Participants (297 entities) have submitted this Module globally, including 11 from Japan. It evaluates Health and Well-being of both employees and tenants.

Resilience Module

Launched in 2018, "Resilience Module" covers not only climate change, but also earthquakes which Japanese normally focus on or other environmental and societal shifts, and evaluates entities capability to manage and adapt “shocks” (e.g. earthquake, flood etc.) and “stressors” (e.g. change of precipitation pattern, economic disparities). In 2018, 121 Real Estate Participants and 37 Infrastructure Participants have responded to the Module, including 6 Real Estate Assessment Participants from Japan.

GRESB Public Disclosure

"GRESB Public Disclosure" was launched in 2017 to assess the levels of ESG information disclosure of listed real estate companies and funds. It achieves full coverage of the major developed listed real estate indices, which resulted in assessing 453 listed vehicles in 2018 including 49 from Japan. Major Japanese real estate developers, which had not participated in the Real Estate Assessment were also among them to show higher performance than global average.

GRESB Pre-Assessment

Started in 2017, "GRESB Pre-Assessment" responds to ESG assessment needs from real estate companies and funds in the capital raising or due diligence process, with short-term hold strategy, or which have just begun incorporating ESG practices into their operation. By answering a sub-set of Real Estate Assessment, they can receive benchmarking results from GRESB and can deliver the results to a selection of GRESB Investor Members.

GRESB Infrastructure

“GRESB Infrastructure” was launched in 2016, while the first Japanese fund participated in the Assessment in 2017. It consists of two assessments, namely “Fund Assessment” evaluating infrastructure funds, and “Asset Assessment” benchmarking infrastructure assets and companies which such funds invest in. 2018 GRESB Infrastructure saw a strong growth in participation both globally and in Japan. (Fund Assessment: from 64 (2017) to 75 (2018) globally while stable at 1 (2017 & 2018) in Japan, Asset Assessment: from 160 (2017) to 280 (2018) globally, and from 1 (2017) to 3 (2018) in Japan.)


"GRESB Debt Assessment" started in 2015 targeting banks, insurance companies, debt funds and mortgage REITs and enables real estate lenders to assess and analyze sustainability performance of commercial real estate loan portfolios. While no Japanese company has participated in the Debt Assessment yet, 22 reported globally in 2018.


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