Buildings Alive works with only a tiny fraction of the more than 1,200 entities and 96,000 assets that participated in last year’s GRESB Real Estate Assessment, and yet we count a surprising number of the global and regional sector leaders as clients (i.e., the best of the best).

Why is that? And what are their secrets?

Well, we’re happy to share some insights to answer the first question; the second one we will let pass!

In most cases, property companies, real estate investment funds, and trusts (REITs) engage Buildings Alive to help them achieve their energy and environmental efficiency goals. Our value proposition is all about ‘results’, i.e., clients know that by working with us their environmental impacts and operating costs will go down and their net operating income (NOI) will increase.

Typically, entities with the very highest GRESB scores draw on a team of specialist organisations who make contributions and interact with each other as part of an ESG management system.

Most GRESB Partners focus on data management, reporting or sustainability advisory – crucial components of any effective ESG management strategy. Buildings Alive’s primary role is to apply a laser-sharp focus on the optimisation of asset performance.

All global and regional sector leaders, and the majority of GRESB 5 Star rated entities, are highly focused on optimising the performance of their assets for at least two reasons:

  1. it underpins the business case for ESG investment, and
  2. the GRESB Real Estate Benchmark specifically rewards it.

Performance (e.g., energy consumption, GHG emissions, water consumption and waste) accounts for 70% of the assessment. Management (e.g., strategy and leadership, policies and processes, risk management, and stakeholder engagement) makes up the other 30%.

Of the 30% allocated to management, Buildings Alive can contribute meaningfully to 11.7% of the score (3.5% of the overall assessment) in the following indicators:

  • RM1: Environmental Management System (EMS)
  • RM4: ESG due diligence for new acquisitions

Of the 70% allocated to performance, Buildings Alive can contribute meaningfully to 49.3% of the score (34.5% of overall assessment) in the following indicators:

  • RA1: Risk assessments performed on standing investments portfolio
  • RA2: Technical building assessments
  • RA3: Energy efficiency measures
  • RA4: Water efficiency measures
  • T1.1: Portfolio improvement targets
  • EN1: Energy consumption data (reported at asset level)
  • MR1: External review of energy data
  • WT1: Water use data (reported at asset level)
  • MR3: External review of water data

We believe this is as it should be. Right from the very outset when GRESB was launched in 2010 as the Global Environmental Real Estate Index, GRESB has sought to recognise and distinguish sustainability “walk” and sustainability “talk”. Both are important, of course, but it is the walk that matters most.

If you would like more information about how Buildings Alive can help to improve your GRESB assessment, please get in touch!