Australian property companies top the GRESB table again in 2018
Australia’s property industry once again leads the world on environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance.
For the eighth successive year, the Australia and New Zealand real estate sector has outperformed other regions in the world’s most trusted sustainability benchmark,the Global ESG Benchmark for real estate assets (GRESB).Australia and New Zealand achieved an average GRESB Score of 76 (up from 73 last year) and outperformed the global average of 68.
“At a time of political paralysis around energy policy, our industry is getting on with the job of delivering great results on ESG criteria,” says the Property Council of Australia’s chief executive, Ken Morrison.
“Australian sustainability know-how is world leading and creates value for investors, attracts tenants and lowers carbon emissions.”
GRESB scored and benchmarked the ESG performance of 73 real estate funds, companies and developers from Australia and New Zealand on behalf of 75 institutional investors, an increase of more than 10 per cent on the previous year.
The global gross asset value covered by 2018 GRESB Real Estate was USD $3.5 trillion. The value of Australia and New Zealand assets was USD $318 billion (AUD $446 billion).
Lendlease’s Australian Prime Property Fund Commercial was ranked number one globally from the record 903 real estate companies, funds and developers reported to GRESB covering more than 79,000 assets across 64 countries. This follows number one rankings for APPF Commercial in 2017, 2015 and 2014.
Frasers Logistics & Industrial Trust was the global sector leader for Industrial – Listed. Stockland was the global sector leader for Diversified – Office/Retail – Listed.In the Developer – Non-Listed category, the top global ranking went to Lendlease One International Towers Sydney Trust.
Lendlease’s Australian Prime Property Fund Retail was the Global and Regional Sector Leader for Retail – Non-Listed. Meanwhile, the developer’s Australian Prime Property Fund Commercial was global and regional sector leader for Office – Non-Listed.Regional sector leaders included Goodman Australia Industrial Partnership (GAIP) for Industrial – Non-Listed, and Dexus Wholesale Property Fund for Diversified – Office/Retail – Non-Listed.
“The continuing strong performance by Australian funds in an expanded pool of participants is testament to our industry’s commitment to ESG principles,” Mr Morrison says.
“Australian companies continue to show leadership on energy efficiency, emissions reduction, inclusion and health and wellness –all increasingly critical ingredients in the global investment marketplace.”
According to the 2018 results for the region, average like-for-like greenhouse gas emissions for the sector decreased by 4.0 per cent, and year-on-year energy consumption was down almost 2.9 per cent. There is more work to be done to tackle water consumption, which increased year-on-year by just over 1.2 per cent for the region.
All reporting Australian and New Zealand property companies and funds have a policy in place that addresses social issues, such as diversity and equal opportunity, forced labour, safety and worker rights.
Eighty five per cent of participants measure and monitor the impact of their operations on communities to reduce negative and maximise positive social and environmental outcomes. The GRESB results showed that 60 per cent of Australian and New Zealand property companies and funds promote tenant health and wellbeing via their buildings and services, compared to just 24 percent globally.
Mr Morrison says the Property Council is a strong advocate for improved ESG outcomes in the Australian industry and works closely with its industry peer associations including the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) and the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council (ASBEC) as part of an industry-wide drive for better sustainability.
“While our industry’s participants are competitive, they are also committed to collaboration. Lessons and insights are shared broadly across the industry to drive down emissions and create great customer experiences – and this approach is reflected in our world-leading results,” MrMorrison said.