After spending a couple of inspiring weeks on the road (one night in Bangkok, an interesting real estate conference in Korea and numerous talks and meetings in Australia), I'm now working day and night on the next GRESB report, the new dataportal for property funds and the new website of the GRESB Foundation. A screenshot of the scorecard (to share some of the excitement, please note that it's a mock-up and data is not real):
My pitch for GRESB is as follows:
The commercial property sector plays a pivotal role in reducing the carbon footprint and resource dependence of cities and nations in the US and beyond. Backed by fifteen of the world’s largest pension funds, the GRESB Foundation has gathered and analyzed environmental data on more than 340 property companies and funds (REITs) around the world. Covering over 21,000 properties that represent a value of about 800 billion dollar, the data provides important insights into the environmental management of the commercial property sector.
The GRESB Foundation is a non-profit organization and has the goal to assess and improve the environmental performance of the global commercial property sector. Influential institutional investors, as well as major real estate industry bodies, have embraced the initiative. On behalf of these stakeholders, the Foundation is pressing managers of public and private REITs to disclose information on their environmental and social practices.
This pressure has lead to the first global overview on the energy efficiency and sustainability of the property companies and funds. For instance, we document that the total energy consumption of the respondents amounted to 14,000MWh in 2010, resulting in a total energy expense of nearly one trillion dollar. However, the report also shows that the respondents decreased greenhouse gas emissions by almost two percent over the past year, with the environmental leaders (“Green Stars”) even reducing their emissions by more than three percent. Indeed, the commercial property sector may be leading the effort towards improved energy efficiency and reduced carbon emissions, and increased transparency will be instrumental in reaching global climate goals.
Alright, that's just a little teaser. Bear with me for two more weeks: on Sept 1st we'll have a big launch. To compensate for my lack of blogposts, I recommend this piece: Energy Misers Reap Rewards (it reminds me that I should get back to my paper on energy consumption of commercial buildings - human capital versus technology).