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GRESB – a tool for assessing sustainability 25 June 2015

How does one assess how sustainable one’s property, or property portfolio, is?  This is becoming an increasingly important question, particularly for organisations with large portfolios who want to demonstrate their “green” credentials to potential shareholders/investors.

GRESB, the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark, is a measuring tool that is becoming popular.  I recently attended a presentation on GRESB given by Lizzie Batchelor, the Sustainability Manager of Savills (UK) Ltd.  I thought it would be helpful for others to learn about GRESB, and Lizzie has kindly contributed the following explanation.


The Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark has been running for 5 years. This is the only benchmark which fully examines sustainability-related issues specifically for the real estate sector. The survey has seen growing popularity, with 637 property companies submitting last year.

The GRESB Survey runs each year from 1 April to 30 June.  The questions cover seven aspects, with the highest weighting falling under “Performance Indicators” and “Stakeholder Engagement” sections. The highest ranking organisations or funds will achieve “Green Stars”.  Last year approximately a third of organisations obtained this status.

Why organisations are choosing GRESB

● Transparent performance metrics

● It is a well-regarded portfolio benchmark, providing assurance to investors, shareholders and other stakeholders.

● Scope to improve PR recognition on sustainability.

● Improving a score may lead to a fall in the operational costs of a property or portfolio.

● Creates a clear focus, helping to engender continuous improvement for the organisation.

This is only a brief introduction, so that you recognise the abbreviation when you see it.  You can find more information about GRESB at www.gresb.com.


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