Property Australia

Australia tops GRESB table again

Karen Jamal Karen Jamal October 19, 2021

Australian property companies have topped the results of the 2021 GRESB Real Estate Assessment ranking for the eleventh consecutive year.

 

  Three key takeaways

  • The 2021 GRESB Real Estate Assessment covers US$5.7 trillion of assets under management and 117,000 individual assets, up from US$4.8 trillion in 2020
  • Australia maintains the highest regional average score of 79 in the Standing Benchmark (for portfolios of existing assets) and 84 in the Development Benchmark (for new construction and major renovation projects)
  • Notable performance improvements were recorded in greenhouse gas emissions, water and waste reductions with the most improvement in materials.

 

GRESB is the global benchmark for environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance of real assets. Participation grew by 20 per cent among listed entities and 25 per cent among non-listed entities, a spike likely driven by investor interest in ESG data and industry focus on emerging regulations.

Davina Rooney, the Green Building Council of Australia’s chief executive officer, applauds Australia’s outperformance.

“As we all have our eyes set on Glasgow as COP26 approaches, Australia’s property sector has strengthened its commitment to climate change mitigation, emissions reduction and sustainability performance, and this commitment is second to none,” Rooney says.

The GRESB Real Estate Assessment generates two benchmarks. The GRESB Standing Investments Benchmark, which considers management and performance factors, is aimed at portfolios with operating buildings. The GRESB Development Benchmark, which considers management and development factors, is aimed at portfolios with new construction and major renovation projects.

Globally, Oceania – which consists of Australia and New Zealand – maintains the highest regional average score of 79 in the Standing Investment Benchmark and 84 in the Development Benchmark.

Property Council chief executive Ken Morrison says GRESB’s ESG data is highly valued by investors, and defines the standards of sustainability performance and reporting.

“GRESB continues to set the international goalposts for ESG performance and Australia continues to score highly, showing the rest of the world how a sustainable, net zero and healthy future is possible.

“Our industry’s leadership is testament to what can be achieved when targets are in place and our sector leaders should be recognised and praised for their willingness to innovate to meet these goals,” Morrison adds.

Ruben Langbroek, GRESB’s head of Asia Pacific, says the impacts of climate change and the international pandemic have accelerated responsible investments within the property industry. Institutional investors are increasingly allocating capital to portfolios that generate positive environmental, social and economic outcomes.

“We are realising that the environmental and social challenges we face cannot be solved with a business-as-usual approach. Our industry needs to respond by building back better, reaching net zero earlier and moreover, becoming climate positive.

“The 2021 GRESB results for Oceania show that transformative change is possible, and transparency on ESG performance supports this transition,” Mr Langbroek said.

 

GRESB’s global leaders for Australia

2021 GRESB Real Estate Standing Investments Sector Leaders

Overall Global Sector Leaders (Achieved highest score for its sector)*

  • Office – Shared between Lendlease International Towers Sydney Trust, Lendlease; and Australian Prime Property Fund Commercial, Lendlease
  • Retail – Non-listed – Australian Prime Property Fund Retail, Lendlease

*Overall Global Sector Leaders are also recognised as being the “Global Sector Leaders” by GRESB for achieving the highest score for the combination of nature of ownership and sector

 

Overall Regional Sector Leaders (Achieved highest score for its sector and region)

  • Diversified – Office/Retail – Dexus Wholesale Property Fund, Dexus
  • Industrial – Frasers Property Industrial Australia Pty Limited, Frasers Property Industrial Australia Pty Limited
  • Office – Shared between Lendlease International Towers Sydney Trust, Lendlease; and Australian Prime Property Fund Commercial, Lendlease
  • Retail – Australian Prime Property Fund Retail, Lendlease
  • Diversified – Office/Industrial – Shared between Cromwell Property Trust 12, Cromwell Property Group; and Growthpoint Properties Australia, GrowthPoint

 

2021 GRESB Real Estate Development Sector Leaders

Overall Global Sector Leaders (Achieved highest score for its sector)*

  • Diversified – ISPT Core Fund, ISPT Pty Ltd
  • Diversified – Office/Industrial – Frasers Property Industrial Australia Pty Limited, Frasers Property Industrial Australia Pty Limited
  • Office – Australian Prime Property Fund Commercial, Lendlease
  • Retail – Shared between Scentre Group, Scentre Group; and Unisuper, managed by AMP Capital Investors Limited

*Overall Global Sector Leaders are also recognised as being the “Global Sector Leaders” by GRESB for achieving the highest score for the combination of nature of ownership and sector

 

Overall Regional Sector Leaders (Achieved highest score for its sector and region)

  • Industrial – Shared between Core Logistics Partnership (CLP), Charter Hall; and Goodman Australia Partnership (GAP), Goodman Group
  • Office – Australian Prime Property Fund Commercial, Lendlease
  • Residential – Lendlease Retirement Living Trust, Lendlease
  • Retail – Shared between Scentre Group, Scentre Group; and Unisuper, managed by AMP Capital Investors Limited