Last week we ran a productive and informative GRESB workshop at Schroders’ offices in central London.
Our own Ed Gabbitas kicked off, providing an overview of the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark, its progression over the years and the changes being introduced in 2017 – finishing with his (our) ideas on how best to approach GRESB.
We then ran two productive workshop sessions focusing on identifying and then addressing the challenges of collating evidence needed to support GRESB submissions. The workshops were interspersed with an overview of Schroders’ approach to GRESB and a section from me on the increasingly hot topic – Health & Wellbeing.
So what were the conclusions. Well – both practical and strategic.
On a practical level:
- Start early
- Consider the 2017 questionnaire and evidence requirements in detail
- Engage with others inside and outside of your organisations, who may not be fully aware of the GRESB process, but will be required to provide evidence.
HR and finance functions may need to contribute and engagement with Property Management teams is essential. Performance data collection is vitally important. Have a plan for your data (we use SIERA).
On a strategic level:
Have a strategy. GRESB is a survey based on best practice. It contains a lot of good stuff. However, an organisation’s single sustainability objective cannot, in my view, be to score well in GRESB. We recommend establishment of a management system (Plan, Do, Check, Act) approach tailored to deliver your own goals. Progress an approach that suits you, understand GRESB requirements and the results will look after themselves.