EVORA The 2017 GRESB Reporting Cycle

The 2017 GRESB Reporting Cycle (Part 2): A Review of the Recently Released Reference Guide

Two months ago, I set out the main changes to the 2017 GRESB Real Estate survey, based on what could be gleaned from the ‘pre-release’ of the questionnaire.

Critically, the full 2017 Real Estate Reference Guide has now been released.

At the time of writing, the Health and Wellbeing module and its accompanying reference guide had still not been released.


Important updates to the 2017 GRESB survey - Part 2 of EVORA's series.Click To Tweet

Additional key changes to note

Having read (comprehensively skimmed!) all 203 pages of the new Real Estate Reference Guide, I can share a few additional key changes that are worth noting:

Content

  • Performance indicators: There is a new table to complete as part of the energy question (Q25). Participants must set out the following total floor areas for each property type (the contents of the table are not scored):
    • Managed Assets split across:
      • Common areas, shared services and tenant spaces and/or;
      • Whole building.
    • Indirectly Managed Assets:
      • Whole building.
    • Stakeholder engagement: The question, “Does the entity include sustainability-specific requirements in its standard lease contracts?” (Q39.1) has changed in the last two months (i.e. since the 2017 pre-release) and is now aligned with the BBP Best Practice Lease standard.

Evidence uploads

  • GRESB has introduced an ‘evidence template’ for use as standalone document or document cover page (see the last page of the guidance document).
  • The attachment feature has been amended, adding in an option to make uploaded documentation accessible to investors. This feature is optional on a document by document basis. The default option will be for documentation to not be made available to investors.
  • It will now be possible to upload multiple documents per indicator.

Response check

  • The deadline for the response check is two weeks earlier than last year (1st June).

Validation

  • The number of respondents subjected to Validation Plus and Validation Interviews, is expected to “increase significantly” this year. GRESB anticipates selecting approximately 25-40% of respondents for Validation Plus and approximately 5% for a Validation Interview.

What Next?

I’m sure many of you will agree that the speed at which these past two months have passed is somewhat terrifying. There are now approximately 100 days left until the 2017 deadline…

As before, these remain my five tips for GRESB survey submission success:

  1. Start early.
  2. Remind yourself what went well and less well last year – consider both the process and individual question responses.
  3. Engagement and education of people that will support you in delivering GRESB. Keep in regular touch with these people, particularly if they will be providing you with information.
  4. Data automation – our propriety software, SIERA, delivered 41 GRESB submissions in 2016, helping clients to seamlessly acquire and report data. Why not take a look at the following blog post: GRESB Data Automation: Ensuring Seamless Does Not Result in Senseless.
  5. Seek external support / advice.

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Tips for ESG management and performance success

For more general advice on how to implement practical and tailored sustainability solutions, download your free copy of our GRESB eBook.


For market-leading GRESB submission support, please contact our experts today.

 


GRESB Premier PartnerAs a GRESB Real Estate Premier Partner, we are perfectly positioned to provide GRESB support. View our official Premier Partner profile.

We can work with you to complete the submission and understand your scoring, as well as develop a sustainability plan that will improve your future GRESB performance and align with your organisation’s key environmental objectives.