On 19 March 2024, GRESB – an investor-led organisation that provides standardised and validated data to assess the sustainability-related performance of real estate assets and portfolios – announced the upcoming launch of “REAL Solutions“. REAL Solutions is a new suite of tools designed to provide real asset managers and investors with more granular ESG data, which they are demanding in order to take advantage of opportunities in the sustainable investment market and to comply with increasingly burdensome ESG-related regulations.

GRESB stated that it will use aggregated asset-level data taken from its annual real estate assessment to power REAL Solutions. GRESB’s annual real estate assessment – which underpins GRESB’s Real Estate and Development benchmarks, as well as its reporting framework for listed property companies, private property funds, developers and investors that directly invest in real estate – asks participants (including real asset managers and investors) to disclose data on an entity’s (1) strategy and leadership, policies and processes, risk management, and its stakeholder engagement approach using information collected at an organisational level, (2) asset portfolio performance using asset-level and portfolio-level information, and (3) efforts to address ESG-related issues during a building’s design, construction, and renovation phases. The data taken from the annual real estate assessment will enable REAL Solutions to provide actionable information on targets, operational performance, building certificates, energy ratings, and efficiency measures, thereby allowing investors and real asset managers to better understand and improve asset performance. By improving understanding of asset performance and providing access to more granular ESG data, REAL Solutions will also help real asset managers and investors comply with increasingly applicable ESG-related disclosure requirements, including those under the EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (“CSRD“) (for more information about the CSRD, read our earlier update here).  

The first tool in the suite, REAL Benchmarks, will be launched in April 2024 and is designed to allow real estate managers and listed companies to privately analyse the contribution of individual assets to portfolio performance. REAL Benchmarks will also, among other things, enable users to compare portfolio assets against performance benchmarks from the GRESB database. REAL Statistics, another tool within the suite which is expected to launch soon after REAL Benchmarks, is designed for financial institutions to understand energy and GHG intensity values and trends.