Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmarking (GRESB) is a leading benchmarking organisation for real estate companies and funds and has a mission to enhance and protect shareholder value by evaluating and improving sustainability practices in the global real estate sector.
JLL this year once again partnered with GRESB to launch the 2016 benchmarking results as well as sitting on the technical committee and advising clients on navigating the benchmarks. Since its launch in 2009, GRESB has grown incredibly fast thanks to its outstanding real-estate know-how, capabilities and commitment. Within a very short time it has gained significant international recognition and has become the most widely used platform for assessing the sustainability of property investments globally.
This year GRESB also introduced a health and wellbeing module to reflect the massive growth in interest in this topic amongst investors and real estate companies. At JLL, we have also strengthened our expertise in embedding health and wellbeing within buildings as we understand that property has to work for tenants and employees.
But what does this data mean and why is it important? The weight of available evidence increasingly supports the argument that improved sustainability disclosure is a hallmark of companies with a compelling, long-term value proposition. This means that anyone looking to secure investor capital can no longer afford to ignore sustainability.
As a firm, one of our key goals is to be the most sustainable property consultancy in the UK. We want to lead the transformation of the sector and we know we have a bigger role to play than most.
In the UK alone we manage over 4,000 properties. The potential energy and cost savings on a portfolio of this size are indeed staggering. Our clients are having to address sustainability issues whether they invest in, develop, manage, or occupy buildings. It is not only changing the advice that they need from us, but it is increasingly underpinning their criteria when selecting advisors.
JLL has been quick to respond to this and we are starting to lead the industry with our Building a Better Tomorrow sustainability agenda. Through this ambitious global program we are injecting sustainability into every corner of our business; from the offices we occupy to the services we provide.
While we are making progress, we must not forget that big challenges still remain, not least in furthering our understanding of how buildings might be affecting our health. If our appetite for healthy lifestyles grows at the pace experts predict, the buildings of tomorrow will need to be more than just green: they will also need to play their part in helping us be healthier, happier and more productive.