Important Updates to the 2018 GRESB Real Estate Assessment

As portfolios increase their sustainability performance, the benchmarks associated with ranking these funds must get better to continue moving the market. GRESB has made a number of changes to the 2018 GRESB Real Estate Assessment; here’s what you need to know.

High-level Changes to GRESB 2018 Assessment

New Numbering System: Real estate indicators have been renamed to associate the question with each aspect (e.g. Q1 of the Management Aspect becomes MA1, Q30.1). In the long term, this provides more flexibility in adding or removing indicators without affecting the entire Assessment structure.

Reduced number of scored open text boxes: The following are now not scored: MA1, MA4, RO3.2, SE11.1, NC1, NC14. However, these sections still need to be addressed in each Assessment.

Validation Plus Scope: In the past, GRESB would conduct on-site interviews to ensure reported data is accurate for a sample of buildings. Now, they are conducting off-site analysis of all evidence to ensure its accuracy. To ensure all evidence is reviewed accurately, we suggest utilizing the GRESB cover page for all documentation.

GRESB Certification Scheme List: Reports must use certifications that GRESB provides; that is, custom certifications are no longer accepted through the portal. Additionally, specific certification levels are now required. If a participant wants to add new schemes to the building certifications database, they must email [email protected]. Measurabl users can contact their dedicated Customer Success representative for assistance.

Carbon Emissions Scopes: Scope 1 and Scope 2 carbon emissions have been counted for years on GRESB, and this year Scope 3 (emissions from tenants) are now required as well. For Scope 2 emissions, you can now use market-based utility specific emissions.

For Measurabl users, here are a few tips for tracking this data accurately:

  • Any energy meters marked as "Tenant Paid by Tenant" or "Tenant Paid by Landlord" on the Data Utilities page is considered Scope 3 and data from those meters will be synced to Scope 3.
  • If you're only capturing common area energy data for a site, the leftover tenant square footage where data is not captured will show in the "Total Portfolio" column.
  • If you are tracking tenant data but it is combined with common area data, those meters should be marked as "Whole Site". Electricity and district data will be marked as Scope 2 and gas data is Scope 1. Both Scope 1 and Scope 2 have been counted in the past towards total GRESB points.

Asset-level Data Reporting: You’ll get more points for data quality and asset-level reporting on the 2018 GRESB Assessment. We conducted a webinar with GRESB, Heitman, and ULI Greenprint on the benefits of asset-level data for GRESB Assessments and Investor Grade Sustainability Data; catch up on the discussion. Here’s the breakdown of points awarded for asset-level reporting:

Energy (PI1.1): 1.5pts out of total 12pts (13%)

GHG (PI2.1): 0.5pts out of total 3.5pts (14%)

Water (PI3.1): 0.5pts out of total 3.5pts (14%)

Waste (PI4.1): 0.25pts out of total 3.25pts (8%)

Supplemental Modules: The Health & Well-being Module is still supplemental and will be officially scored next year. The Resilience Module is new this year and will be supplemental as GRESB iterates on the module. Measurabl will add these modules to its portal once they are scored portions of the GRESB Real Estate Assessment.

You can find the entire list of changes on the 2018 GRESB Real Estate Reference Guide.

GRESB 2018 Updates for Measurabl Users

To support Measurabl users in the completing their 2018 GRESB Assessment, here are 3 updates that will make this reporting season easier than ever:

Exterior Meters: Measurabl users can mark meters as “exterior”, which will aid properties with parking lots, outdoor space, and other sites with meters outside of the primary building.

Directly vs. Indirectly Managed Sites: Users can mark their sites in Measurabl as “direct” or “indirect” so that portfolios can accurately report their properties.

Auto-response Check: Measurabl users can run auto-response checks for GRESB reports, in addition to the expert response check that Measurabl Customer Success representatives provide to Pro and Premium subscribers. This feature will be available in May 2018.

Other parts of GRESB look different? Catch up on 2017 GRESB Real Estate Assessment changes in case you missed a change in last year’s assessment. You can find full details on changes made in the 2018 GRESB Real Estate Reference Guide.

Measurabl empowers any company, regardless of size or type, to achieve sustainability using software to measure, manage, and act upon data. Our online software that lets you quickly and accurately file sustainability reports such as GRESB, CDP and GRI. Learn more, or get started with a free trial.