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Since last year, nearly a third more listed property companies have achieved the highest level of compliance with the European Public Real Estate Association's best practice recommendations in sustainability reporting (sBPR.) Five more companies obtained "Gold Awards" at EPRA's annual conference in Berlin.
JLL's Sustainability team, which advises EPRA on the recommendations, judged that Befimmo, Hammerson, Icade, IGD-Immobiliare Grande Distribuzione and London Metric Property had attained the "Gold Award" level in their public reporting and disclosure on sustainability. They now join 16 other companies that have already achieved this level of compliance under new and more demanding criteria introduced a year ago.
Philip Charls, EPRA CEO said: "The real estate industry has a huge responsibility to minimise its impact on the environment and this year's awards show how EPRA members are responding. The recent Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark survey highlighted how the listed sector is setting and raising standards for the rest of the industry to follow, underscoring why Europe's public property companies offer investors access to high-quality assets and pro-active management teams."
Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) gave European listed companies a superior rating to their peers in North America and Asia, while maintaining their lead over the lower-scoring non-listed sector in Europe. The gaps between the average GRESB score for European real estate relative to global leader Australia/New Zealand also narrowed, the survey showed.
JLL assessed 91 listed real estate companies in the FTSE EPRA/Nareit Developed EMEA Index for public disclosure of their sustainability performance. It found that 59% reported at least one performance measure and that 54% improved their disclosures from last year. Three companies – Icade, IGD and London Metric – went straight to Gold awards from nothing a year ago.
Matthew Tippett, Director in JLL's Upstream Sustainability Services, commented: "The EPRA sBPR awards have helped sustainability reporting gain momentum amongst publicly listed real estate companies. Quality disclosure of environmental performance sends a clear message to shareholders that companies are effectively managing environmental risks and opportunities. This year 32% of companies received an award which we see as a positive sign."
The 16 other companies awarded "Gold" for meeting the highest compliance of EPRA's sBPR are: British Land, Beni Stabili, Citycon, Cofinimmo, Derwent London, Eurocommercial Properties, Foncière des Régions, Grainger, Great Portland Estates, Intu Properties, Klépierre, Land Securities, SEGRO, Unibail-Rodamco and Workspace. An additional eight companies achieved "silver" or "bronze" awards.
EPRA established its sBPRs in 2011 to encourage listed companies in Europe to report their sustainability performance in a consistent and standardised way. The data acts as a useful tool for assessing potential risks that are not conveyed in traditional reporting.
This year's sBPR awards are based on new guidelines adopted by EPRA late last year. These include seven new performance measures, three additional overarching recommendations and an update to its existing sustainability requirements.
As part of its efforts to raise standards and disclosure of sustainability performance by the listed property sector EPRA will hold its first workshop dedicated to this and related issues in November.
Olivier Elamine, CEO of alstria office REIT and Chairman of the EPRA Sustainability Committee said: "The growing ranks of gold award winners show how seriously listed companies are taking sustainability, demonstrating that there has been real buy-in into EPRA's efforts in this domain. It's highly encouraging to see how quickly the new reporting guidelines have been adopted in order to give stakeholders greater transparency on a company's environmental impact."
Notes to editors
The full report and list of winners can be found here
The European Public Real Estate Association is the voice of the listed European real estate sector. With more than 220 active members, EPRA represents over EUR 350 billion of real estate assets and 90% of the market capitalisation of the FTSE EPRA/NAREIT Europe Index. Through the provision of better information to investors, improvement of the general operating environment, encouragement of best practices and the cohesion and strengthening of the industry, EPRA works to encourage greater investment in listed real estate companies in Europe.
For more information, please contact:
Steve Hays, Bellier Financial: +31 (0)20 419 0901