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Influential individuals gather to discuss the upward trend in sustainability disclosure of the global real estate industry
London, 13th September 2013 - Jones Lang LaSalle hosted a lively reception to launch the European results of the 2013 Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) on Thursday 12th September at its Warwick Street offices in London. Over 100 influential individuals from the listed and private property sector gathered to discuss the increase in sustainability disclosure and how investors are using this information to influence their investment decisions.
GRESB, a leading benchmarking organisation for real estate companies and funds has a mission to enhance and protect shareholder value by evaluating and improving sustainability practices in the global real estate sector. This year 292 European property companies and funds participated in the GRESB Survey, representing $650 billion of value. In 2013, 53 European participants achieved the ‘Green Stars’ status, making up almost half of the total Green Stars worldwide.
This year’s GRESB launch event included keynote presentations from Jones Lang LaSalle Sustainability Director, Sophie Walker and Philippa Shire of GRESB , followed by guest speakers and a panel discussion moderated by Bill Hughes from Legal & General Property .
Guy Grainger, Chief Executive of Jones Lang LaSalle UK, said: “This year’s launch event was the best yet. GRESB’s efforts on reporting the social and environmental performance of the property industry is vitally important and through this, the real estate world is gradually beginning to incorporate sustainability into its everyday business practices.”
Grainger continues: “This year’s event at our Warwick Street offices was a truly positive day, with attendees openly sharing their thoughts and experiences of GRESB and how it can be further improved.”
Sophie Walker, Sustainability Director at Jones Lang LaSalle, added: “2013 is a milestone year in sustainability disclosure for investors. We’ve seen the launch of key frameworks putting emphasis on “material” disclosure for mainstream investors, the first UK companies getting to grips with mandatory carbon disclosure and the biggest stock exchange - NYSE Euronext - becoming the 8th stock exchange to join the UN sustainability regime. GRESB’s upward trend in disclosure shows that the real estate industry is responding positively in this milestone year, with sustainability gradually being driven in to the nuts and bolts of investment decisions and operational management.”
Sander Paul van Tongeren, co-founder of GRESB, comments: “It is GRESB’s mission to foster transparency in the sustainability performance of property companies and funds. The UK is a very transparent market with 101 respondents (19 percent of all respondents) participating in the 2013 GRESB survey.”
Van Tongeren continues: “One of our ongoing goals is to improve sustainability practices in the real estate sector, therefore it is very promising to see that the real estate sector is significantly reducing its environmental impact, decreasing energy consumption by 4.8 percent over the 2011-2012 period – equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of 163,000 homes.”
Bill Hughes, Managing Director at Legal & General Property, said: "GRESB is becoming increasingly influential in raising the profile of sustainability, by encouraging disclosure, and setting the bar in terms of what is required in 21st century property ownership. It is pleasing to see the adoption of GRESB in Europe grow, as best practice in sustainability evolves."
Liz Peace, Chief Executive at British Property Federation said: “We are delighted to be a supporter of GRESB. We continue to be encouraged by GRESB’s momentum and welcome its influence upon standardisation of measurement and reporting on sustainability outcomes.”
Notes to editors
-To see a copy of the 2013 Global Real Estate (GRESB) Report results go to www.gresb.com
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