A benchmark of sustainability performance by real estate companies and funds across North America has found an improved level of, especially in Canada.

The 220 firms and funds were reviewed by GRESB - the global environmental, social and governance (ESG) benchmark for real assets -   on behalf of 75 institutional investors.

“There was an increase in both average scores and the number of participants from Canadian entities, who have long showed leadership in the region.” notes Neil Pegram, Director of Americas.

The report shows that the regional average score was 70, up from 64 last year; beating the global average of 68 and coming second only to Australia and New Zealand’s 76.

The North American entities participating in the GRESB benchmark is the largest in dollar volume terms with U$1.5 billion in total Assets Under Management.

“The collective industry leadership exhibited by the record number of GRESB participants in North America reinforces the real estate industry’s strong ESG momentum and continued progress,” remarked Dan Winters, GRESB Head of Americas. “With overall sustainability scores increasing once again the industry is getting on with the job of improving sustainability performance and communicating this to investors.”

Improvement needed in some areas
For energy consumption, GHG emissions and water consumption, the average year-on-year reductions posted by the North American sector fell behind global averages.

North American entities reported a 1.8% reduction in energy consumption (compared to a 2.5% global reduction); GHG emissions are down 2.9% in the region (globally, emissions are down 4.9%), and water consumption increased by 0.3%, compared to a global fall of 0.5%.

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