GRESB guidance update: What you need to know.

GRESB has now released its updated guidance for the 2021 Real Estate Assessment. We advise many of our market-leading Real Estate clients on the GRESB assessments and help them to achieve impressive GRESB ratings each year. Here is our interpretation of the updated guidance:

Resilience module questions have been added

GRESB has committed to making limited changes to the assessment this year. The largest update is the inclusion of the resilience module within the survey. However, this will not be scored this year and will therefore not affect the overall GRESB scores. The rationale behind the inclusion of the resilience module is to align with TCFD reporting recommendations. It includes questions on climate-related risk, transition risk and physical risk. These questions will sit within the Risk Management section within the Management component. Other changes to specific indicators are uncommon. Where they do occur they are minor and mainly to improve assessment clarity.

The approach to scoring is unlikely to change, despite the impact of COVID-19

Within the Performance and Development components, there are no significant amendments. Within the Performance component, GRESB has confirmed that the approach to scoring the Like-for-Like % change and Data Coverage elements will remain unchanged, despite the impact of COVID-19. This could affect overall scoring for some participants. GRESB has also confirmed that they will keep the same thresholds that have been used previously for flagging outliers. But they might loosen the outlier thresholds after reviewing the submitted data, if they feel it is necessary.

A further move towards a performance-based assessment in the future.

The overall direction of travel for the survey continues to be towards a more performance-based assessment and GRESB has hinted at further changes in 2022 to achieve this.

The implementation of updated Building Certification validation criteria has been postponed.

The 2019 intention to implement updated Building Certification validation criteria in the 2021 Assessment has been postponed to future iterations of the Real Estate Assessment.

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