The GRESB Real Estate Assessment asks extensive questions around all facets of sustainability for each company or fund. This article will run through the keys of a successful GRESB report - Beginning with these essential steps:
- Provide our team with your GRESB portal login credentials.
- Tell us if you’re a first-time GRESB reporter, or if you’re a veteran!
- Verify that your portfolio’s data is in top shape all the way down to the site-level.
- To help your Site Managers get their data in reporting-shape for your portfolio, please direct them to this guide, which explains the four main data points to get into Measurabl: Utility Data, Site Details, Projects & Audits, and Certifications & Ratings.
Below are 5 keys to success when reporting to GRESB! For more information on in-depth GRESB Response questions, please visit our GRESB FAQs.
1. Set Reporting Boundary Accurately:
According to the GRESB Reference Guide, you must report on all assets that were operational at any point in the reporting year that you own (not leased), even if it was bought/sold in that year. This now includes any assets where your % of ownership is above 0%.
When in doubt, report the asset.
This may differ from how you defined “reporting boundary” in the past. There’s a tendency to “turn off” assets if you're missing data, if tenants are in a triple net lease (NNN), if an asset was bought or sold in that year, or a host of other reasons. However, the GRESB Reference Guide states that any asset that was operational at any point in the reporting year must be included in the reporting boundary. Any deviation from this rule should be addressed in the “reporting boundary” section of the survey.
2. Get Your Property Types Right:
If your site contains only one property type, this should be an easy mapping for you. But, if you have a site with multiple property types, you have 2 options: 1) Report the site as all one property type, or 2) Report the site as separate property types.
If the site's main property type is 75% or more of the total property floor space, option 1 is the best choice. However, if the secondary property type is more than 25%, option 2 is your only choice. A site with more than one “majority” property type is called “mixed use” and should be broken out by each majority space.
Don’t worry – our system correctly identifies each site’s property types, which will roll-up correctly in GRESB. However, please note that you can override the property type in the 'Included Sites' page in the GRESB survey if needed.
In addition to property types, be sure to define your sites as Landlord Controlled vs. Tenant Controlled assets correctly. Landlord managed assets are properties where the landlord has operational control – the power to create and implement policies on how the building is run. If both the tenant and the landlord can introduce these types of policies, the asset should still be reported as a landlord controlled asset. Only in cases where tenants are the primary policymakers (i.e. triple net leases) should the asset be reported as tenant controlled asset.
- How do I mark my site as Landlord Controlled vs. Tenant Controlled within Measurabl?
- Measurabl will automatically assign your properties as Landlord or Tenant Controlled on the Included Sites page in our GRESB module based on whether or not you have common area spaces.
- If you want to report it as the opposite control type, you can click the vertical ellipses menu and then click “Report as Landlord/Tenant Controlled”.
- You can also modify control-type at the meter-level by changing between “Paid by Landlord” and “Paid by Tenant”, which is important if you have a Landlord Controlled property with leasable spaces.
3. Allocate Meter Data:
Define what utility data you’re collecting as it relates to your building (i.e. Whole Building, Tenant, Common Area). The leasing structure can help determine the various ways you define meter data. Be sure you’re correctly assigning meters and meter data to the appropriate responsible parties.
For example, if the landlord (i.e. you) pays the utility costs for a particular meter, you can easily report on the data coming from that meter. However, if the tenant is responsible for the utility payment and the landlord does not have access to the meter data, you may not have full data coverage for the building. By knowing which meters are for which spaces at your site, you can accurately report your data coverage.
Some common scenarios:
- Full Operational Control: You can see and control the utility data used at that site. You have “Whole Site” data. (e.g. Office sites)
- Partial Operational Control: You can see and control the utility data for the common areas and vacant spaces only. Your meter represents “Common Area” data. (e.g. Multifamily or Retail sites)
- Triple Net Lease: You don’t have access to any of the utility data that your tenant uses. (e.g. Industrial sites)
4. Review Your Data Coverage:
Data coverage is the portion of your portfolio for which data is available in comparison to the total floor area for which data could have been collected. This figure is reported as a percentage of the data you collect vs. what you could collect (a.k.a. Max Coverage). Your Max Coverage should sum to your total portfolio floor space, even if you don’t have operational control of the entire space.
Understanding your meter data allocations, helps you define your data coverage.
Worried about how that hurts your score? Don’t be! You’re compared to peers with similar assets. Chances are that if you’re having difficulty collecting tenant data, so are your peers.
Not sure what “counts” towards your data coverage? In Measurabl, you can quickly assess which sites have full data coverage, and which ones need data or needs attention.
5. Go Beyond Utility Data
Your sites are so much more than utility data. Though this is a great indication of your footprint, your building performance is highlighted every year with efficiency projects, audits, certifications, and energy ratings. Utilize your GRESB report to shine a light on your achievements.
All these items, along with many other questions in GRESB, ask for associated portfolio coverage. Similar to "Data Coverage", this is equivalent to the floor area that's certified or rated in comparison to the total portfolio floor area. Even if only a small portion of your building is certified, such as the retail portion at the bottom of your office building, this still counts! Make sure to only include the retail space floor area for portfolio coverage, though.
Remember that you can report on projects and audits from the last 3 years in your submission.
Not only will tracking these enhancements make reporting significantly easier, it will ensure you’re getting maximum points. Remember, if you measure what matters, it’s easier to improve upon success.