A New Era for GRESB – Building on Strong Foundations

November 16, 2020
Company Profiles
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AMSTERDAM – GRESB Management is pleased to announce that it has partnered with Summit Partners to acquire GRESB from GBCI. The GRESB team would like to thank GBCI for the support it has provided over the last six years to advance sustainable real assets and for allowing us to take this next step in our journey.

This new ownership allows us to establish an independent, non-profit foundation – the GRESB Foundation (or “Foundation”) – to own and govern the GRESB Standards upon which the GRESB Assessments are based. The Foundation Board will be constituted from GRESB Investor Members and will be responsible for reviewing and approving the Standards on an annual basis to ensure they remain investor-led and aligned with responsible investment principles.

“We welcome the establishment of a truly independent GRESB Foundation to govern the GRESB Standards and continue their development as investor needs evolve,” said Patrick Kanters, Managing Director Global Real Assets, APG Asset Management. “This is an important evolution to reinforce that GRESB is a by industry, for industry, mission-driven and investor-led organization. I look forward to serving on the Foundation Board alongside my former GRESB non-executive director colleagues – Deborah Ng, Head of Responsible Investing and Director, Total Fund Management, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and Mathieu Elshout Senior Director Private Real Estate, PGGM Investments – and other members.”

The role of the existing Real Estate and Infrastructure Advisory Boards (renamed as Standards Boards) and Benchmark Committees (renamed as Standards Committees) will be formalized under the governance of the Foundation and will continue to oversee the development and maintenance of the Standards.

GRESB BV will continue to be responsible for administering the GRESB Assessments, providing the benchmarks, promoting widespread adoption of the GRESB Standards and supporting investor and participant members. GRESB BV will become a benefit corporation and seek formal B-Corp certification, in order to build accountability for our mission into our legal structure and to protect this accountability over the long term.

Enabled by the capital commitment from our investment partner, we will grow our team in emerging markets and add more capacity to support participants with their reporting efforts. We will further invest in our data science and technology capabilities to uncover new ESG insights essential to sustainable investment decision making and to ensure the quality and reliability of the benchmark results.

With sound governance around the GRESB Standards, clearer accountability around our mission, and fresh investment into the GRESB platform, we are ready to embark on a new era of ESG performance assessment and benchmarking. This work will further standardize ESG data for the capital markets, enhance the management of sustainability risks, opportunities and impacts, and accelerate the growth of responsible investment.

“Thank you to so many of you who have been supporters of GRESB throughout our 10-year journey so far.” said Sander Paul van Tongeren, Co-founder and Managing Director, GRESB. “We’re looking ahead to a new era for GRESB with deeper industry involvement in our governance and greater capacity to deliver the ESG data and insights needed to navigate the transition to sustainable real assets at the speed and the scale that is now required.”

GRESB was established in 2009 by a group of large pension funds who wanted to have access to comparable and reliable data on the ESG performance of their investments. Acquired by GBCI in 2014, GRESB has grown to become the leading ESG benchmark for real estate and infrastructure investments across the world. GRESB employees are a diverse team of energetic individuals dedicated to advancing sustainable real assets. GRESB data covers US $5.3 trillion in real estate and infrastructure value and is used by more than 100 institutional and financial investors to make decisions that are leading to a more sustainable real asset industry. Learn more at GRESB.com.

GBCI is the premier organization independently recognizing excellence in green business industry performance and practice globally. Through rigorous certification and credentialing standards, GBCI drives adoption of green building and business practices. GBCI is the global certification body for the LEED green building program, TRUE zero waste, PEER, SITES, WELL, EDGE, ICP and RELi. Learn more at GBCI.org.

Founded in 1984, Summit Partners is a global alternative investment firm that is currently managing more than $21 billion in capital dedicated to growth equity, fixed income and public equity opportunities. Summit invests across growth sectors of the economy and has invested in more than 500 companies in technology, healthcare and other growth industries. These companies have completed more than 160 public equity offerings, and more than 200 have been acquired through strategic mergers and sales. Summit maintains offices in North America and Europe and invests in companies around the world. For more information, please see www.summitpartners.com or follow on LinkedIn

In the United States of America, Summit Partners operates as an SEC-registered investment advisor. In the United Kingdom, this document is issued by Summit Partners LLP, a firm authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Summit Partners LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC388179 and its registered office is at 11-12 Hanover Square, London, W1S 1JJ, UK. This document is intended solely to provide information regarding Summit Partners’ potential financing capabilities for prospective portfolio companies.

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