All about the GRESB assessment
We are proud to be taking part in the GRESB (Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark) assessment process through the GRESB Foundation, which is an independent, not-for-profit organisation that sets global standards for assessing the environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance of real estate, infrastructure and other assets. The resulting GRESB benchmark is a widely recognised and influential global ESG benchmark, which serves as a standardised framework for evaluating and comparing the sustainability efforts of different entities.
GRESB was established in 2009 as a response to the growing demand for transparency and accountability regarding sustainability practices. It provides real estate companies and funds with a platform to measure, benchmark, and improve their ESG performance. GRESB assessments are conducted annually, and participants receive a benchmark score and feedback report, allowing them to compare their performance against industry peers. The assessment provides valuable insights into ESG strengths and weaknesses, helping companies identify areas for improvement and establish sustainability goals.
GRESB assesses various aspects of sustainability, including energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, water management, waste management, building certifications, tenant engagement, diversity and inclusion, and corporate governance. The assessment is based on a set of criteria and indicators developed by GRESB, which are continuously updated to reflect evolving industry best practice and stakeholder expectations.
Participating companies and funds submit their ESG data to GRESB, which then evaluates and scores their performance. The benchmark provides insights into the relative strengths and weaknesses of participants, allowing investors to make informed decisions about sustainability and ESG considerations in their real estate investments.
The GRESB assessment covers various aspects of sustainability and ESG, including:
- Management and policy: the effectiveness of sustainability policies, management systems, and stakeholder engagement practices.
- Performance indicators: the environmental performance of assets, such as energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, water usage, and waste management.
- Risks and opportunities: the identification and management of ESG risks and opportunities, including climate-related risks, social impact, and resilience planning.
- Stakeholder engagement: how organisations engage and communicate with stakeholders, including tenants, employees, investors, and local communities.
- Reporting and certification: the organisation's transparency and reporting practices, as well as any certifications or standards achieved.
Why we're taking part
We have always been committed to maximising energy efficiency at our data centres to reduce the environmental impact of our data centre operations. This environmental commitment is reflected in many of our working practices at our London-edge facility, including energy efficient adiabatic cooling, our renewable energy contract including full carbon offsetting, and the use of HVO (Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil) in our back-up generators. Our Manchester site has also undertaken environmental innovations, including a smart energy battery storage system, which enables the facility to store electricity from the national grid at times of low demand, acting as a reserve during peak tariff times and reducing the facility’s carbon footprint. And now the process of completing the GRESB assessment is giving us a unique opportunity to measure our ESG performance and, importantly, to identify areas for improvement.