The Green Cities Company Leads with Innovation and Transparency in ESG Reporting
The Green Cities Company has created a broader and more inclusive platform to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals within our firm and a more transparent measurement system for our investors. The result, The Green Cities Index (GCI), is an innovative and unique approach to measuring material ESG impacts throughout our portfolio.
Driven by the firm’s core values – constant innovation, sustainability focus, human focus, community engagement, institutional rigor, and success to be proud of – an in-depth materiality assessment was conducted to identify the primary ESG-related impacts to our business. These impacts were then categorized into five pillars which comprise The Green Cities Index: Environmental Impact, Climate Change Mitigation, Resilience, Health and Wellbeing, and Equitable Communities.
Within each ESG pillar are a set of strategies with measurable outcomes, many applied uniformly across the portfolio such as alternative transportation options and community partnerships and others applied strategically where the opportunity exists for maximum impact, such as onsite energy production or a rooftop garden. A sixth pillar, ESG at Home, assesses our corporate policies and procedures and the environmental impacts associated with our corporate operations which will be featured in future reporting. The result is a new proprietary framework which both represents our ESG goals and functions as our framework for measuring and reporting our ESG accomplishments to our stakeholders.
The GCI covers the entire portfolio and guides the tactical execution of ESG goals within the various funds, strengthening the firm’s commitment around ESG and showcasing our desire to redefine green investing in the real estate investment space. Our first annual Environmental and Community Impact Report structured around the new GCI was issued in April 2021. The report highlights our overall investment approach, features case studies for each ESG pillar, and presents detailed and measurable outcomes at the portfolio, fund and asset levels. With this new ESG framework, we maintain our long-standing commitment to reporting detailed asset-level environmental impacts while significantly expanding reportable data around resilience, climate change mitigation, health and wellbeing, and equitable communities. We believe positive results in each of these categories have a direct and beneficial impact to investment returns and therefore we evaluate ESG priorities as an opportunity to add value similar to tenant amenities or a building’s interior aesthetic.
Additionally, in 2020 The Green Cities Company provided substantial ESG disclosure to Preqin one of the leading providers of data, analytics and insights to the alternative assets community. A new feature within the Preqin platform is the ESG module which gives investors visibility into the ESG disclosures of fund managers within the private capital market, including commercial real estate. The Green Cities Company scored 27/37 for ESG disclosure – a 73% rating – where the average for investment firms across the world at this time is 5%. We are proud to partner with Preqin on ESG disclosure to promote the importance of ESG considerations in investment decisions.
Through the GCI and Preqin, and as demonstrated by the firm’s commitment to reporting under industry leading ESG frameworks such as PRI and GRESB, The Green Cities Company leads with innovation in ESG to create investor value.