The abrdn European Balanced Property Fund, managed by abrdn, has received 5 stars in the 2022 Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB), the highest rating.
The GRESB has become the world’s largest benchmark on ESG for real estate and infrastructure investments. The index measures a fund’s ESG performance, awarding Green Stars for achieving an absolute level of performance and a score out of five for performance relative to other participants.
The fund has consistently improved its GRESB ESG score year-over-year, leading to its highest score this year, as well as the top spot in its group of 51 core European diversified private equity funds. and in turn, achieve a record figure of 92 points.
Gert-Jan Kapiteyn, Fund Manager, commented: “We are very proud of this achievement, especially with a real estate portfolio of this nature with positions in different geographical locations, interest groups and asset types. We have worked hard to ensure that the fund has a complete ESG strategy and we have put it into practice for the last 10 years. We are delighted that this has been recognized again.”
This proactive ESG strategy, which has contributed to the GRESB score, has driven the following initiatives:
- High degree of coverage of tenant data (97% of the portfolio by area), which has helped to report on the level of carbon emissions and feed zeroing plans.
- Solar PV is installed in nearly a quarter of the property portfolio.
- Analysis of the operating performance of your properties across the portfolio through BREEAM in-use assessments and sustainability audits that identify actions to improve performance.
- An active engagement program with occupants across the portfolio.
- High sustainability standards in new developments with assets that achieve BREEAM Outstanding and LEED Gold.
Across the other abrdn funds, 21 “Green Stars” were awarded, showing strong ESG performance. The European Balanced fund is one of only four funds in abrdn to have received Five Star status.
Neil Slater, Global Head of Real Assets, has added: “In real estate, we have a huge responsibility to reduce the environmental impact of our buildings. We also have a fiduciary responsibility to investors, who want to make sure that the way they invest is relevant to the environment. It’s about achieving a impact the right way: doing what’s right for society while delivering long-term profitability. The fact that the European Balanced Fund consistently improves its GRESB score and now ranks first in the peer group is testimony to our commitment to fully integrate ESG into the development and management of our assets.”