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New Guidelines to build transparency in construction and real estate sector
04 October 2011
6 Meter Passage, Greenwich Peninsula Regeneration Limited (a Lend Lease and Quintain joint venture).
​Carbon emissions, the management and remediation of contaminated land, and sub-contracted labor practices are some of the sustainability issues that can now be reported by construction and real estate companies, thanks to new sector guidance published on 22 September 2011 by GRI.
During its lifecycle – from design and construction through to occupation, operation, and eventually demolition – a building has many different impacts on the environment and society, from the materials used in its construction to energy consumption during occupation. The built environment is responsible for more than 40 percent of global energy use and one third of global greenhouse gas emissions – and up to 80 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in our cities and towns. In order to improve the sustainability of the built environment, impacts at all stages of the lifecycle need to be considered.
Measuring, monitoring and reporting the sustainability of construction activities and buildings has suffered from a lack of consistency until now. This new tailored guidance aims to make reporting more relevant and cohesive for the sector.
GRI’s Construction and Real Estate Sector Supplement (CRESS) provides guidance for anyone who invests in, develops, constructs, or manages buildings, establishing the principles and indicators for reporting business strategy and performance. Specific issues covered in the new Supplement include building and materials certification, CO2 emissions, management and remediation of contaminated land and a range of labor and health and safety issues.
Maaike Fleur, Senior Manager Reporting Framework at GRI, said: “This new guidance will help construction and real estate companies be more transparent about the impacts their activities and assets have on the environment, economy and society. The built environment forms the structure in which communities function and is part of the landscape, so making sure companies in the construction and real estate sector have the tools to communicate their impacts is vital if we are to move to a sustainable economy.”
The Supplement has been developed according to a multi-stakeholder process – volunteers from construction and real estate companies, labor, non-governmental organizations and academia were brought together in a Working Group to develop the guidance. The public then commented on the draft in two Public Comment Periods. The Working Group took the consultation feedback into account and made further changes. The final version is now available on GRI’s website.
APG was one of the many organizations that provided members for the Working Group. Angelien Kemna, CIO at APG, adds: "The Indicators provided by GRI’s Construction and Real Estate Sector Supplement  will form an integral part of APG's investment process, assisting us in the due diligence process of new real estate investments and in engaging with our existing property investments. Ultimately, this should reduce the environmental impact of APG's real estate investments and improve the financial risk-return profile of our investments.”
Visit GRI’s website to learn more about the Construction and Real Estate Sector Supplement.