WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 16, 2021) – Arc, an affiliate of Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI), announced today that it has entered into a joint venture agreement with Woonerf Inc. and Development Bank of Japan to create Arc Japan. Arc is a global technology company that operates the Arc performance platform, which allows professionals overseeing the sustainability of buildings and places to collect data, manage and benchmark progress, measure impact and improve performance. Arc empowers its users to understand and enhance their sustainability performance, improve occupant experience and indoor environmental air quality, report on environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance and pursue green building certification.
The incorporation of Arc Japan will help meet growing demand from institutional investors for ESG management tools and facilitate the growth of LEED in the market. Projects can use Arc to manage, track and improve their sustainability performance over time, and to work toward LEED certification or verify LEED performance on an annual basis to keep their certification up to date. Arc also supports ESG compliance by helping portfolio managers understand, analyze and improve the ESG performance of their assets, companies and funds. By submitting data to the platform, portfolio managers can quickly identify and improve under-performing assets or identify assets that are performing well enough to meet LEED certification requirements. The Arc platform can also be used to track sustainability key performance indicators (KPIs), including energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, indoor environmental quality, waste management and water consumption at a project level or across a portfolio.
Japanese financial institutions and pension funds are poised to play an increasingly critical role in the global property market in the near term. Analysts estimate they could deploy more than $300 billion into property over the next decade. This reflects larger real asset allocations from the Government Pension Investment Fund and other influential institutional investors. These investors are increasingly paying attention to sustainable development and ESG, and they are seeking the kind of measured, real world performance metrics and tools that Arc can provide. This creates new opportunities for positive impacts across Japan and around the world.
“Japan is one of the fastest growing ESG markets in the world,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, CEO of Arc and President & CEO of GBCI. “And the promising real estate investment landscape in the country is only expected to accelerate its importance on the global stage in the coming years, while also helping to move Japan towards decarbonization and more sustainable development. The creation of Arc Japan will serve to continue to advance demand for LEED in Japan and enable us to advance our mission both inside and outside of Japan.”
Hiroki Hiramatsu, Founder and CEO of Woonerf, has been appointed as CEO of Arc Japan. Hiroki brings more than 30 years of experience in the financial and green building and landscape design industries where he has promoted sustainable urban renovation through integrating green building concepts and landscape design, blending it with the green economy and financial systems. Hiroki has earned the distinction of LEED Fellow, the highest recognition available for a LEED professional in the green building industry, and has also achieved the LEED AP BD+C and ND professional credentials.
“Japan is accelerating its commitment towards decarbonization and digital transformation – both in the public and private sectors – and for these initiatives to succeed they must leverage sustainable financing,” said Hiramatsu. “During the course of this journey in front of us, one of the key questions Japan will face is how do we gauge the progress being made, since this is hard to visualize. Arc can provide evidence-based verification, which helps stakeholders communicate the progress they are making to each other and track milestones. In the coming years, I expect to see a disruptive change in behavior in the Japanese market with more and more business leaders opting for sustainability and green building certification – not only in the commercial real estate industry but across sectors. Arc provides a guideline for those seeking to make their businesses green.”
The Arc platform is already being leveraged by a variety of customers in Japan, such as investment managers, insurance companies, REITs, department stores, retailers, asset managers, banks, cities and more.