Update for the 2022 Reporting Year: Arc supports GRESB participants

Author: 
Chris Pyke
Published on: 
Sunday, November 21, 2021

GRESB is the global benchmark for the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance of real asset companies and funds. Many partners help GRESB participants organize and submit data. Arc works on the other side of the GRESB process; helping portfolio managers do more with asset data and achieve higher GRESB scores.

Highlights

  • GRESB participants have multiple options to enter, link, or sync asset data, including manual data enter, spreadsheet uploads, or connecting to ENERGY STAR, Measurabl, Bractlet, Energy Watch, Wattics, QLEAR, Schneider Electric, and other partners. 
  • Arc tools provide opportunities to improve GRESB scores with operational building certifications, energy ratings, waste management, employee engagement, tenant satisfaction, and risk assessment.

Getting Started

Arc provides several pathways for GRESB participants to upload or link GRESB Asset data:

1. Arc can upload a 2020 GRESB Asset Spreadsheet. Arc users can find this tool in the Portfolio section. It is available to all Arc users. Uploading a GRESB Asset Spreadsheet translates the GRESB structure into Arc and provides estimated Arc Performance Scores for energy, water, and waste. These are accompanied by an indication of the number of assumptions made during this conversion (e.g., estimates of occupancy, schedule, etc.). Arc users can add data or edit parameters to generate full Arc Performance Scores and, for Arc Essentials users, create LEED Readiness assessments as part of project and portfolio reports.  

2. Arc users can connect projects via a partner. Arc maintains data connections with a growing ecosystem of organizations that collect and manage asset data for GRESB submission, including arbnco, ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, Energy Watch, Meaurabl, Schneider Electric, Bracelet, Wattics, and QLEAR. Data managed by any of these partners can be connected to Arc. More information about how to activate each connection is found in the Apps section after signing into Arc. 

3. Arc users can upload multiple projects via spreadsheet. Arc has a custom Microsoft Excel workbook to load multiple projects. This spreadsheet can be used to organize and load any number of projects. It allows for the bulk entry of any required Arc field, an advantage over the GRESB spreadsheet. The workbook is available upon request from contact@arcskoru.com. The Arc team will advise users on the use of the workbook, and Arc will load the data. Arc may charge a setup fee to support large or complex portfolios.    

Improving GRESB Scores

Linking or loading projects is a starting point to understand sustainability performance and, in turn, earn higher GRESB scores. For 2022, new Arc tools and capabilities have expanded opportunities to improve GRESB outcomes. These include opportunities that can be realized over relatively short periods of time (e.g., risk assessments, energy ratings).

1. Building Certification. Arc powers LEED certification for existing spaces and whole buildings. LEED certifications earn GRESB points for operational building certificates (BC 1.2). It is important to note that portfolio managers with existing LEED Building Design & Construction certifications (BD&C) can improve their scores by using performance-based LEED Recertification to achieve an operational building certificate. This streamlined process relies on performance data and past certification.

Pro Tip: Performance-based recertification provides a fast, streamlined way to earn GRESB points by adding operational building certificates to earlier design/construction building certificates.

2. Energy Ratings. Arc can generate Performance Certificates. Energy ratings receive recognition for GRESB indicator BC 2. Performance Certificates provide Arc Performance Scores and key performance indicators for specified time periods. Performance Certificates are available by subscription or in discounted bundles for portfolio users.  

Pro Tip: Arc energy ratings can be generated on-demand for any space or building. Arc recommends assets have 12-months of monthly energy data.

3. Occupant surveys. Occupant surveys are an integral part of the Human Experience performance category. Arc surveys can earn GRESB points related to employee and tenant engagement, including SE 2.1 and TC 2.1. These surveys are available to all Arc users. If needed, survey responses can be exported and submitted as documentation by generating a report from the “gear” at the top of the Meters & Surveys menu.

Pro Tip: Arc Human Experience information should be entered into GRESB Portal as “independent third party” with an “overall satisfaction” metric. Response rates are calculated and displayed in the Arc dashboard.

4. Waste management. Arc meets GRESB requirements for waste management (RA5).  Assets tracking waste in Arc based on LEED guidelines can earn GRESB points for on-going waste performance monitoring, recycling, and waste stream audits.

Pro Tip: Waste audits can contribute to both GRESB and LEED. They are a useful tool to understand and manage waste streams. More information about the Arc Waste Performance Score and the support LEED v2009 waste stream audit credit.

5. Risk assessment. Arc Climate Risk tools help GRESB participants earn points for the Risk Assessment for Standing Investments Portfolio criteria (RA1). This GRESB indicator includes an extensive list of options. Arc supports these in two ways:

  • All Arc users can calculate energy scores for source energy and GHG emissions -- supporting a positive response to the energy efficiency, energy supply, and GHG emissions criteria
  • Arc Climate Risk adds support for the flooding and natural hazard criteria

As with other GRESB criteria, these assessments are scored as a percentage of the total portfolio. 

Pro Tip: Arc Climate Risk can quickly increase portfolio coverage for transition and physical risk.

 

Summary of Arc support for 2022 GRESB indicators

2021 GRESB Indicators Arc Solution Notes
Operational building certifications (BC 1.2) LEED O+M certification
LEED Recertification
LEED Zero
No documentation required; reported as a percentage of floor area covered

Note: GRESB participants with LEED “building certificates at the time of design/construction” can earn more points by using Arc to pursue “operational building certifications” using performance-based recertification.
Energy Ratings (BC 2) Arc Performance Certificates No documentation required; reported as a percentage of floor area covered

Note: GRESB recommends aligning the coverage of energy ratings with the definition of assets used in the Asset Portal. This means a one-to-one relationship between Arc performance certificates and assets.
Risk Assessment for Standing Investments Portfolio (RA 1) Energy Scores for Source Energy and GHG Emissions.

Climate Risk with Moody’s ESG Solutions Physical Risk Assessment (global) or Risk Footprint (USA-only)
RA1 risk assessments are scored based on the percentage of portfolio floor area covers.

Energy Scores for Source Energy and GHG Emissions address energy efficiency, energy supply, and GHG emissions.

Climate Risk metrics address flooding and natural hazards
Waste Management Measures (RA 5) On-going waste performance monitoring

Recycling

Waste stream audit
These RA5 criteria can be met through Arc waste audits, tracking, and reporting.
Employee Health & Well-being Survey (SE 2.1)
  • Independent third party
    • Overall satisfaction score
Tenant Satisfaction Survey (TC 2.1)
  • Independent third party
    • Overall satisfaction score
Human Experience → occupant satisfaction survey The SE 2.1 and TC 2.1 criteria can be met using the Arc Human Experience surveys. These LEED-approved, third-party surveys provide metrics for response rate, occupant satisfaction, and information on sources of satisfaction or dissatisfaction.
Tenant Engagement Program (TC1) Provide tenants with feedback on energy/water consumption and waste The TC1 criteria can be met using the Arc “dynamic racetrack” -- this can be displayed on webpages or kiosks. The racetrack is available to all Arc projects (Manage → Settings). This sample project provides an example.

*More information about evidence-based GRESB indicators is available in the 2020 Real Estate Reference Guide - Appendix 2a Validation.

 

More Information

Responding to GRESB can be complicated, and the Arc team is available to help users understand specific criteria and leverage existing tools. Contact the Arc team for more information, including volume pricing for energy ratings and climate risk.