NAREIT's annual Leader in the Light Awards honor NAREIT member companies that have demonstrated superior and sustained sustainability practices.
The Leader in the Light Awards are presented to REITs in eight property sectors: Diversified; Global, for non-U.S. companies; Health Care; Industrial; Lodging/Resorts; Office; Residential; and Retail.
NAREIT has been presenting the Leader in the Light awards since 2005. Beginning in 2012, however, NAREIT modified its judging criteria to include the results of the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) Annual Survey.
Designed in 2009, GRESB's Annual Survey measures the environmental performance of property portfolios around the world. In 2014, 637 property comapnies and funds participated in the survey, representing $2.1 trillion in gross asset value (GAV) and covering 56,000 assets. The survey is endorsed and closely watched by many of the world's largest institutional investors, representing, in 2014, more than $5.5 trillion in institutional capital under management.
Incorporating the GRESB survey results into the Leader in the Light judging criteria enables the companies competing in Leader in the Light to measure their performance against a global benchmark.
"Sustainability is a critical issue – one that is becoming increasingly important to our industry and its investors," said NAREIT President and CEO Steven A. Wechsler. "Our inclusion of GRESB judging criteria in the Leader in the Light program reflects NAREIT's recognition of the global importance of this issue," he said.