09/12/2018 | by
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Four REITs were named among the top leaders in sustainability performance by the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB), the global ESG standard used for real assets.

Equity Residential (NYSE: EQR), Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc. (NYSE: HST), Kilroy Realty Corp. (NYSE: KRC), and Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (Paris: UL.PA), were distinguished as global sector leaders on the 2018 GRESB Real Estate Assessment released Tuesday.

The assessment recognizes real estate companies and funds annually that are taking measurable steps to incorporate sustainability into their operations and communicate their performance to investors and other stakeholders.

This year’s dataset covers 207 entities representing 61.2 percent coverage of the major developed listed real estate indices, including 75 of the top 100 largest REITs by market cap. A record 903 real estate companies, funds, and developers reported to GRESB this year, covering more than 79,000 assets across 64 countries. That’s a significant increase over last year’s 850 participants representing 77,000 assets.

GRESB also highlighted the increased asset-level reporting on ESG data by more real estate companies and funds than ever before. Close to 50,000 assets were reported at the asset level, more than doubling the 2017 number.

“We are excited to see increased participation in GRESB and congratulate our members that were recognized as global sector leaders,” said Fulya Kocak, Nareit’s vice president of ESG issues.

“Participation in GRESB has grown again in 2018 as investors seek standardized and validated ESG data to assess the sustainability of their real estate assets,” Sander Paul van Tongeren, co-founder and managing director at GRESB, said in a press release. Van Tongeren noted that investor interest and benchmarking are “empowering the spread of sustainable best practices” around the world.

Nareit’s annual Leader in the Light Awards, which honor Nareit member companies that have demonstrated superior and continuous sustainability practices, uses GRESB data as part of its selection process.