Khalid Husain, head of ESG at Cohen & Steers, participated in a video interview during REITwise 2022: Nareit’s Law, Accounting & Finance Conference held in Orlando, Florida on March 23-25.
Husain said there’s “very good voluntary disclosure” on ESG data in the REIT space, and that good reporting standards and platforms like GRESB facilitate the viewing and reporting of this data.
He noted that there are more than 750 ESG-related policies and regulations in place worldwide that have emerged over the past 20 years because society at large cares about issues like climate change, diversity, inequality, and safety.
“As investors, we’re particularly in tune to the impacts around financial materiality of ESG on companies, as well as things like reputational risk and bottom-line business and financial outlook,” Husain said.
On certain topical issues like climate change, Husain said that while investors will continue to value emissions data, he believes the scope of what they want to see will expand.
“We also want to understand how companies are using scenario analysis when assumptions are built into those, what kinds of decarbonization pathways they anticipate undertaking, the risks of physical climate change, and really how this all comes together in terms of the company’s strategy, risk management, and overall governance,” he said.