10 Oct 2018 - 10:00 CET

NN Group further improved ESG performance real estate assets

For the fourth consecutive year NN Group improved its score in the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB), outperforming the majority of the 850 GRESB participants. In the 2018 assessment, NN Group investments in private real estate improved its value weighted score from 74 to 80 (on a scale of 1 to 100). The relevant benchmark average is 66 (2017: 61). The portfolio maintained four stars out of five in the 2018 ranking.

The GRESB is a leading global standard for assessing real estate’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance. The assessments collect information regarding the sustainability performance of companies, funds and assets. This includes information on performance indicators such as energy, greenhouse gas emissions, water and waste.

Marieke van Kamp, Head of Private Markets at NN Group: ‘Real estate can contribute to society's social and environmental challenges. As a long-term investor, we believe it is essential to invest in measures that reduce environmental impacts and improve energy, water, and waste efficiency. The positive GRESB results help us to further invigorate ESG practices and engage with our suppliers, tenants, and external fund managers to strengthen their focus on sustainability, improve their performance and set high standards for corporate governance.’

Part of the gains that led to the improved NN scores were realised in the directly managed real estate portfolio. The main drivers are enhanced internal processes, an increased number of office buildings with sustainability certificates, and improved data collection.

NN also invests indirectly via private real estate funds. Reflecting on NN’s approach, Van Kamp said: ‘Raising awareness in the value chain helps to realise improvements. We urge all new funds and ventures in which we invest to participate in GRESB, we offer help to integrate ESG into their portfolio management and we monitor their performance. This year, we saw the majority of our funds improve their scores.’

For more information on NN Group’s Responsible Investment approach, please visit our website.