Asia follows closely with an average score of 78 – up three points from last year – while Europe is in third spot with an average score of 73 – up by two points from last year.
A key differentiator of Australia’s real estate landscape is its consolidated group of property investment groups, like Charter Hall, Dexus, GPT Group and Lendlease.
“These companies have large portfolios of office, retail and industrial assets within their funds under management and often have dedicated ESG teams that manage their reporting requirements,” says Connor McCauley, head of sustainability for JLL Australia and New Zealand. “When you have all of these companies reporting into GRESB, that increases Australia’s overall geographical competitiveness.”
However, Australia’s portfolio owners are facing increasing competition. This year, GRESB recorded its largest historical growth in participation globally – increasing 20%.
And the Americas recorded its largest leap in participation, with 30% year-on-year growth – a result put down to it being a larger market with inherently more growth opportunities. With 30% of the Americas benchmark consisting of first-year participants, its average GRESB score dropped by one point to 72. Europe recorded 16% growth.
“Increasing investor interest in ESG, along with emerging regulations and the unfolding climate crisis, is evidently driving sustainability’s rise up the priority list for real estate companies,” McCauley says.