IWBI and GRESB Deliver Report Demonstrating Alignment Between WELL and GRESB 2020

Jul 30, 2020 11:50 AM ET

NEW YORK – July 30, 2020 /3BL Media/ – The International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) and GRESB today released a report that outlines how the GRESB Real Estate Assessment is supported by the WELL Building Standard (WELL). Mapping WELL v2 pilot features to the 2020 GRESB Real Estate Assessment helps demonstrate the importance of health and well-being for organizations seeking to benchmark, report and improve their environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance through real estate.

The new report examines alignment between the WELL v2 pilot, as applied via WELL Certification and the WELL Portfolio program, and the 2020 GRESB Real Estate Assessment. IWBI compared the WELL and GRESB programs by analyzing their core themes, technical specifications and requirements, determining that WELL v2 features align with approximately 45 percent of the GRESB indicators. Specifically, the mapping report indicates that 36 out of the 80 GRESB 2020 indicators are aligned with WELL. As a result, organizations that are pursuing WELL Certification and/or engaging in the WELL Portfolio program are likely to have practices in place that improve their performance across the GRESB indicators. Similarly, entities utilizing GRESB are likely to be implementing strategies that make it easier to achieve WELL Certification and/or earn a higher WELL Portfolio Score. Organizations pursuing WELL Certification will also be recognized within GRESB’s Building Certifications Aspect.  

“As health and well-being emerge as a global leadership and market differentiation opportunity for property companies and funds around the world, forward-looking real estate companies and investors are increasingly incorporating ESG considerations into business operations,” said Roxana Isaiu, Director, Real Estate, GRESB.

“Through this report, we’re pleased to show that WELL and GRESB are complementary, and when used together, they can offer companies and investors a holistic, comprehensive and transparent approach to environmental and human sustainability,” said IWBI President Rachel Gutter. “GRESB provides a global standard for sustainability performance in real assets, and WELL adds to this through its comprehensive approach to assessing, validating and achieving specific health and wellness outcomes – delivering a powerful combination to make incremental improvements in health and well-being and positively impact the bottom line.”

WELL is the premier global rating system for buildings, interior spaces and communities seeking to implement, validate and measure features that support and advance human health and wellness. The performance-based program measures, certifies and monitors aspects of buildings that impact health across 10 core concepts. 

The WELL Portfolio program was launched to help owners, developers and tenants streamline and scale the health and wellness strategies found in WELL across multiple assets in their real estate portfolios and throughout their organizations. WELL Certification and WELL Portfolio have contributed to WELL’s rapid uptake across the globe, with over 600 million square feet of projects embracing WELL across 62 countries. 

Gutter noted that GRESB has been instrumental in making the connection between health and ESG. In 2016 GRESB launched the Health and Well-being Module, which provides participating companies and funds with practical tools for assessing and benchmarking the actions they are taking to promote health and well-being. The Module is predicated on the recognition that health and well-being is emerging as an important source of both risk and opportunity for property investors and companies. The 2019 GRESB Real Estate Assessment marked the year when health and well-being transitioned from an optional consideration in the Module to a required disclosure benchmarked in the core GRESB assessment, and WELL Certification can be utilized towards achieving a higher GRESB score. 

“The Health and Well-being Module started the process toward integrating health into reporting and benchmarking. Now the GRESB-WELL crosswalk brings this perspective into full view and provides a practical pathway to support continuous improvement in health and well-being,” added Isaiu. 

Click here to see the alignment between WELL and GRESB criteria. Following the GRESB 2020 reporting period ending August 1, IWBI will work with GRESB to complete a similar mapping exercise for the 2021 GRESB Real Estate Reporting Assessment.

About the International WELL Building Institute
The International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) is leading the global movement to transform our buildings, communities and organizations in ways that help people thrive. The WELL v2 pilot is the latest version of its popular WELL Building Standard (WELL), and the WELL Community Standard pilot is a district scale rating system that sets a new global benchmark for healthy communities. WELL is focused exclusively on the ways that buildings and communities, and everything in them, can improve our comfort, drive better choices, and generally enhance, not compromise, our health and wellness. IWBI mobilizes the wellness community through management of the WELL AP credential, the pursuit of applicable research, the development of educational resources, and advocacy for policies that promote health and wellness everywhere. IWBI is a participant of the United Nations Global Compact, the world’s largest corporate citizenship initiative, and helps companies advance the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through the use of WELL. More information on WELL can be found here.

Mission-driven and investor-led, GRESB is the environmental, social and governance (ESG) benchmark for real assets. It works in collaboration with the industry to provide standardized and validated ESG data to the capital markets. The GRESB 2019 real estate benchmark covers more than 1,000 property companies, real estate investment trusts (REITs), funds and developers, as well as 500 infrastructure funds and assets. Combined, GRESB represents USD $4.5 trillion in real asset value. More than 100 institutional investors, with over USD $22 trillion assets under management, use GRESB data to monitor their investments, engage with their managers and make decisions that lead to a more sustainable real asset industry. https://gresb.com 

International WELL Building Institute, IWBI, the WELL Building Standard, WELL v2, WELL Certified, WELL AP, WELL Portfolio, WELL Portfolio Score, The WELL Conference, We Are WELL, the WELL Community Standard, WELL Health-Safety Rating, WELL Health-Safety Rated, WELL Workforce, WELL and others, and their related logos are trademarks or certification marks of International WELL Building Institute pbc in the United States and other countries.

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