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Real estate fund cuts its carbon footprint

Real estate fund cuts its carbon footprint

24-01-2020 | Insight

Robeco Sustainable Property Equities has scored well above average for sustainability in an industry survey for the sixth year in a row.

  • Folmer Pietersma
    Folmer
    Pietersma
    Portfolio Manager
  • Frank Onstwedder
    Frank
    Onstwedder
    Global Equity director

In terms of greenhouse gas emissions, the fund has reduced its footprint by 5.6% compared to previous year, according to the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB). The GRESB is an industry-driven organization that assesses the sustainability performance of real estate portfolios across the world. It conducts a survey every year that serves as input for its benchmark.

The Sustainable Property Equities portfolio has an overall average score of 81 in the GRESB analysis, versus 72 for the listed benchmark average and 72 for the GRESB average out of 1,005 participating entities. The fund has high scores for both of the two underlying dimensions: for implementation and measurement, it scored 78 (versus 69 for the benchmark), and for management and policy, it scored 88 (versus 80).

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Cutting emissions

Based on the GRESB analysis, the fund’s holdings at the end of November 2019 cut 350,000 tons of CO2 emissions, the equivalent of removing 75,000 cars from the road. Moreover, water usage was cut by 800,000 cubic meters, or enough to fill 320 Olympic swimming pools.

Cutting carbon footprints in real estate is important as the sector accounts for nearly 40% of the world’s energy consumption and over 30% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Robeco Sustainable Property Equities targets an environmental footprint that is at least 20% below the index average. Additionally, Robeco actively engages with companies in the portfolio on carbon management.

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