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Collaboration between AirRated and GRESB highlights the ever-growing value of healthy buildings in ESG

By Emily Vernon & Ben Pocock (Updated for 2022)

We are very excited to announce that both the AirScore and AirScore D&O are once again included as accredited building certifications for the 2022 GRESB reporting cycle, highlighting the ever-growing value of healthy buildings in ESG.

GRESB provides the leading Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) benchmark for real asset investments across the world. Their ESG data covers $5.3 trillion in real estate and infrastructure value, and is used by more than 100 institutional and financial investors.

Having supported a number of our clients in securing points towards their GRESB assessments for the 2021 reporting cycle, it’s great to continue our alignment with an organisation that shares our mission to create a healthier and more sustainable future.

The rise of ESG

ESG has grown and evolved rapidly since its inception, with many investors now looking to incorporate these factors into the investment process alongside traditional financial analysis.

Research has repeatedly demonstrated that ESG factors can contribute to long-term sustainable financial performance. By looking closely at ESG issues, institutional investors can identify companies that are well-managed and likely to succeed, and flag companies with business models that are likely to face issues in the near future.

In recent years, the global investment community has shown a clear focus on environmental and governance factors. However, social aspects have proven much more difficult to define and measure. Monitoring and improving indoor air quality is an easily quantifiable step that can improve occupant health and wellbeing and have a positive impact on society.

Making buildings healthier not only helps with long-term value creation and risk mitigation, but can also play a pivotal role in creating a better standard of living for generations to come.

The role of the AirScore in ESG

The healthy building movement gained momentum in 2019 when it became an integral part of the GRESB rating. Since then, there’s been a growing need for certifications that can provide a data-driven approach to measure the health of indoor environments.

This is where AirRated comes in. AirScore by AirRated, is a simple and reliable measure for indoor air quality in the built environment. Our certification provides an industry-leading analysis of a building’s performance, and more importantly, assesses how this impacts the people within it.

Research shows the huge influence air quality has on productivity, thinking, and general wellbeing. And all too often, poor indoor air quality is responsible for fatigue and difficulty sleeping without us even realising. Monitoring the quality of the air we breathe indoors is an effective and quantifiable way to improve occupant experience.

From a landlord’s perspective, achieving optimal indoor air quality is also extremely valuable. With the rise of inexpensive portable devices that measure air quality, ensuring pollutants are at a safe level is important in terms of risk management. Without good air quality, landlords risk shorter leases, longer void times, and more reactive maintenance programmes.

Achieving an AirScore demonstrates that a space is conducive to health and wellbeing, and this can be leveraged by landlords to attract and retain tenants. And as we mentioned above, GRESB participants can use the certification to demonstrate their commitment to occupant health in the 2022 reporting cycle.

The impact of COVID-19

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, ESG factors have been pushed to the forefront of every aspect of our lives. Difficult times like these put a spotlight on long-term resilience in portfolios, and highlight the importance of robust risk management processes.

In the post-COVID-19 era, there are going to be unpredictable risks and changes. For forward-looking investors, healthy buildings are key to improving resilience in the real estate industry. We are proud to be aligned with GRESB as we strive to promote sustainable indoor spaces that prioritise occupant health and wellbeing.