WELL Building Institute Partners With GRESB To Advance Social Sustainability

The collaboration focuses on applied research and innovation to spur actionable insights that help drive progress in social sustainability.

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The International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) and GRESB, the global ESG benchmark for real estate and infrastructure, aim to advance social sustainability through their new strategic partnership. Through this collaboration, the organizations will improve reporting and disclosure capabilities across key social factors, including health, equity, and well-being.

With heightened societal expectations and an evolving regulatory landscape, companies and their investors are increasingly motivated to address the “S” in ESG. To help investors, fund managers, and companies prioritize social sustainability, the IWBI-GRESB partnership will seek to:

  • Develop resources to help investors, companies, and asset operators incorporate social performance into the investment engagement process.
  • Co-create a social sustainability dashboard with performance indicators utilizing data from the GRESB Real Estate Assessment.
  • Convene stakeholders to explore best practices and reporting structures that support social components and interventions that address social sustainability.
  • Provide other supporting materials to help investors use information from the GRESB and IWBI social sustainability reports and tools.

As defined by the UN Global Compact, social sustainability is the process of identifying and managing business impacts, both positive and negative, on people. Social sustainability is the core of the “S” component of ESG. These aspects of ESG have been shown to correlate with commercial opportunities and risks facing real asset investors and managers.

“With unprecedented speed, GRESB has positioned its pioneering ESG benchmark for real estate and infrastructure as the premier go-to framework, gaining universal recognition by investors and extending its influence to nearly all corners of the globe,” said Rachel Hodgdon, President and CEO, IWBI. “Through this strategic partnership with GRESB, we are seizing the moment to accelerate progress in social sustainability, creating new tools to help investors and managers deliver positive impacts for people and communities.”

Integrating a stronger emphasis on health, well-being, and social equity within sustainability strategies and reporting will also help close the gaps in existing ESG frameworks around social sustainability.

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