New Sustainalytics Report Reveals the ESG Investment Impacts for the Real Estate Sector

TORONTO, Oct. 27, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Sustainalytics, a leading provider of ESG and corporate governance ratings and research, today released a new sector report titled, “Real Estate – Two Steps Forward, One Step Back.” The report examines key market trends impacting the industry and the ESG investment considerations for 286 public and private real estate companies. The report shows that energy use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, product sustainability and business ethics are the most material ESG issues for the real estate sector.

While investments in global real estate have surged in recent years, the industry is one of the largest consumers of energy and sources of C02 globally, with buildings accounting for 40 percent of global primary energy consumption and 30 percent of C02 emissions. Based on the report findings, only 68 companies out of Sustainalytics’ coverage universe of 286 companies have implemented comprehensive and targeted GHG reduction programs.

The green building movement has gained considerable momentum over the past few years, with the global share of project activity increasing from approximately 40 percent in 2012 to an estimated 60 percent in 2015, according to industry data. However, despite the appeal of green building, only 49 percent of companies in Sustainalytics’ universe disclose a program to target green building investment.

Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) have provided investors with access to the commercial real estate market, but their governance structures could lead to sub-optimal outcomes for shareholders. In the spotlight section of the report, Sustainalytics offers investors information on how they can potentially minimize their exposure to corporate governance risks in real estate.

“While the real estate industry has made progress in recent years to improve its ESG performance, many companies have been slow to embrace cost-effective and progressive approaches to managing ESG issues,” said Sustainalytics’ Managing Director of Thematic Research, Hendrik Garz. “Investors should look at how the real estate companies in their portfolios are handling key issues such as business ethics and energy use and GHG emissions.”

On Thursday, October 29 at 10:00 a.m. EDT/3:00 p.m. CET, Sustainalytics will host a webinar to present the findings from its new report. To register for the webinar, please click here.  To download an executive summary of the report, please click here.

About Sustainalytics
Headquartered in Amsterdam, Sustainalytics is an independent ESG and corporate governance research, ratings and analysis firm supporting investors around the world with the development and implementation of responsible investment strategies. With 13 offices globally, Sustainalytics partners with institutional investors who integrate environmental, social and governance information and assessments into their investment processes. Today, the firm has 230 staff members, including more than 120 analysts with varied multidisciplinary expertise across more than 40 sectors. For the past three years, Sustainalytics has been named the best independent responsible investment research firm in Extel’s IRRI survey of institutional investors. For more information, visit


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