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Expert Advice

4 Tips to Improve Your GRESB Score this Reporting Season

Published March 28, 2023
Sr. Carbon Sustainability Analyst
By Isabelle Wilhelm-Muñiz Sr. Carbon Sustainability Analyst

GRESB (formerly known as the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark) is the global standard used to evaluate the environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance of real estate and infrastructure entities. Each year, participating companies and funds submit data on a wide range of metrics, from carbon emissions to diversity and inclusion practices, to organizational goals.

After analyzing each assessment, GRESB releases scores of each fund’s performance relative to its peers. Investors, real estate managers, and other industry stakeholders use this score to evaluate the sustainability performance of assets and identify areas for improvement.

Showcase your asset's quality to key stakeholders and effectively communicate your sustainability journey using GRESB scoring as a tool.

Here are four tips you may not be aware of that can help improve your GRESB score, this reporting season.

1. Obtain Third-Party Verification and Assurance

Enhance the accuracy of your environmental data and boost your GRESB score by obtaining third-party verification and assurance. GRESB awards additional points for verified or assured data on energy, GHG emissions, water usage, and waste management.

Obtaining third-party verification or assurance will also increase the trust in the accuracy and the credibility of your reports, provide internal assurance when using this data for planning, and pinpoint areas for improvement in your reporting methods and data.

GRESB states that “Submitting ESG data for third-party review improves data quality and provides investors with confidence regarding the integrity and reliability of the reported information.”

Did you know?

NZero data is audit-ready, with all calculations following guidance from the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, and verifiable through ISO 14064 (Greenhouse Gas Accounting) standards. We also assist with the third-party auditing process, ensuring the delivery and compliance of all materials and required data with leading GHG accounting standards. Experience a seamless auditing process & increase your GRESB score with NZero.

2. Showcase Your Assets – They’re More Than Just Utility Data

In your GRESB submission, you have the opportunity to showcase not only your utility data, but also the performance of your assets through efficiency projects, energy audits, certifications and energy ratings. This will help you demonstrate the progress you’ve made and the sustainability efforts you’ve accomplished on the assets in your portfolio.

Additionally, when submitting your GRESB report, don’t limit yourself to just the past year’s projects. Report on all projects completed on the asset, regardless of the completion time or the party involved (even if a previous owner completed them). These accomplishments will get you more points on your GRESB evaluation!

Did you know?

NZero offers assistance in navigating industry-specific standards and certifications. We provide custom reports containing the necessary data and format required by the standard and your industry, and help you meet the requirements. Additionally, we identify and address any gaps in your data and offer expert advisory services to help you achieve your goals, projections, and comply with industry specifications.

3. Implement Green Leasing

As an owner of a building that you don't occupy, you may think that there are limited options for promoting sustainability in these assets within your portfolio. However, by implementing green lease agreements, you can make a positive impact on the building's environmental performance and increase your GRESB score!

Green leasing is a way to incorporate environmental and energy-efficient elements into lease agreements, with the goal of reducing energy consumption and promoting sustainable practices in commercial buildings. They can include provisions for energy-efficient systems and equipment, conservation measures, and renewable energy.

On your GRESB evaluation, adopting green leasing not only helps improve environmental performance but also provides an ongoing framework for communication and collaboration between landlords and tenants on sustainability initiatives, which also awards you additional points on your GRESB submissions. Outside of just your GRESB score, green leases also help with compliance, cost reduction, tenant attraction, and increased building value.

Did you know?

By utilizing NZero, you can have a clear understanding of your carbon footprint and identify where to best allocate resources for energy efficiency projects. NZero allows you to group or organize your buildings by fund, asset type, or location and filter them to report on energy , water usage, emissions and financial data. This helps in showing energy use and costs over time. NZero can be an effective tool in identifying which assets to implement green leasing practices and what those practices should be.

4. Use An Energy/Carbon Management Software:

GRESB recommends using automation technology and services to efficiently gather and organize data, allowing you more time to focus on actually implementing an effective ESG strategy.

The data required for GRESB evaluation, such as energy, water, waste, and GHG emissions, can come from various sources and be difficult to collect and calculate, especially across a large asset portfolio or fund. Instead of spending excessive time on data collection, it is more beneficial for you to focus on actually implementing policies and engaging with stakeholders (which will also get you more points on GRESB).

To ensure you have all the data required at the asset level of the GRESB evaluation, use a carbon management software that streamlines data collection by centralizing information from multiple utility sources and utilizing a consistent and compliant calculation method, leading to more informed decision-making, impactful actions, and an increased GRESB score.

Did you know?

NZero helps customers across various industries improve their GRESB score by offering a comprehensive and accurate method to measure and track the energy, water consumption, waste, and greenhouse gas emissions data required for the GRESB Asset Level data.

We also provide pre-formatted reports for GRESB reporting, allowing users to easily download data & submit to the GRESB portal. With NZero, organizations can monitor and analyze data in real-time, pinpoint inefficiencies, and set goals to reduce consumption. We facilitate transparent and accurate reporting of your assets sustainability performance, providing the necessary data for making strategic decisions to decrease your carbon footprint.


We hope these tips are helpful for your GRESB submission, however, it's always good to remember, reporting on your ESG data is more important than the score itself. Just by disclosing your data, you show investors your commitment to transparency and accuracy in regard to ESG data.

It's also important to note that GRESB provides a 'grace period' for new companies to familiarize themselves with the reporting process before their results become visible to investors. However, if you perform better than expected, you can opt out of the "grace period" following receipt of your results.

We recommend using these tips to improve your GRESB score and attract investment from socially responsible investors. If you are interested in how NZero can help you achieve the maximum GRESB score, schedule a demo with our team.

For sustainability leaders, by sustainability leaders.