Large Dutch Bank Acts on Sustainability of Real Estate Portfolio
Amsterdam, Sept. 16, 2015—GRESB, the global standard for portfolio-level sustainability assessments in real estate, today announced that ABN AMRO will start using sustainability data on property companies and funds in its real estate lending process. GRESB data provides a consistent global sustainability framework for the real estate and infrastructure sectors and has traditionally been used by pension funds and other institutional investors.
Banks’ interest in environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors follows the interest of pension funds, insurance companies, and other large equity investors, who have been developing their awareness about the sustainability performance of their real estate and infrastructure allocations over the past decade. “Access to corporate ESG ratings such as GRESB scores can assist CRE lenders in better identifying sustainability risks that can adversely impact collateral value and a borrower’s ability to repay their loan,“ says Nils Kok, CEO of GRESB.
Beyond information on the ESG profile of borrowers, ABN AMRO and GRESB see multiple opportunities for collaboration. Earlier this year, GRESB released a new sustainability assessment and benchmark for real estate lenders (GRESB Debt), which from 2016 onward will open to a wider range of CRE lenders, including life insurance companies, banks and mortgage REITs. ABN AMRO plans to participate in the GRESB Debt Survey next year, benchmarking itself against other large commercial banks.
Rutger Schuur, Head of Commercial Real Estate Lending at ABN AMRO: “As climate change risks, building regulation, and changing tenant preferences are becoming ever more relevant for the real estate sector, the sustainability profile of borrowers and their assets is increasingly important to real estate lenders. The partnership with GRESB will allow ABN AMRO to incorporate sustainability more deeply into the real estate lending process. This is a natural fit with our ambition to play an important role in making the real estate sector more sustainable.”
In June of this year, ABN AMRO became the first commercial bank in the Netherlands to issue a green bond. Proceeds went toward mortgages on sustainable commercial real estate, energy efficient homes, and solar panels on existing homes. ABN AMRO will participate in the GRESB Green Bond Working Group, which brings together institutional investors, property company issuers and underwriters, to share expertise and evolve best practices for global real estate sector involvement in the green bond space.
GRESB is an industry-driven organization committed to assessing the sustainability performance of real assets globally, including real estate portfolios and infrastructure assets. More than 175 members, of which more than 50 are pension funds and their fiduciaries use the GRESB benchmark results in their investment management and engagement process, with a clear goal to optimize the risk/return profile of their investments.
For more information, visit http://www.gresb.com
About ABN AMRO
ABN AMRO is a full-service bank with a primary focus on the Netherlands and selective operations internationally. We serve retail, private and corporate banking clients based on our in-depth financial expertise and extensive knowledge of numerous industry sectors.
For more information, visit http://www.abnamro.com