Real Estate

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Real Estate industry entities own, develop and operate income-producing real estate assets. Entities in this industry commonly are structured as real estate investment trusts (REITs) and operate in a wide range of real estate industry segments, including residential, retail, office, health care, industrial and hotel properties. REITs typically participate in direct real estate asset ownership, thereby providing investors with the opportunity to obtain real estate exposure without direct asset ownership and management. Although REITs often concentrate on individual Real Estate industry segments, many REITs diversify investments across multiple property types.

Relevant Issues (4 of 26)

Why are some issues greyed out? The SASB Standards vary by industry based on the different sustainability-related risks and opportunities within an industry. The issues in grey were not identified during the standard-setting process as the most likely to be useful to investors, so they are not included in the Standard. Over time, as the ISSB continues to receive market feedback, some issues may be added or removed from the Standard. Each company determines which sustainability-related risks and opportunities are relevant to its business. The Standard is designed for the typical company in an industry, but individual companies may choose to report on different sustainability-related risks and opportunities based on their unique business model.

Disclosure Topics

What is the relationship between General Issue Category and Disclosure Topics? The General Issue Category is an industry-agnostic version of the Disclosure Topics that appear in each SASB Standard. Disclosure topics represent the industry-specific impacts of General Issue Categories. The industry-specific Disclosure Topics ensure each SASB Standard is tailored to the industry, while the General Issue Categories enable comparability across industries. For example, Health & Nutrition is a disclosure topic in the Non-Alcoholic Beverages industry, representing an industry-specific measure of the general issue of Customer Welfare. The issue of Customer Welfare, however, manifests as the Counterfeit Drugs disclosure topic in the Biotechnology & Pharmaceuticals industry.
General Issue Category
(Industry agnostic)

Disclosure Topics (Industry specific) for: Real Estate

Energy Management
  • Energy Management

    Real estate assets consume significant amounts of energy for space heating, ventilating, air conditioning, water heating, lighting and using equipment and appliances. The type and magnitude of energy used and strategies for energy management are dependent upon the real estate asset class, among other factors. Generally, grid electricity is the predominant form of consumed energy, though on-site fuel combustion and renewable energy production also serve important roles. Energy costs may be borne by entities or property occupants; either way, energy management is a significant industry issue. To the extent that the real estate owner assumes direct responsibility for energy costs, such costs often represent significant operating costs, indicating the importance of energy management. Energy pricing volatility and a general trend of electricity price increases, energy-related regulations, potentially wide variations in energy performance in existing building stock, and opportunities for efficiency improvements through economically attractive capital investments all show the importance of energy management. Energy costs assumed by occupants, either in whole or in part, are nonetheless likely to affect entities through various channels. Building energy performance is a notable driver of tenant demand, because it allows them to control operating costs, mitigate potential environmental impacts, and, often just as importantly, maintain a reputation for resource conservation. Additionally, real estate owners may be exposed to energy-related regulations even if energy costs are the occupants’ responsibility. Overall, entities that effectively manage asset energy performance may realise reduced operating costs and regulatory risks, as well as increased tenant demand, rental rates and occupancy rates—all of which drive revenue and asset value appreciation. Improving energy performance is dependent upon property type and location, target tenant market, local building codes, physical and legal opportunities to deploy distributed renewable energy, the ability to measure consumption, and existing building stock, among other factors.
Water & Wastewater Management
  • Water Management

    Buildings consume significant amounts of water in their operations, through water fixtures, building equipment, appliances and irrigation. Water consumption operating costs may be significant depending on property type, tenant operations, geographical locations and other factors. Entities can be responsible for a building’s water costs, or common area water costs, though entities commonly allocate all, or a portion, of these costs to occupants. In these arrangements, water management through tenant demand and regulatory exposure continues to be important. Tenants may assess real estate asset water efficiency to control operating costs, mitigate environmental impacts of operations, and, often just as importantly, develop a reputation for resource conservation. Additionally, real estate owners may comply with water-related regulations even if water costs are the occupants’ responsibility. Overall, entities that effectively manage asset water efficiency, even if they bear no direct water costs, may realise reduced operating costs and regulatory exposure, as well as increased tenant demand, rental rates and occupancy rates—all of which drive revenue and asset value appreciation. Long-term historic water expense increases and expectations of continued increases because of overconsumption and constrained supplies resulting from population growth and shifts, pollution and climate change show the importance of water management. Improving asset water efficiency is dependent upon the property type, water availability, target tenant market, local building codes, the ability to measure consumption and the existing building stock, among other factors.
Product Design & Lifecycle Management
  • Management of Tenant Sustainability Impacts

    Real estate assets generate significant sustainability impacts, including resource consumption (energy and water), waste generation and impacts on occupant health through indoor environmental quality. While entities own real estate assets, the tenant operations of such assets dominate the sustainability impacts produced by the built environment. Tenants may design and construct leased spaces according to their operating needs. In turn, their operations consume significant amounts of energy and water, generate waste, and impact the health of those living, working, shopping, or visiting the properties. While these sustainability impacts often are often generated by tenant operations and activities, real estate owners play an important role in influencing tenant sustainability impacts. The way entities in the industry structure their agreements, contracts and relationships with tenants may be instrumental in managing the sustainability impacts of their tenants effectively, and ultimately, the impacts of their assets. Managing tenant sustainability impacts may include mitigating the problem of split incentives by aligning both parties’ financial interests with sustainability outcomes, establishing systematic measurement and communication of resource consumption data, creating shared performance goals, and mandating minimum sustainability performance or design requirements, among other strategies. Effective management of tenant sustainability impacts, particularly related to energy, water and indoor environmental quality, may drive asset value appreciation, increase tenant demand and satisfaction, decrease direct operating costs, or decrease risks related to building codes and regulations.
Physical Impacts of Climate Change
  • Climate Change Adaptation

    Climate change affects entities in the industry via frequent or high-impact extreme weather events and changing climate patterns. How an entity structures its business model to incorporate assessments of climate change risks, and the adaptation to such risks, may increasingly be relevant to entity value over the long-term. More specifically, investment strategies with assets located on floodplains and in coastal regions exposed to inclement weather may require increased risk mitigation and business model adaptation to long-term climate change. These strategies are especially important considering the long-term challenges associated with flood insurance rates, the financial stability of government-subsidised flood insurance programs, and financing stipulations or other creditor concerns. Besides insurance, other risk mitigation measures include improvements to physical asset resiliency and lease terms that transfer risk to tenants, although these measures can create their own costs and risks for real estate entities. To ensure long-term growth, entities must implement comprehensive climate change adaptation strategies, account for trade-offs between various risk mitigation strategies, and integrate all projected cost and benefit considerations over the long-term.

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