Northern Trust launches sustainable real estate index

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Northern Trust Asset Management, collaborating with GRESB, the global sustainability benchmark for real assets, has launched a unique sustainable real estate index. A Dutch-domiciled pooled fund passively managed to this new index has also been launched.

The industry-first index is exclusively available to investors using Northern Trust Asset Management vehicles and has been developed in response to demand for a passive approach to real estate investing incorporating environment, social and governance (ESG) factors.

“Northern Trust listens to investors and develops solutions to meet their evolving needs.  We are delighted to collaborate with GRESB to create this ground breaking index and to launch a fund which tracks the index. This enables passive investors to benefit from the long-term returns associated with listed real estate companies, whilst incorporating sustainable investing principles,” said Hazel McNeilage, managing director for Europe, Middle East and Africa at Northern Trust Asset Management.

GRESB is a Netherlands-based investor-driven organization and a leader in the field of sustainable real estate assessment. It is committed to assessing the ESG performance of real assets globally, including real estate portfolios and infrastructure assets. GRESB uses more than 40 specific indicators across seven aspects of sustainability to assess real estate companies.

“The environmental performance of buildings has been shown to have a clear link with the underlying financial performance of the assets, and with the risk return profile of property companies or investment funds ultimately owning the assets,” said Sander Paul van Tongeren, managing director of GRESB. “This new fund will, uniquely, allow investors to passively gain exposure to companies that are highly transparent about their ESG performance and reducing environmental and social impact while also incorporating broad geographic and sector diversification.”

“The use of GRESB’s ESG data further institutionalizes the important role of environmental, social and governance information in the financial market,” he added.

“Northern Trust has long been a pioneer of environmental, social and governance investing, and this first-of-its-kind index fund underlines our approach to identifying ways to continue to innovate and offer our clients market-leading solutions that support their risk return profile and meet their responsible investing needs,” said Mamadou-Abou Sarr, global head of ESG investing at Northern Trust Asset Management.

About GRESB

GRESB is an investor-driven organization that is transforming the way we assess the environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance of real assets globally, including real estate portfolios and infrastructure assets.

More than 200 members, of which about 50 are pension funds and their fiduciaries, use the GRESB data in their investment management and engagement process, with a clear goal to optimize the risk/return profile of their investments.

GRESB has assessed more than 1,000 property companies and funds, jointly representing more than USD 3 trillion in assets under management, as well as almost 200 infrastructure assets and funds.

The global property and infrastructure sectors are at the heart of the most important and far-reaching issues of our time, including urbanization, demographic change, resource constraints, environmental impacts and emerging technologies. Learn more: www.GRESB.com.

Picture: (c) yda Productions—shutterstock.com 

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