News Brief

Resilience Planning Gains Ground

The real estate industry is increasingly paying attention to climate risks.

Sustainability isn’t enough anymore, and that realization is starting to catch on in the green building world. That’s why participants in the GRESB survey—a way for real estate and infrastructure companies to track and disclose their environmental performance for investors—are beginning to focus on climate risk management in addition to sustainability.

GRESB has now completed its second year of offering an optional Resilience Module for firms to complete in addition to its core survey. Between 2018 and 2019, participation more than doubled, from 113 reporting entities to more than 300. However, just 25% of those have comprehensive risk-management programs, according to a forthcoming report from GRESB.

So what makes a program “comprehensive”?

First, it must take into account three different types of risk:

  • Transition risk—This type of risk is associated with the shift to a low-carbon economy, like carbon pricing.
  • Physical risk—This is the typical danger we think of when we think of resilient design for buildings: extreme weather and climate events, like floods, heat waves, and wildfires.
  • Social risk—Social risks include things like protests and cyberattacks.

Comprehensive programs also score well on all four of the following categories:

  • Governance—Indicators include having a designated internal leader to deal with climate risk.
  • Risk management—Here, the important indicators are whether risk-management practices are in routine use, documented, and guided by explicit targets.
  • Business strategy—This category looks at how business strategies follow from risk-management planning.
  • Targets and metrics—Do companies have specific targets and metrics associated with climate risk management?

The forthcoming report concludes that while resilience planning is gaining ground around the world, results were quite uneven. At the same time, the report notes that this is only year two of a three-year effort focused on calibrating the survey so it records the most relevant indicators and metrics.

For more information:


Published February 10, 2020

Melton, P. (2020, January 22). Resilience Planning Gains Ground . Retrieved from

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