Japan’s GPIF Joins ESG Benchmark

Pension giant hopes to encourage the disclosure of ESG data.

Japan’s $1.4 trillion Government Pension Investment Fund has become the first Japanese infrastructure investor to join Amsterdam-based GRESB, according to a press release from the fund. GRESB, which was founded in 2009, is a global environmental, social and governance benchmark for financial markets and provides a standardized benchmark and data of the ESG performance for real assets.


The pension giant says the move is intended to encourage the disclosure of ESG information and promote constructive dialogue with investment managers, according to a press release.


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“In compliance with our stewardship responsibilities, GPIF advises managers to use GRESB assessment in their infrastructure investment and management process,” says the release.


GRESB, which says its represents $6.4 trillion in real asset value, collaborates with the financial industry to provide standardized and validated ESG data to the capital markets. The 2021 real estate benchmark covered more than 1,500 property companies, real estate investment trusts, funds and developers, while infrastructure coverage included 700 infrastructure funds and assets. According to GPIF, more than 150 institutional investors with over $50 trillion in assets under management use GRESB data to monitor their investments, engage with their managers and make decisions.


GRESB comprises an independent foundation and a benefit corporation. The GRESB Foundation focuses on the development, approval and management of the GRESB Standards, while the benefit corporation, GRESB BV, performs ESG assessments and provides related services to GRESB Members. The organization collects, validates, scores and benchmarks ESG data to provide business intelligence, engagement tools and regulatory reporting services for investors and asset managers.


GRESB also provides a framework to measure the ESG performance of individual assets and portfolios based on self-reported data. Data reported to the GRESB assessments are validated by a third party and scored before being used to generate ESG benchmarks, including the Real Estate Development Benchmark, the Infrastructure Fund Benchmark and the Infrastructure Asset Benchmark.


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