Chicago, Dec. 2, 2020 – Heitman LLC (Heitman), a global real estate investment management firm, today announced that the Heitman North American Core Open-end Fund (Fund) has achieved a 5-star ranking in the 2020 Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) Real Estate Assessment. In addition, the Fund maintains its status as the top rated fund within the benchmark’s global Resilience module.
The Fund’s status as a 2020 5-star GRESB fund places it in the top 20 percent of the universe of submitted funds. Its number one rating in the Resilience module demonstrates Heitman’s commitment to weaving climate risk into its due diligence and real estate investment decision-making processes. GRESB launched the module in 2018 in response to organizations that are developing a capacity to assess, manage, and adapt in the face of social and environmental shocks and stressors.
“We are committed to ESG transparency and improved environmental performance within our portfolio, which is evidenced in our continuous improvement in the GRESB rankings,” said Blaise P. Keane, Heitman Executive Vice President and Senior Portfolio Manager for the Heitman North American Core Open-end Fund. “As we move forward, we will look for ways to improve our ESG capabilities across the portfolio in order to continue to meet or exceed our clients’ real estate investment objectives.”
Heitman collaborates with individual property managers to benchmark environmental performance data, align ESG integration strategy with industry best practices, and identify opportunities for operational improvements at the asset level. All of the Fund’s assets are benchmarked in ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager (ESPM) to track the environmental data of energy, carbon, water, and waste. The Fund’s portfolio has a total of 85 sustainability certifications, including LEED, BREEAM, IREM CSP, NAHB, and ENERGY STAR.
“As we continue to seek enhanced property values, ESG performance is critical to positioning our assets for the future. This year’s results take on special meaning for us as we recently announced our 2030 goal of global net zero carbon operations [within the firm’s private equity portfolio],” said Laura Craft, Heitman Senior Vice President and Head of Global ESG Strategy. “Benchmarking our global assets and improving our portfolio’s environmental footprint will allow us to achieve our goal of net zero carbon operations.”
“Heitman’s commitment to ESG improvement and performance is supported in both its annual submission of its ESG data, and its North American Core Open-Ended Fund’s significant progression up the rankings over the past several years,” said Dan Winters, Head of Americas at GRESB. “It’s leaders like Heitman that help raise the bar and move the industry forward.”