IWBI and GRESB Announce Partnership To Accelerate Social Sustainability

The collaboration focuses on applied research and innovation to spur actionable insights that help drive progress in social sustainability.
Dec 19, 2023 2:40 PM ET
Press Release

NEW YORK, December 19, 2023 /3BL/ - The International WELL Building Institute (IWBI), the global authority for driving market transformation toward healthy buildings, organizations and communities, and GRESB, the global ESG benchmark for real estate and infrastructure, announced today a strategic partnership to accelerate social sustainability by improving reporting and disclosure capabilities across key social factors, including health, equity and well-being.

With heightened societal expectations and an evolving regulatory landscape, companies and their investors are increasingly motivated to address social sustainability, the “S” in ESG. To help investors, fund managers and companies prioritize social sustainability, the IWBI-GRESB partnership will seek to:

  • Develop resources to help investors, companies and asset operators incorporate social performance into the investment engagement process
  • Co-create a social sustainability dashboard with performance indicators utilizing data from the GRESB Real Estate Assessment.
  • Convene stakeholders to explore best practices and reporting structures that support social components and interventions that address social sustainability.
  • Provide other supporting materials to help investors use information from the GRESB and IWBI social sustainability reports and tools.

“Through the rapid global adoption of the WELL Building Standard, the world’s leading standard focused on advancing people’s health and well-being, IWBI is at the vanguard of helping organizations around the world deliver on strategies to strengthen social sustainability,” said Chris Pyke, Chief Innovation Officer, GRESB. “Our new partnership will allow us to create new tools to help investors understand and advance the social sustainability of real asset companies and funds around the world.”

As defined by the UN Global Compact, social sustainability is the process of identifying and managing business impacts, both positive and negative, on people. Social sustainability is the core of the “S” component of ESG. These aspects of ESG have been shown to correlate with commercial opportunities and risks facing real asset investors and managers.

“With unprecedented speed, GRESB has positioned its pioneering ESG benchmark for real estate and infrastructure as the premier go-to framework, gaining universal recognition by investors and extending its influence to nearly all corners of the globe,” said Rachel Hodgdon, President and CEO, IWBI. “Through this strategic partnership with GRESB, we are seizing the moment to accelerate progress in social sustainability, creating new tools to help investors and managers deliver positive impacts for people and communities.”

Integrating a stronger emphasis on health, well-being and social equity within sustainability strategies and reporting will also help close the gaps in existing ESG frameworks around social sustainability.

“Our collaboration with GRESB is poised to help shape the future of prioritizing people and social performance,” said Kelly Worden, Vice President of ESG, IWBI. “By working together, we can serve as a pivotal force in promoting this shared mission, helping guide investors and organizations in navigating the complexities of social sustainability.”

The WELL Standard is the leading global framework for scaling health across buildings, organizations and communities. Developed over a decade and backed by more than 7,000 studies and other evidence demonstrating the latest scientific research, the WELL Standard outlines key building-level interventions and organizational strategies across 10 categories: Air, Water, Nourishment, Light, Movement, Thermal Comfort, Sound, Materials, Mind and Community. Today, WELL is being used in more than 125 countries, by more than 25% of the Fortune 500 companies and across 4.9 billion square feet of real estate.

About International WELL Building Institute:
The International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) is a public benefit corporation and the world’s leading organization focused on deploying people first places to advance a global culture of health. IWBI mobilizes its community through the administration of the WELL Building Standard (WELL) and its WELL ratings, management of the WELL AP credential, the pursuit of applicable research, the development of educational resources, and advocacy for policies that promote health and well-being everywhere. More information on WELL can be found here.

International WELL Building Institute, IWBI, the WELL Building Standard, WELL v2, WELL Certified, WELL AP, WELL EP, WELL Score, The WELL Conference, We Are WELL, the WELL Community Standard, WELL Health-Safety Rated, WELL Performance Rated, WELL Equity Rated, WELL Equity, , Works with WELL, WELL and others, and their related logos are trademarks or certification marks of International WELL Building Institute pbc in the United States and other countries.

Media contact: media@wellcertified.com

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