Manulife Investment Management's GRESB Assessments highlight strength of its sustainability integration for real estate and infrastructure

Published: Oct. 4, 2021 at 8:15 AM CDT|Updated: Oct. 18, 2021 at 8:29 AM CDT

Global real estate portfolio ranks first among its peer group for sustainability leadership

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BOSTON, Oct. 18, 2021 /PRNewswire/ - Manulife Investment Management today announced the results of its 2021 GRESB Assessments for real estate and infrastructure. The GRESB Assessments benchmark the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) performance of real estate and infrastructure funds, companies, and assets, providing investors with standardized data to help evaluate complex sustainability issues. Manulife Investment Management's 2021 assessment saw above average scores for both real estate and infrastructure. The firm's global real estate portfolio was also recognized as a GRESB Sector Leader ranking first among its peer group in the 'diversified - office/industrial' in the Americas category.

Manulife Investment Management Logo (CNW Group/Manulife Investment Management)
Manulife Investment Management Logo (CNW Group/Manulife Investment Management)

"We are pleased with the results of the 2021 GRESB Assessment as we are in an excellent position with above average scores for both real estate and infrastructure," said Christoph Schumacher, head of real assets, Manulife Investment Management. "Sustainable management will continue to be essential and is an expectation of investors in real assets. Responsible stewardship is imperative to protecting and growing the value of our assets and the GRESB ESG Benchmark helps us maintain and improve outcomes and demonstrate our commitment to ESG integration to clients."

In 2021, more than 2,227 real estate and infrastructure entities, representing US$6.4 trillion in assets were covered by the GRESB Assessments and are included in the GRESB ESG Benchmark.

"We are proud to be named a GRESB Sector Leader in a year when global real estate participation in the assessments has increased by 24%," said Regan Smith, head of real estate sustainability, Manulife Investment Management. "This is an important achievement for us as we work to transition to a low carbon economy. It's also great to see increased participation from our peers as improved engagement with a standardized benchmark demonstrates the industry's desire to achieve more ESG data transparency."

Real Estate Assessment
Manulife Investment Management was among 1,520 property companies, REITs, funds, and developers that participated in the GRESB Real Estate Assessment, representing US$5.7 trillion of assets under management. The GRESB ESG Benchmark covers nearly 117,000 assets globally reported at the asset level. Manulife Investment Management's real estate portfolio earned a GRESB score of 88 out of a possible 100 points for both management and performance and a GRESB Green Star.  The strength of the firm's GRESB Assessment for real estate this year can be partially attributed to the following activities: usage reductions across all utilities (energy, water, waste) and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, an increase in energy and GHG data coverage for industrial, retail and residential portfolios, maintaining high portfolio green building certification rates and increased number of properties tracking on ENERGY STAR and a portfolio level physical climate risk and resilience assessment conducted internally.

Infrastructure Assessment
Manulife Investment Management's infrastructure funds were ranked among 149 funds totaling US$343 billion of assets under management. The strength of the firm's GRESB Fund Assessments for infrastructure can be attributed to the development and implementation of more robust ESG processes and tools, the assessment of ESG risks and opportunities during due diligence and post-investment, the enhancement of ESG reporting practices, and the continued accountability of ESG across the organization and members of the infrastructure team. Manulife Investment Management does not submit to GRESB Infrastructure Asset Assessment for benchmarking asset-level performance.

Manulife Investment Management global private markets capabilities include real estate, infrastructure, timberland, agriculture and private equity and credit totaling more than US$53B in assets under management. For more information on Manulife Investment Management's private markets please click here.

About Manulife Investment Management

Manulife Investment Management is the global wealth and asset management segment of Manulife Financial Corporation. We draw on more than a century of financial stewardship and the full resources of our parent company to serve individuals, institutions, and retirement plan members worldwide. Headquartered in Toronto, our leading capabilities in public and private markets are strengthened by an investment footprint that spans 18 geographies. We complement these capabilities by providing access to a network of unaffiliated asset managers from around the world. We're committed to investing responsibly across our businesses. We develop innovative global frameworks for sustainable investing, collaboratively engage with companies in our securities portfolios, and maintain a high standard of stewardship where we own and operate assets, and we believe in supporting financial well-being through our workplace retirement plans. Today, plan sponsors around the world rely on our retirement plan administration and investment expertise to help their employees plan for, save for, and live a better retirement.

As of June 30, 2021, Manulife Investment Management's assets under management and administration, including assets managed for Manulife's other segments, totaled CAD $1.0 trillion (US $834 billion). Not all offerings are available in all jurisdictions. For additional information, please visit manulifeim.com.

About GRESB

GRESB is a mission-driven and industry-led organization providing standardized and validated Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) data to financial markets. Established in 2009, GRESB has become the leading ESG benchmark for real estate and infrastructure investments across the world, used by 140 institutional and financial investors to inform decision-making. For more information, visit GRESB.com

GRESB Sector Leaders are the best performers by sector and region from across the GRESB Assessments. The entity with the top score, as well as the entities with a score within 1 point of the top score in a category are recognized as Sector Leaders.

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