Long Harbour & GRESB

Tabitha Perry & Benjamin Watkins , 17 December 2020

In 2019, Long Harbour submitted its Long Harbour Income Fund (part of the Multi-Family Investment Programme) to GRESB for the first time. The aim of the submission was to identify areas of strengths and weaknesses at the group, fund, and asset level. With a Materiality Review carried out and consequentially a Group ESG strategy developed during the same year, Long Harbour was able to pinpoint improvements needed. This in turn helped to increase its score 2020 GRESB score in the standing asset assessment by 19%, which is inline with our 4 year strategic plan to get to a score of over 70% by 2022

In the first release of the development assessment, Long Harbour scored 71%, achieving a Green Star in the process. Increases in scores were driven by the adaptation of a sustainability due diligence checklist for new acquisitions, focused on environmental and social issues, which complemented the established governance risk assessment. The expansion of the Brand Standards to include environmental issues supported the strong development score, and the review and amendment of the Group’s ESG policy aided increases across both submissions.

In 2020 Way of Life has excelled in its ability to create hospitable, safe and welcoming communities, and will build upon their tenant and community engagement into 2021. It was also recognised during the GRESB submission that many employee health and well-being initiatives were being undertaken, leading to the formalisation of an engagement plan in 2020. During such an unprecedented year employee engagement was vital and key in shaping Long Harbour’s focus and approach to inclusion and diversity. In 2020 the inclusion and diversity subcommittee was established to drive the I&D agenda at Long Harbour and ensure that it is sat alongside such issues as sustainability.

The GRESB 2020 submission also highlighted further areas of focus for Long Harbour moving forward, these include the continued exploration of net zero carbon pathways and the integration of climate change resilience into the group.

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