Case study: ESG framework for an international hotels fund

April 12, 2021

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Suzannah Newham

 

Background: As a global investment manager, Asset Fund recognises they have an important part to play in shaping the future and have had sustainability credentials since the 1990’s. A focus on doing the right thing (for their clients, their people, and wider society) lies at the centre of Asset Fund’s culture.  They are committed to delivering positive outcomes for all; creating a better future by investing responsibly for their clients. 

Aim: Turning sentiment into action, Asset Fund committed to integrating Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) strategies across 100% of investment teams by the end of 2020. The bespoke Sustainability Programme is Asset Fund’s practical approach to ensuring their commitment to sustainability is embedded within the hotel asset portfolio. Wanting to ensure the Sustainability Programme was designed with hotel structures and complexities in mind, Asset Fund enlisted Considerate Group – as specialists in sustainability consultancy with hotels and hospitality organisations – to develop and implement the main programme. 

Delivery: Considerate Group created a bespoke Asset Fund sustainability standards framework (referred to as a ‘road map’), with associated criteria and targets. The road map, criteria and targets were created to ensure fit with the following sustainability criteria: the UN Sustainable Development Goals and targets, BREEAM, LEED Operations and Maintenance (LEED O+M), GRESB, INREV, Green Key International, and Asset Fund’s cross-investment sustainability ambitions. The road map, criteria and targets also take into account the goals of the hotel-brand sustainability initiatives already in place (e.g. Planet 21 or Serve 360).

The Sustainability Programme is being applied, in the first phase of the project, to 26 properties managed by the following brands: Accor, Hyatt, IHG, Marriott, Radisson.  However, the standards are easily replicable across Asset Fund’s full portfolio of hotel asset properties and brands.

Outputs: The key tangible outputs from this project are:

A set of sustainability standards with associated criteria and targets;

Bespoke action plans for participating hotels;

Introductory webinars and sustainability workshops to disseminate standards;

Project monitoring & assessment tools and resources;

Bespoke additional resources to aid compliance with standards (e.g. waste management toolkit, energy efficiency checklist, a guide to establishing and managing green teams).

Legacy: To ensure the successful integration of the differing programmes and certifications for the Asset Fun Sustainability Programme, Considerate Group influenced GRESB to formally recognise Green Key International as a Tier 1 certification. This certification has not been limited to Asset Fund hotels, it now been added to the GRESB Asset Portal for use by all GRESB participants for 2020 and beyond.

*The client name and programme name have been anonymised.