Infrastructure sustainability benchmark to allow more investment

An international sustainability benchmark for infrastructure assets will pension funds to take advantage of sustainability-related investment opportunities in the sector.

The infrastructure framework developed GRESB in partnership with a group of global institutional infrastructure investors, representing US$1.5 trillion, aims to provide a consistent sustainability framework for the sector.

The GRESB Infrastructure framework will provide investors will an assessment tool evaluating and benchmarking the sustainability performance of their infrastructure assets against the industry standard.

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"Sector-specific benchmarks serve investors during the due diligence process and post investment, helping them to identify sustainability best practices and to identify issues for future engagement," GRESB said.

"Access to better quality and standardised ESG [environmental, social and governance] data also enables investors to fulfil increasingly rigorous ESG reporting obligations.

"With governments around the world looking to the private sector to fund infrastructure investments, the asset class is presenting attractive opportunities for investors.

"Infrastructure is rapidly becoming an integral part of a diversified investment management strategy, especially for long-term institutional investors.

"Data shows that 28 per cent of pension funds now invest in infrastructure, though allocations are still low (below one per cent of their total investments, on average) they are expected to increase in the coming years.

"Infrastructure and sustainability are closely related: as the backbone of the global economy, infrastructure investments offer scalable, resilient pathways to sustainable economic growth by delivering key societal benefits, such as vital transportation links, (renewable) energy sources, livability, social infrastructure, water and waste management systems, smart grids, and low-carbon transportation systems."

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