The Association for Real Estate Securitization (ARES), serving the real estate investment and real estate securitization product markets in Japan, has prepared case studies to support SDGs and ESG investment among ARES member companies and promote understanding of ESG initiatives in J-REITs among investors. This is the first case study of ESG information disclosure to focus on J-REITs. It was published in October 2021.
Corporations around the world are increasingly seeking meaningful ways to help solve pressing global issues. In March 2019, ARES announced its "SDGs Promotion Policy", a framework for promoting Sustainable Development Goals to be achieved by 2030. The policy outlines ARES' basic platform for SDGs in real estate investment and securitization markets. In furtherance of the policy, ARES offers a variety of supports for SDGs/ESG initiatives of its member companies.
Like corporations, J-REITs have turned their attention to ESG and efforts to create a sustainable society. This new focus has been driven by tenant demands for real estate with superior environmental performance and comfort, growing interest in ESG among investors, and the strengthening of environmental regulations around the world. Given the current emphasis on SDGs/ESG accountability, ARES wants member companies to understand the background and intent of SDGs/ESG, and supports their efforts to disseminate and disclose ESG information. To that end, ARES has published ESG Information Disclosure Case Studies, a collection of ESG disclosures by J-REITs. The study is a compilation of research commissioned by ARES from the Japan Research Institute, Ltd. and is available to the public on the ARES website (https://www.ares.or.jp/action/research/pdf/esgkaijien.pdf?open=1).
< What's in the book >
Cases are arranged by ESG themes of Environment, Social, and Governance, and include reference materials. ARES member companies, investors, and other users can reference and research disclosure practices relevant to them. Cases under each theme correspond to concepts set forth in widely recognized ESG frameworks, including the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) which defines how companies should disclose information on sustainability, and the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) which sets industry-specific standards for ESG disclosure.
< How to read the book >
Below is a view of one case study, "1. Environment 1.1 Environmental Vision and Management". Figure i (in red) "Correspondence with ESG Framework” specifies how the case corresponds to GRI and SASB. Figure ii shows examples of relevant SDGs among the 17 promulgated by the United Nations (https://sdgs.un.org/goals). Figure iii gives an overview of each ESG case study, including definitions, required actions, and recent trends. Figure iv shows subheadings for points, followed by examples of ESG information disclosure by J-REITs.
The case studies introduce 66 useful and easily understood examples of ESG information disclosure by J-REITs and other entities. Cases were selected by the Japan Research Institute using criteria listed in Figure v ("Focused Points”).
The book is designed to appeal to a variety of readers, investors, and other consumers of ESG disclosure who seek to deepen their understanding of J-REIT ESG initiatives. The amount of information in each case study is determined with the readers in mind. Representative and leading cases are presented in easily understood terms accompanied by explanatory charts and tables, as in Case 1 (Figure iv above).
ARES member companies in a position to disclose ESG information will find guidance for organizing their own ESG initiatives among the many examples of multiple asset investments provided in compact format, such as that presented in Case 2-1 (Figure vi below).
For each case study, the website URL is provided as a source from which details can be confirmed.
This collection of case studies covers examples of J-REITs that specialize in each of the various asset types, including offices, residentials, logistics, retails, and hotels. ARES believes these studies will help member companies evolve their own ESG and SDGs initiatives and allow investors in Japan and abroad to deepen their understanding of these activities.
About ARES: https://www.ares.or.jp/en/