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Most outsourced ESG roles – and most retained in-house

NAREIM Sustainability Meeting - key takeaway #2

March 8, 2023

During the NAREIM Sustainability meeting in New York this week, NAREIM members discussed staffing and resources – and which ESG functions they typically outsource and retain in-house.

The key work outsourced by members focused on data collection and management as well as reporting to benchmarks such as GRESB and PRI. In comparison, almost all members agreed they retained ESG strategy in-house along with client reporting and answer investor DDQs.

See below for the full ranking of inhouse and outsourced work. 

ESG outsourced functions: The top 4 ESG functions outsourced among NAREIM members included:

  • Reporting to benchmarks, such as GRESB, PRI

  • Data collection, management & assurance, particularly in relation to utility data collection

  • Decarbonization/energy audits and planning

  • Green building certifications

Other outsourced functions included:

  • TCFD

  • SFDR, legal assessment

  • Renewable energy deployment

  • Tenant satisfaction surveys

  • Property management surveys

  • Regulatory oversight and review

  • Solar, EV charging stations

ESG internal functions: The top 4 ESG functions that are retained internally among NAREIM members included:

  • ESG & Corporate Social Responsibility strategy and governance – including policies and procedures

  • Client reporting & DDQs

  • Reporting to benchmarks, such as GRESB, PRI

  • Corporate engagement and education

Other internal functions included:

  • Data analysis, including utility data

  • Climate risk assessments

  • Managing solar projects

  • SFDR

  • Regulatory oversight

  • Risk framework

  • ESG reports

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