Arc Support for GRESB Participants

Chris Pyke
Published on
Wednesday, March 2, 2022

This article was last updated on Feb. 23, 2023.

GRESB is the global benchmark for the environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance of real asset companies and funds. Many partners help GRESB participants organize and submit data. Arc works on the other side of the GRESB process; Arc helps companies and funds use performance-based green building to achieve higher GRESB scores. 


  • GRESB can manage whole portfolios in Arc by entering, linking or syncing asset data through manual data entry, spreadsheet uploads or automated connections
  • Arc helps property companies achieve more than 12 different GRESB indicators, including energy ratings, waste management, operational building certifications, climate risk assessments and third-party surveys.
  • Arc tools contribute GRESB while simultaneously supporting green building certification, including LEED v4.1 for Operations and Maintenance (O+M) and LEED recertification.

More information

The Arc team can provide more information and answer questions. Please reach out by email.

Getting started

Arc provides several pathways for GRESB participants to upload or link GRESB asset data:

1. Upload a GRESB Asset Spreadsheet. Arc users can find this tool in the Portfolio section. It is available to all Arc users. Uploading a GRESB Asset Spreadsheet translates the GRESB structure into Arc and provides estimated Arc Performance Scores for energy, water and waste. These are accompanied by an indication of the number of assumptions made during this conversion (e.g., estimates of occupancy, schedule). Arc users can add data or edit parameters to generate full Arc Performance Scores and, for Arc Essentials users, create LEED readiness assessments for projects and portfolios.

2. Connect projects via a partner. Arc maintains data connections with a growing ecosystem of partners that collect and manage asset data for GRESB submission, including arbnco, ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, Energy Watch, Meaurabl, Schneider Electric, Bracelet, Wattics, QLEAR, Idun, FGB Studio and more. Data managed by any of these partners can be automatically linked and synced to Arc. More information about how to activate each connection is found in the Apps section after signing into Arc.

3. Upload multiple projects via an Arc portfolio spreadsheet. Arc has a custom Microsoft Excel workbook to load multiple projects. This spreadsheet can be used to organize and load any number of projects. It allows for the bulk entry of any required Arc field, an advantage over the GRESB spreadsheet. The workbook is available upon request. The Arc team will advise users on the use of the workbook. Arc may charge a setup fee to support large or complex portfolios.

Improving GRESB scores

Linking or loading projects is a starting point to understand sustainability performance and, in turn, earn higher GRESB scores. For 2023, new Arc tools and capabilities have expanded opportunities to improve GRESB outcomes. These include opportunities that can be realized over relatively short periods of time (e.g., risk assessments, energy ratings).

1. Building certification. Arc powers LEED certification for existing spaces and whole buildings. LEED certifications earn GRESB points for operational building certificates (BC 1.2). It is important to note that portfolio managers with existing LEED for Building Design and Construction certifications (BD+C) can improve their scores by using performance-based LEED recertification to achieve an operational building certificate. This streamlined process relies on performance data and past certification.

Pro Tip: Performance-based recertification provides a fast, streamlined way to earn GRESB points by adding operational building certificates to earlier design/construction building certificates.

2. Energy ratings. Arc can generate Performance Certificates. Energy ratings receive recognition for GRESB indicator BC 2. Performance Certificates provide Arc Performance Scores and key performance indicators for specified time periods. Based on the 2023 Reference Guide, Performance Certificates must cover a time period during or prior to the GRESB reporting period. However, the performance data period does not need to match the GRESB reporting period. Performance Certificates are available by subscription or in discounted bundles for portfolio users.

Pro Tip: Arc energy ratings can be generated on-demand for any space or building. Arc recommends assets have 12 months of monthly energy data; however, GRESB allows ratings based on partial data. 

3. Human Experience. Surveys are an integral part of the Human Experience performance category. Arc surveys can earn GRESB points related to employee and tenant engagement, including SE 2.1, TC1.0, and TC 2.1. These surveys are available to all Arc users. If needed, survey responses can be exported and submitted as documentation by generating a report from the “gear” at the top of the Meters and Surveys menu.

Pro Tip: Arc Human Experience information should be entered into GRESB Portal as “independent third party” with an “overall satisfaction” metric. Response rates are calculated and displayed in the Arc dashboard. 

4. Waste management. Arc meets GRESB requirements for waste management (RA5). Assets tracking waste in Arc based on LEED guidelines can earn GRESB points for ongoing waste performance monitoring, recycling and waste stream audits.

Pro Tip: Waste audits can contribute to both GRESB and LEED. They are a useful tool to understand and manage waste streams. More information about the Arc Waste Performance Score and the support LEED 2009 waste stream audit credit.

5. Risk assessment. Arc Climate Risk tools help GRESB participants earn points for the Risk Assessment for Standing Investments Portfolio criteria (RA1). This GRESB indicator includes an extensive list of options. Arc supports these in two ways:

  • All Arc users can calculate energy scores for source energy and GHG emissions—supporting a positive response to the energy efficiency, energy supply and GHG emissions criteria.
  • Arc Climate Risk adds support for the flooding and natural hazard criteria.

As with other GRESB criteria, these assessments are scored as a percentage of the total portfolio.

Pro Tip: Arc Climate Risk can quickly increase portfolio coverage for transition and physical risk.

Summary of Arc support for 2023 GRESB indicators

GRESB Indicators

Arc Solution


Operational building certifications (BC 1.2)

LEED O+M certification

LEED Recertification


No documentation required; reported as a percentage of floor area covered

Note: GRESB participants with LEED “building certificates at the time of design/construction” can earn more points by using Arc to pursue “operational building certifications” using performance-based recertification

Operational building certifications (BC 1.2)

≥3 Performance Certificates (noted in the Reference Guide as “Arc Performance Certificates - 3”)

Assets with three or more Performance Certificates can earn “partial” coverage recognition under operational building certificates. 

Respondents should generate Performance Certificates for the reporting period and report them to GRESB on a percentage of entity floor area basis. 

Energy ratings (BC 2)

Arc Performance Certificates

No documentation required; reported as a percentage of floor area covered.

The Reference Guide requires that the rating be based on performance during or preceding the GRESB reporting period. However, it does not necessarily need to overlap the reporting period.

GRESB recommends aligning the coverage of energy ratings with the definition of assets used in the Asset Portal. This means a one-to-one relationship between Arc performance certificates and assets.

Risk Assessment for Standing Investments Portfolio (RA 1)

  • Has the entity performed asset-level environmental and/or social risk assessments of its standing investments during the last three years?
    • Climate change/climate change adaptation
    • Energy efficiency
    • GHG emissions
    • Waste management
    • Water efficiency
  • The risk assessment is aligned with a third-party standard
  • Other

Energy Scores for Source Energy and GHG Emissions.

Advanced scoring provides asset-level assessments of alignment with Building Performance Standards, such as New York Local Law 97 and CRREM. 

Efficiency Analysis provides 

High-level, data-driven asset- and portfolio-level energy efficiency assessments. 

Climate Risk with Moody’s ESG Solutions Physical Risk Assessment (global) or Risk Footprint (USA only)

RA1 risk assessments are scored based on the percentage of portfolio floor area covers. 

Energy Scores for Source Energy and GHG Emissions address energy efficiency, energy supply and GHG emissions.

Climate Risk metrics address physical hazards, such as flooding and natural hazards. 

Waste Management Measures (RA 5)

Ongoing waste performance monitoring


Waste stream audit

These RA5 criteria can be met through Arc waste audits, tracking and reporting.

Employee Health and Well-being Survey (SE 2.1)

  • Independent third party
    • Overall satisfaction score

Tenant Satisfaction Survey (TC 2.1)

  • Independent third party
    • Overall satisfaction score

Arc Human Experience surveys provide occupant satisfaction results aligned with the LEED v4.1 green building rating system.

Arc Re-Entry provides an expanded set of occupant feedback metrics aligned with the LEED Re-Entry Pilot Credit. 

The SE 2.1 and TC 2.1 criteria can be met using the Arc Human Experience surveys. These LEED-approved, third-party surveys provide metrics for response rate, occupant satisfaction and information on sources of satisfaction or dissatisfaction.

Tenant Engagement Program (TC1)

  • Does the entity have a tenant engagement program in place that includes ESG-specific issues?
    • Provide tenants with feedback on energy/water consumption and waste

Arc dashboards, race track widget and email updates can provide tenants with feedback on energy, water, waste, transportation and human experience.

The TC1 criteria can be met using the Arc “dynamic racetrack”—this can be displayed on webpages or kiosks. The racetrack is available to all Arc projects (Manage → Settings). A sample project provides an example. 

Tenant Engagement Program (TC5.1)

The program includes:

  • Monitoring

Human Experience →  occupant satisfaction survey


Re-Entry → occupant feedback survey

TC5.1 assesses a tenant health and well-being program. Arc can contribute to the “monitoring” answer choice. 

Tenant Engagement Measures (TC5.2)

  • Needs Assessment
    • Tenant Survey
  • Monitor Outcomes
    • Environmental Quality
    • Population Experience and Opinions

Human Experience →  occupant satisfaction survey


Re-Entry → occupant feedback survey

TC5.2 answer choices can be supported by administering the Arc Human Experience survey to tenants to assess needs and evaluate program outcomes. 

Portfolio Improvement Targets (T1.1)

  • Has the entity set long-term performance improvement targets?

Advanced Scoring allows users to select and apply asset-specific performance targets for energy and emissions

T1.1 can be met if the portfolio (or its component assets) selects and tracks operational goals through a Building Performance Standard supported by Arc Advanced Scoring (e.g., CREEM, LL97, BERDO). 

Net Zero Targets (T1.2)

  • Has the entity set GHG reduction targets aligned with net zero?

Advanced Scoring allows users to select and apply asset-specific net zero performance targets for energy and emissions.

These can be validated through the LEED Zero program.

* More information about evidence-based GRESB indicators is available in the 2023 Real Estate Reference Guide.

More information

Responding to GRESB can be complicated, and the Arc team is available to help users understand specific criteria and leverage existing tools. Contact the Arc team for more information, including volume pricing for energy ratings and climate risk.