CapitaLand Ascott Trust (CLAS) has been named ‘Global Sector Leader – Hotel’ and ranked first in the ‘Asia Pacific Hotel – Listed’ category in the 2022 GRESB Real Estate Assessment (GRESB) for the second consecutive year. CLAS also scored ‘A’ for public disclosure for the second year running.
In recognition of its outstanding leadership in sustainability, CLAS is also the only hospitality trust from the ‘Asia Pacific Hotel – Listed’ category to receive the highest rating of 5 stars this year, placing CLAS in the top 20% of the benchmark globally. CLAS improved its performance from a 4-star rating last year to receive its first 5-star rating in 2022.
Ms Serena Teo, Chief Executive Officer of CapitaLand Ascott Trust Management Limited and CapitaLand Ascott Business Trust Management Pte. Ltd. (the Managers of CLAS) said: “CLAS places sustainability at the core of everything we do, from greening our global portfolio, reducing our carbon footprint and incorporating sustainability into our investment and financing decisions. Being recognised as a global sector leader in GRESB for the second consecutive year is an affirmation of our leadership in sustainability. We are pleased to be the only hospitality trust in Asia-Pacific to receive the coveted 5-star rating from GRESB. These achievements will enhance CLAS’ standing as not only the proxy hospitality trust in Asia-Pacific but also as one of the most sustainable investment trusts.”
“As we expand CLAS’ footprint globally to deliver long-term sustainable value to our Stapled Securityholders, we also continue to work with our operators and lessees to green our properties globally, and strengthen our environmental, social and governance (ESG) efforts in the communities we operate in,” added Ms Teo.
The GRESB Real Estate Assessment is a global benchmark that captures information on ESG performance and sustainability best practices for real estate funds and companies worldwide. The assessment is shaped by what investors and the industry consider to be material issues in the sustainability performance of real estate investments and is aligned with international reporting frameworks. In 2022, more than 1,800 property companies, REITs, funds and developers worldwide participated in the real estate assessment.
CapitaLand Ascott Trust strengthens leadership in ESG
CLAS continued to strengthen its ESG efforts to consolidate its reputation as a leader in ESG. In April 2022, CLAS issued its first sustainability-linked bond of S$200 million under its newly established Sustainability-Linked Finance Framework. CLAS is the first hospitality trust globally to issue a sustainability-linked bond and is also the first listed real estate trust in Singapore to issue a sustainability-linked bond. The bond was well-received by investors and was about 2.2 times oversubscribed.
CLAS has also received multiple accolades in recognition of its excellence in corporate governance and investor engagement. In August 2022, CLAS was ranked first amongst REITs and Business Trusts on the Singapore Governance and Transparency Index (SGTI) 2022 for the second consecutive year. In the same month, CLAS also won the gold award for ‘Best Investor Relations’ amongst REITs and Business Trusts at the Singapore Corporate Awards 2022.
CLAS aims to green 50% of its global portfolio by 2025
Currently, 35% of CLAS’ portfolio based on gross floor area is green-certified, and this is slated to increase to 38% with the completion of CLAS’ acquisition of nine properties from its sponsor, The Ascott Limited, in November 2022. CLAS targets to green 50% of its portfolio by 2025 and its entire portfolio by 2030. As part of its efforts to reduce carbon emissions, CLAS has stepped up its adoption of renewable energy, with its properties in Belgium, Germany and the United Kingdom procuring 100% of their energy from renewable sources. In FY 2021, CLAS’ energy consumption from renewable sources increased threefold.