A new 2012 Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) study finds that real estate managers and investors are becoming more and more focused on sustainability issues, with 80 percent now having some sort of sustainability strategy in place.

Additionally, the study found that 60 percent were now collecting and reporting data about such things as energy consumption in their properties.

Typically, this data collection is accomplished by using what are termed “dashboard systems.” These systems help managers/investors monitor, measure, and report on the consumption of such things as energy, fuel, natural gas, water, etc.

The 2012 study included data from 450 property management companies and funds around the globe involved with 36,000 properties representing more than $1.3 trillion in assets.

The study also found that a large percentage of managers/investors who were defined as “Green Starters” in 2011--meaning that they were just starting to develop sustainability policies--had moved up the ladder to the next category, “Green Talk.”

These companies are now “actually putting thoughts into actions,” says Stephen Ashkin, CEO of Sustainability Dashboard Tools, LLC. “The Green Talkers have actually implemented sustainability measures, along with a means to collect the related data.”

The GRESB study also noted another significant trend: a rising prevalence of some sort of Green building certification. More than half of the respondents indicate their portfolios include properties that have earned LEED certification.

In addition, “the study found that in Australia and New Zealand, nearly 90 percent of the managers/investors work with their tenants to help reduce their properties overall environmental impact,” says Ashkin. “This is very important, [because together] they are helping to create a ‘culture of sustainability’ in which everyone realizes that they have a role in furthering Green and sustainable initiatives.”