Our Approach
2021 ESG report: Our approach

As a responsible, future-focused real estate investor, we recognise ESG factors not only drive long-term investment returns but also contribute to the communities in which we operate.

In our view, accounting for ESG risks and opportunities can lead to more informed investment decisions and better outcomes for society and the environment. We consider ESG factors in all our investment decisions and through our active asset management to maximise long-term sustainable outcomes for our clients.

We undertake careful consideration of our ESG priorities under the framework of QIC’s Responsible Investment Policy, as well as our ESG Minimum Standards, Environmental Management System and QICGRE's ESG Strategy which was refreshed and refocused during the reporting period.

Our ESG risk management processes take the precautionary principle into account, and our ESG investment objectives are the responsibility of all our employees and partners, and key performance indicators related to ESG are linked to remuneration and weighted to ensure transparency, outcomes, and accountability.

Report Profile

The QICGRE ESG report is distributed annually and is aligned to the Global Reporting Initiative’s (GRI) Sustainability Reporting Standards in accordance with their ‘Core’ option.

This report:

  • Follows our 2020 ESG report, and covers the FY21 period from 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021
  • Covers the economic, governance, environmental and social topics we consider material to our business, as identified under the GRI 103 Standards
  • Incorporates a GRI Content Index with links to content under the GRI topics 
  • Covers the physical Australian assets we manage, encompassing relevant properties held under the QIC Property Fund (QPF), the QIC Town Centre Fund (QTCF), the QIC Office Fund (QOF), the QIC Active Retail Property Fund (QARP), and the QIC Australian Core Plus Fund (QACPF).


US-based assets owned and managed by QICGRE are excluded from this report. 

Independent Audit
KPMG was engaged in 2021 to provide limited assurance over key 2021 environmental performance data presented in Our Performance - Key Data and Trends, aligned with the Australian Standard on Assurance Engagements ASAE. Their Limited assurance report is available here.
Memberships and Charters

QIC maintains memberships and affiliations with the following organisations and governing bodies, to provide overarching direction and oversight of our management of ESG across our asset portfolio. These memberships allow us the opportunity to contribute to the development of a range of initiatives while also gaining relevant insights into the latest developments in the ESG space. 

QIC’s current memberships and partnerships include: 

  • United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UN PRI)
  • Responsible Investment Association of Australasia (RIAA)
  • Investor Group on Climate Change (IGCC)
  • Property Council of Australia (PCA)
  • Asia Pacific Real Estate Association (APREA)
  • Asian Association for Investors in Non-Listed Real Estate Vehicles (ANREV)
  • Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB)
  • Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA)
  • Climate Action 100+

Within QIC Global Real Estate, we are also active members of a range of ESG-related forums and working groups, including:

  • Shopping Centre Council of Australia 
  • Property Council of Australia, National Sustainability Roundtable 
  • Property Council of Australia, National Social Sustainability Committee 
  • Property Council of Australia, Modern Slavery Working Group
  • Asian Association for Investors in Non-Listed Real Estate Vehicles (ANREV) Sustainability Committee
  • Sustainable Digitalisation Project (SDP) Roundtable
  • Cleaning Accountability Framework, Board
  • Business for Societal Impact (B4SI).
Refreshed QICGRE ESG Strategy

During the year, we reviewed and refreshed our ESG strategy. The review recognised our achievements to date in progressing our ESG agenda and performance, and aimed to refocus our approach and amplify our efforts on ESG themes identified as most material to the real estate portfolio. This refresh will ensure we are aligned with best practice approaches, evolving client and other stakeholder expectations, and are well placed to respond to current and emerging ESG themes moving forward.

We undertook a series of interviews with external stakeholders to understand the ESG themes they felt were of highest strategic importance to GRE. This included clients, tenants, industry organisations, suppliers, community groups and local government. These ESG themes were presented to senior managers from GRE and QIC's broader business through an internal workshop, where participants were asked to identify the themes that they thought were most strategically important for QICGRE.

The outputs of the materiality deep dive informed the development of a refreshed ESG Strategy with an updated vision and strategic focus areas. This will enable us to undertake initiatives that will drive the greatest value (for QIC, our assets and clients, as well as for the environment and community), realise opportunities and manage risks. Our strategic focus on material environmental and social issues is underpinned by a commitment to high standards of governance.

GRE's refreshed ESG strategy was endorsed by GRE's Sustainability Committee and represents a continuation of our strong ESG programs and achievements to date. Additionally, it identifies additional areas of focus where we can amplify our efforts in line with best practice approaches and evolving client and other stakeholder expectations. Our refreshed ESG strategy focuses our efforts around four priority areas.

ESG (1)

A set of long-term (to 2030) and short term (FY22) objectives have been developed to guide the implementation of our ESG Strategy and against which to monitor our progress over time.

Long and Short term objectives v2

Through our four strategic focus areas and long-term objectives, QICGRE aims to help progress the following Sustainable Development Goals:

Resource efficiency and circular economy; Sustainable value chain

  • UN SDG Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

Climate change

  • UN SDG Goal 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
  • UN SDG Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

Community investment

  • UN SDG Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
  • UN SDG Goal 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries.
Environmental Management System

During the year, QICGRE continued to manage our environmental performance via our Environmental Management System (EMS), which provides a framework to protect the environment and respond to changing environmental conditions in balance with socio-economic needs.

It specifies requirements that enable QICGRE to achieve the following intended outcomes:

  • Enhancement of environmental performance and operational efficiency
  • Fulfilment of compliance obligations
  • Achievement of environmental objectives.

The EMS is consistent with the recognised international standard AS/NZS ISO 14001:2016 Environmental Management Systems Requirements with Guidance for Use (ISO 14001). It provides a systematic approach to environmental management, using the Plan-Do-Check-Act approach outlined in ISO 14001:

  • Plan: establish environmental objectives and processes necessary to deliver results in accordance with QICGRE's environmental policy
  • Do: implement the processes as planned
  • Check: monitor and measure progress against the environmental policy, including its commitments, environmental objectives and operating criteria, and report the results
  • Act: take actions to continually improve.

The principal elements of the EMS are outlined below:

  • Leadership
  • Planning
  • Support and operation
  • Performance evaluation
  • Improvement.

We take a continuous improvement approach to the application of our EMS and during FY22 it will undergo review to ensure alignment with the objectives laid out in QICGRE’s refreshed ESG Strategy.

ESG Minimum Standards

Our ESG Minimum Standards were developed to assist in ensuring our sustainability objectives are incorporated and measured consistently across the portfolio, as well as clearly demonstrating sustainability performance and commitment to our stakeholders.

Mandatory standards and ESG guidelines are applied to standing assets and our development projects to ensure our properties are designed and managed against our core focus areas.

Our ESG Standards and Guidelines will be reviewed in the coming year to ensure alignment with QICGRE's refreshed ESG Strategy.

ESG 2021