A trio of industry bodies have launched the word’s first listed infrastructure index to encourage better environmental, social and governance (ESG) disclosure.

The Global Listed Infrastructure Organisation (GLIO), real assets sustainability benchmark provider GRESB and Global Property Research (GPR) said they have launched the GLIO/GRESB ESG Index.

Managed by real assets index specialist GPR, the index will expand upon the parent GLIO Index and use GRESB’s annual infrastructure public disclosure scores to weight constituents.

The GLIO/GRESB ESG Index can serve as the basis for institutional asset mandates and exchange-traded funds (ETFs), the companies said, adding that it also provides an “essential tool for investors to engage with constituent companies on improving public disclosure and transparency going forward”.

Manoj Patel, chairman of the GLIO Index committee, said: “The launch of the GLIO/GRESB ESG Index is a leap forward in the sophistication of the asset class, aimed at encouraging better ESG disclosure.

“We see this as a move towards better ESG engagement with companies, enabling investors to benchmark through an ESG lens.”

Fraser Hughes, GLIO CEO, said: “Building on the parent GLIO Index and leveraging the experience of real assets ESG assessment specialist GRESB, puts us in a unique position.

The GLIO/GRESB ESG Index is infrastructure-focused, infrastructure-backed and produced for specialist infrastructure investors, which means future developments are tailored to their needs. This is critical for the asset class to move forward in a representative and timely way.”

Sander-Paul van Tongeren, CEO of GRESB, said: “GRESB is pleased to contribute data on the ESG transparency of listed infrastructure companies for this first of its kind infrastructure ESG index.

“We anticipate growing interest in ESG data from listed infrastructure companies mirroring what we have seen in the private equity infrastructure space over the last five years.”

Jeroen Vreeker, director at GPR, said the index was the first of its kind covering the majority of available market capitalisation in listed infrastructure and remains highly diversified across countries and sectors.

“The GLIO/GRESB ESG Index is a valuable addition to GPR’s suite of tailor-made benchmarking solutions.”

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