ESG and the Financial Performance of Listed Property Companies

3 - 6 maanden

We are doing research on the impact of ESG on the financial performance of listed property companies. Are they rewarded for it by the stock market? What is the relationship between reported ESG performance and financial performance among the companies reporting to GRESB? Does that sound interesting? Then this challenge is all yours!

Background of the thesis

Institutional Investors all over the world are increasingly considering Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) aspects when making investment decisions. This holds for all asset classes, and for real estate in particular. Environmental issues play a key role there: Real estate is responsible for one third of global greenhouse gas emissions, so improving its energy efficiency can make a big difference in combatting climate change. However, a key question for investors is whether investments to improve energy performance are enhancing or reducing financial performance. In other words, is there a conflict between ESG performance and financial performance?

Scope of the thesis

In the last decades, a number of ESG measurement tools have been developed, both at the building and at the property company level. GRESB is the key tool to measure ESG performance for listed and unlisted property companies and it is widely used by institutional investors all over the world. The idea for the thesis is to answer the following questions, for which the data is available at Finance Ideas:

  1. Do listed property companies that measure ESG performance and report it to GRESB perform better financially (in terms of alpha, beta, ROA, ROE, FFO, …) than those who do not?
  2. What is the relationship between reported ESG performance and financial performance among the companies reporting to GRESB?
  3. Are companies that improve their ESG performance rewarded for it by the stock market?
  4. What is the relationship between GRESB score and actual CO2 emission reductions?

Combine your thesis with projects

Apart from doing projects, we aim to let the young and talented develop. Each year we accompany a few students during their thesis while they work along with a number of interesting projects for any of the three sectors we are involved with. The thesis work is always prioritized, so that you can be sure to finish it in time. Good to know: Finance Ideas has access to all necessary databases, so there will be no risks for you data wise.

As a company we put great emphasis on academically sound advice and often come across subjects that are, in our opinion, underexposed. We supports institutions in a variety of activities. For example. We have recently assisted a healthcare institution in a funding process for a loan of €100 million with the European Investment Bank to invest in its real estate. We have also set up an engagement network for institutional investors, called the Global Real Estate Engagement Network (GREEN). On behalf of GREEN we talk with real estate operating companies globally and aim to improve their sustainability efforts through the use of continuous dialogue. The network already represents €70 billion in assets under management and will in all probability grow in the future.

About Finance Ideas

Finance Ideas is a consultancy firm specialized in the real estate sector, located in Utrecht. The company was established in 2004 by four experienced professionals within the real estate sector, among which are two professors (Piet Eichholtz and Kees Koedijk) who specialize in the field of sustainability and real estate. We make impact with social capital, which it aims to achieve through serving clients in three different sectors: institutional investors (pension funds and insurance companies), healthcare institutions, and social housing corporations. All three sectors share a commonality in their social goals and their primary motive not being financial gain.

Some practical information:

  • Duration of internship:Usually 5-6 months
  • Type of internship:Regular or thesis internship
  • Compensation: € 500,- a month (based on 40h workweek)
  • In office/online:Both are possible, but we prefer at least some office presence

On our website we have listed a number of other interesting topics besides the one described above. Of course you are free to bring in your own topic for a thesis. Next to working along with projects and doing your thesis there is of course also time for trips and Friday night drinks. A lot of recent graduates work at Finance Ideas, who before did a regular or thesis internship, so who knows you might be our next colleague.

Does this sounds interesting?

Are you in the final phase of a financial of economics master degree? Are responsible, analytical and do you have affinity with numbers? Send us your resume.

You can send your resume, motivation letter and list of grades to our recruiter. She can be reached on 030 – 232 0480 or through email: Do you have any questions about the thesis itself? Feel free to contact Jerome Mans through email:

Stage informatie

Bedrijf: Finance Ideas

Locatie: Utrecht

Opleidingsniveau: WO

Periode: 3 - 6 maanden

Type: Afstudeerstage

Vergoeding: Marktconform

Op zoek naar een baan?
Wij helpen je graag!