AFIRE Podcast #76: Putting People First

(Featuring Lauren Krause, Director of Environment, Social, and Governance, Grosvenor Americas and Brian Biggs, CFA, Research Director, Grosvenor Americas)

Though “impact investing” is no longer totally distinct from investing in general, investors still have a lot of work to do to fulfill the social and governance aspects of ESG expectations.

Gone are the days when investors considered “impact investing” separate from just “investing.” In virtually every industry, environmental, social, and governance (ESG) matters have moved from a peripheral concern to a core business pillar. Real estate is no exception.

Within real estate, the conversation around the environmental component of ESG is quite advanced—and with good reason, as real estate is one of the largest domestic sources of greenhouse gas emissions1 and embodied carbon2 in the developed world. The “E” of ESG also has well-defined assessment metrics, key milestones for decarbonizing, and a robust certification marketplace for verifying a building’s green credentials.

On this episode of the AFIRE Podcast, Lauren Krause, Director of Environment, Social, and Governance, Grosvenor Americas and Brian Biggs, CFA, Research Director, Grosvenor Americas, go deeper to explain the social and governance sections of ESG. Science has been very clear on environmental changes necessary, but it can be much more difficult to identify steps to take to fulfill the rest of ESG’s goals.

This podcast is based on the article “Putting People First” from Summit Journal (Summer 2021). Read the full article here.


Brian Biggs is responsible for helping set Grosvenor’s investment strategy, analysing transactions, and thought leadership across three deal functions. He also works collaboratively with Grosvenor’s global research team on thematic, cross-company projects. Brian joined Grosvenor in 2014, starting with the Group Holding Company in London before moving to Grosvenor Americas in 2018.

Prior to joining Grosvenor, Brian was a financial economist with Bloomberg and Europe Economics. Brian holds an MPhil from St. John’s College, University of Cambridge and a BA from Bradley University. He is also a CFA Charterholder.

Lauren Krause oversees, drives and evolves sustainability at Grosvenor and works to enhance the existing focus on delivering social benefit in North America. She is leading the Company in its pursuit of achieving the World Green Building Council’s (WGBC) Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment. Additionally, Lauren steers Grosvenor’s Equality, Diversity & Inclusion committee.

Lauren most recently held the position of Senior Development Manager for Grosvenor’s San Francisco office. She is an active member of the Urban Land Institute, serving on the Executive Board and on a National Product Council. She received a Master’s of Business Administration from the University of California, Berkeley.




The publisher of AFIRE Podcasts is not engaged in providing tax, accounting, or legal advice through this publication. No content published in the AFIRE Podcast is to be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell any asset. Some information included in the AFIRE Podcast has been obtained from third-party sources considered to be reliable, though the publisher is not responsible for guaranteeing the accuracy of third-party information. The opinions expressed in the AFIRE Podcast are those of its respective contributors and sources and do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher.


Benjamin van Loon, Communications Director | +1 202 312 1405

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