Australia extends winning streak in sustainable property market

Australia extends winning streak in sustainable property market
Australia extends winning streak in sustainable property market

Australia’s property market has extended its winning streak in green buildings by another year, according to a new report by data provider GRESB.

The average score of companies and funds in Australia/NZ improved to 74 in 2016 from 70 in 2015 against a global average of 60, according to the 2016 GRESB.  

GRESB is a leading data provider for environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance of real assets. For the current report, it assessed a record 759 real estate companies and funds, representing more than 66,000 assets and $3.7 trillion in gross asset value, according to a media release.

Australian property companies and funds that stood out were Lendlease, Stockland and DEXUS.

GRESB’s head of Asia Pacific, Ruben Langbroek, said Australia’s leadership reflects a long-term commitment to sustainability and a “pervasive spirit of collaboration and knowledge sharing”.

“Australia’s property industry also regards superior sustainability as a proxy for quality,” said Langbroek.

Australia now has more than 1,320 Green Star-rated buildings, and investors are increasingly demanding reliable data on energy efficiency and sustainability to help guide their decision-making, added Green Building Council of Australia CEO Romilly Madew.

“Sustainability is intimately connected with risk, reward and reputation – and sustainable buildings are not only more efficient and environmentally-friendly, but are also future-proofed assets,” said Madew.

The data also reveals that companies reporting to GRESB for seven consecutive years outperformed their peers in environmental, social and governance (ESG) by an average of 12 points.

The report named four sector leaders for Australia/NZ:

  • Retail: Lend Lease Sub-Regional Retail Fund – Lendlease
  • Office – Listed: DEXUS Office Trust
  • Office – Private: Australian Prime Property Fund Commercial – Lendlease 
  • Diversified – Retail/Office: Stockland

Lendlease was also named ‘global leader’, coming out top of the 759 companies and funds assessed.

“Lendlease remains steadfast in its commitment to sustainability, and is currently delivering Australia’s first carbon neutral precinct at Barangaroo South. With 74 Green Star ratings under its belt – including apartments, offices, libraries and entire communities – Lendlease continues to set a high watermark for sustainability,” said Madew. 

Stockland has achieved more ratings under the Green Star – Communities ratings than any other developer in Australia, has Green Star ratings for its entire retail portfolio and launched Australia’s first green bond.

“And DEXUS Office Trust now has 87 Green Star ratings, and has delivered some of the nation’s most iconic green buildings, such as 1 Bligh Street and 5 Martin Place in Sydney.

“We applaud these three companies for stellar sustainability leadership.”

GRESB also found that the Australia/NZ region decreased its energy consumption by two per cent over the reporting period. This decrease is the equivalent to the energy required to power 3,037 homes for a year.

The region’s four per cent reduction in carbon emissions equates to saving almost 1.4 million tonnes of greenhouse gases – the same amount generated by almost 286,000 passenger vehicles over an entire year.

“While we can be proud of our achievement, we can’t rest on our laurels. Our challenge is to keep raising the bar as we work towards a zero carbon industry,” said Madew. 

Sustainability Building Design

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