GBCA and GRESB Partner to Benchmark Sustainability Performance

The Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) has formed a partnership with GRESB, a global sustainability benchmark for real estate portfolios, to advance reporting on environmental, social and economic performance in Australia’s real-estate sector.

“Increasingly, investors are demanding reliable data on energy efficiency and sustainability to help guide their decision-making. The Green Building Council of Australia is determined to play a role in the global discussion around benchmarking on behalf of its members, and to ensure Australia maintains its position as a global leader in sustainability,” says the GBCA’s chief executive officer, Romilly Madew.

GRESB assesses the environmental, social and governance performance of property funds globally, including corporate sustainability strategy, policies and objectives, environmental performance monitoring, and the use of high-quality voluntary rating systems, such as Green Star.

In 2014, GRESB covered 637 companies and funds representing $2.1 trillion in property value. Australia had 44 participants, with a gross asset value of $131 billion.

“There is no doubt that buildings will continue to be a focus of environmental legislation. Green building certification programs have become institutionalized in the real estate market, with more than 800 Green Star-certified buildings across Australia. This trend of increasing transparency and enhanced sustainability performance at the asset level will meet investors’ need for reliable, investment grade data on sustainability,” says Ruben Langbroek, GRESB’s head of Asia Pacific.

“Reporting on sustainability performance at the portfolio and asset level will increase the speed with which sustainability best practices diffuse into the global real estate industry. This will enhance and protect the value of real estate investments, and ultimately contribute to a more efficient and more sustainable built environment,” Langbroek adds.

The 2014 GRESB results confirmed Australia and New Zealand lead in overall performance, with Lend Lease and ISPT announced in a list of 11 global leaders.

“Increasingly, investors are demanding global comparability and transparency. Aligning the number of global labels and benchmarks across geographies is critical. GRESB and the GBCA have the opportunity through this partnership to benchmark sustainability and non-financial ESG metrics,” says Kylie Rampa, managing director of Lend Lease Investment Management.

“This new partnership will provide GBCA members with more value, and ensure they are part of the conversation about the future of sustainability benchmarking in Australia and around the world,” Madew concludes.

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