Australand has become the first property group in Australia to achieve a Green Star- Performance portfolio rating, with 54 of its properties achieving an average rating of 3 Star Green Star – Performance.
This gives the group the largest area of Green Star certified space in the country, with more than 1.3 million square metres of floor space achieving the “good practice” standard across nine criteria including management.
The portfolio of 12 commercial office buildings and 42 industrial properties ranges from a 2,500 square-metre commercial office to a 61,000 sqm distribution centre and together constitutes the majority of the Australand Property Trust portfolio.
The group worked with the Green Building Council of Australia to achieve the rating and was one of the sponsors of the Performance tool’s development.
The tool assessed the portfolio against nine performance criteria: energy, water, transport, materials, indoor environment quality, management, land use and ecology, emissions and innovation.
Australand’s general manager sustainability Paolo Bevilacqua said the tool assisted the organisation with its focus on understanding asset performance and management and also with identifying how improvements could be made.
“The Green Star – Performance rating has provided a holistic sustainability benchmark of the performance of our portfolio, both in regards to our management policies and processes as well as actual performance indicators, something we have not had until now,” Mr Bevilacqua said.
“In the industrial sector this is particularly valuable given the lack of any similar performance based tools. With a performance benchmark for 42 industrial properties we are now able to better inform our customers on how their property is performing against similar properties, the opportunities for improvement and the implications to their business in terms of reduced operating costs and a better performing workspace.”
Mr Bevilacqua said the rating showed that on the whole the Trust’s properties were being managed well, while also providing direction on where it should focus to achieve improvements in overall performance.
“These include areas such as building user guides for customers, undertaking more regular testing of lighting systems, updating our customer surveys to allow us to better understand indoor environment quality performance, as well as the more obvious areas of energy efficiency, water conservation and waste minimisation,” he said.
“This rating is the first milestone in the long term, lifecycle sustainability journey for our assets. We will continue to engage closely with our customers to collect the relevant data and drive improved environmental performance.”
A major Kmart office facility was one of the assets within the portfolio that was Green Star certified.
Kmart general manager – Property, Ben Smith said the company was committed to reducing its environmental impact.
“Kmart is working with Australand to explore environmental opportunities to further this goal,” Mr Smith said.
GBCA chief executive Romilly Madew said this brought Australand’s total number of Green Star-rated buildings nationwide to 64 – more than double the number of its nearest competitor.
“We’ve always said that measurement is the first step towards better environmental management of our buildings,” Ms Madew said.
“Green Star – Performance certification provides Australand with a baseline from which it can improve its operations, set targets to increase energy and water efficiency and provide healthy, productive and sustainable space for its tenants.
“A 3 Star Green Star rating, representing ‘good practice’, sets a baseline as Australand looks to improve the efficiency of its portfolio in the years ahead.
“Australand sends a signal to the property and construction industry that existing buildings aren’t outside the scope of sustainability ratings,” Ms Madew said.
Sean McMahon, head of Australand’s Commercial and Industrial division said the portfolio commitment to the rating was “a valuable exercise to drive measurable change across our platform to ensure we remain a market leader in sustainability in the sectors in which we operate”.
“Over time we consider this portfolio rating will become influential for investors, occupiers and stakeholders in their respective decision making processes,” Mr McMahon said.