The Commonwealth Bank (CBA) has this month unveiled its Property Sustainability Upgrade Loan that will assist Australian businesses in lessening the environmental impact of their commercial properties, while reducing the future operating costs of the building.

Available to both new and existing customers, eligible businesses now possess the ability to increase their Commercial Property Investment Loan by up to 20 percent to complete sustainable upgrades to their properties to achieve a NABERS rating improvement, or to reduce the emissions of a property. Working closely with NABERS, the CBA has developed a loan eligibility criteria in order to give businesses a helping hand in reducing their emissions by at least 30 percent, and to meet or exceed average market performance. The loan contains zero margin, with no establishment, line or usage fees required.

CBA’s Executive General Manager of Business Lending, Clare Morgan says the bank is intent on driving down the impacts commercial properties have on the wider environment. 

“Sustainability upgrades can significantly reduce a property’s carbon footprint while improving energy and water efficiency,” she says.

“As the largest commercial real estate lender in Australia, we play an important role in supporting the industry to lower its emissions. To encourage businesses – both our existing customers and new customers – to play their part and make these upgrades, we are offering the ability to borrow up to an additional 20 percent, with zero line fees and no establishment fee through these loans.

“Investing in sustainability upgrades also makes commercial sense in that it can boost the value of properties while reducing operational costs, making the property more attractive to long-term renters and potential buyers.”

Businesses can apply for loans if they are looking to implement a number of sustainable upgrades to a building or property. These include energy efficient lighting, eco and smart building management systems, energy efficient lifts and escalators, solar panels and battery storage, heating, ventilation and air conditioning upgrades, water recycling systems, cladding and insulation upgrades and fenestration efficiency upgrades.

The benefits of improving the sustainability of commercial properties are many. They can significantly reduce property operating costs, have greater appeal to tenants, reduce sustainability risk factors, give an owner potential access to government grants and funding schemes and bring positive environmental impact.

“CBA and NABERS worked together to design this offer that incentivises building upgrades that will result in real and measurable sustainability outcomes. We’re excited by the potential of partnering NABERS data sets with a sustainable loan product that could have a positive long term impact on emissions reductions,” says Magali Wardle, Head of Market Development at NABERS. 

“With over 60 percent of commercial office buildings currently having a NABERS energy rating below 5 stars this loan has great potential for buildings to make important energy efficiency upgrades.

“We appreciate it’s a challenging time with some buildings experiencing reduced foot traffic or lower occupancy, however, for some businesses this has become an ideal time to undertake building upgrades and property improvements and we’ve already seen strong demand.

“We encourage new and existing customers to speak with us and see if a sustainability upgrade might be right for them. Depending on their situation and location, new green credentials could also make them eligible for other incentives like the federal government’s instant asset write off or various state-based energy upgrade schemes.”

For more information regarding the loan, visit