The Opera House has been awarded a 5 star Green Star performance rating from the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA), becoming one of the first World Heritage-listed buildings globally to achieve the certification.

A number of successes including the Opera House’s recent Carbon Neutral certification, implementation of a new waste management program, efficiencies in water use and a more than 9 percent reduction in energy use have enabled the Opera House to achieve the certification.  

The Opera House has also signed a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with energy retailer Flow Power, whereby under the seven-year agreement, more than 85 percent of the Opera House’s yearly energy consumption of 16 gigawatt hours (equivalent to 2,500 households) will be matched with available supply from NSW wind and solar projects, including Sapphire Wind Farm in Glenn Innes and the Bomen Solar Farm under construction in Wagga Wagga.

According to Ian Cashen, Sydney Opera House executive director of Building: “The Opera House is Australia’s first heritage-listed building to commit to this innovative energy retail model, joining a growing number of high-profile organisations leading the way towards a low carbon future through investment in large-scale renewable projects.

“This deal brings us another step closer to our long-term renewable energy goals and will deliver significant savings in operational costs over its seven-year period.”

Minister for the Arts Don Harwin says that by “demonstrating what is possible with a World Heritage-listed building such as the Opera House, I hope this will inspire action by other buildings, old and new, to make positive changes to reduce their impact on the environment.”

Each of the initiatives announced today are essential to the Opera House’s long-term sustainability strategy. The achievement of our 5 Star Green Star rating reflects the significant progress we have made in reducing our own environmental impact. At the same time, the installation of the artificial reef is an example of our broader commitment to protecting and preserving the environment in action,” says Sydney Opera House Environmental Sustainability manager Emma Bombonato.