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

GRESB assesses the environmental, social and governance performance of property funds globally, including corporate sustainability strategy, policies and objectives, environmental performance monitoring. In 2014, GRESB covered 637 funds representing $2.1 trillion in property value, including 44 participants from Australia with a gross asset value of $131 billion.

GBCA’s Chief Executive Officer, Romilly Madew explains that investors are increasingly demanding reliable data on energy efficiency and sustainability to help guide their decision-making. She adds that 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.

Observing that buildings will continue to be a focus of environmental legislation, GRESB’s Head of Asia Pacific Ruben Langbroek commented that green building certification programs have become institutionalised 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.

Langbroek believes reporting on sustainability performance at the portfolio and asset level will facilitate faster adoption of sustainability best practices by the global real estate industry, enhancing and protecting the value of real estate investments, and ultimately contributing to a more efficient and more sustainable built environment.

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

Madew concludes that the new partnership with GRESB will ensure GBCA members are part of the conversation about the future of sustainability benchmarking in Australia and around the world.