The Green Building Council of Australia announces a new partnership with Kathmandu, Australia's leading specialist in quality clothing and equipment for travel and adventure. Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) is Australia’s authority on sustainable buildings and communities.

Committed to developing a sustainable retail offering, Kathmandu is working with the GBCA to develop a sustainability-focused design framework for its retail tenancies.

GBCA's chief executive Romilly Madew explains that the new partnership signals a new era for Australia's retail industry, which is lagging behind the commercial sector when it comes to sustainability. Commercial businesses that have taken sustainability seriously are reaping the rewards; the same will be true for those in the retail space. 

According to Madew, Kathmandu recognises that minimising the environmental footprint and optimising its contribution to human health and community are integral to its business success. 

Kathmandu will work with the GBCA and aim to incorporate sustainable designs into new stores as well as improve energy efficiency in established stores, offices and distribution centres, says Kathmandu's sustainability & community manager Tim Loftus.

Kathmandu believes that sustainability is a strategic business decision, and one that will open up new opportunities and reinvent the bricks-and-mortar retail experience.

Research has found that integrating green design features such as access to natural light and ventilation, and choosing materials low in harmful chemicals can improve retail takings. Madew notes retail customers are getting savvier and are increasingly rewarding sustainability with their wallets. 

She also underlines the importance for retailers to embrace change and reposition themselves for the 'new normal'. Kathmandu is seizing the first-mover advantage by recognising that sustainability is an opportunity to cement customer relationships and attract and retain staff that demand more pleasant, productive and healthy workplaces.