Significantly reduced energy and water consumption, higher sale price, lower vacancy rate, better ROI... these are just a few of the many benefits of a Green Star building. Presenting a powerful argument for Green Star certification, the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) recently released a report, ‘Green Star in focus: The business case’ at the TRANSFORM online conference.

Green Star is Australia’s leading standard for sustainability in the design, construction and performance of buildings, fitouts and communities. Since 2003, more than 2,500 building projects have achieved Green Star ratings, 40 percent of Australia's CBD office and retail space is Green Star certified, and half of ASX50 companies make property-related decisions based on the rating.

Speaking on the value of Green Star projects, GBCA’s chief executive officer Davina Rooney said, “In the last 18 months, the value dynamic has shifted dramatically as investors and consumers expect more from companies than ever before. As investors re-evaluate their portfolios to manage their risk, they need clear and consistent benchmarks to compare assets – and they are turning Green Star to do so.”

The GBCA report enumerates multiple benefits – both qualitative and quantitative – across the value chain, supported by insights from institutional investors, asset owners, governments, developers, professional services, office tenants and real estate agents among many more.

According to the report, Green Star buildings consume 66 percent less electricity and 51 percent less water than the average Australian building, saving a significant amount of money for the occupant. Additionally, property owners gain tremendously from Green Star-rated office buildings, which deliver a 4.3 percent ‘green premium’ at the time of sale, a 13 percent higher return, a 25 percent longer Weighted Average Lease Expiry as well as a 56 percent lower vacancy rate.

Green buildings have also been endorsed by the International Finance Corporation, which views this segment as ‘a sizeable investment opportunity’ that will be worth $24.7 trillion by 2030.

In addition to delivering operational, financial and investment benefits, Green Star also helps companies demonstrate leadership, reduce project risk, and accelerate innovation. Companies employ Green Star certification as a tool to attract financial and tax concessions, meet reporting obligations and prepare assets for a carbon positive future.

Green Star certification costs are also down to 2.5% on average per project, which is attributed to upskilling in industry and more streamlined certification processes.

“Australia’s property and construction industry is on a long journey, and the challenges we currently face – from climate change to coronavirus – demand a completely different way of doing business,” Rooney noted.

“We need deeper engagement and more joined-up thinking along every link in the value chain. No single company can drive reform and innovate at the necessary scale and speed. We need collective action – and Green Star is a vehicle to help us take that action.”