London may have strengthened its claim to be the world’s best business centre, but Sydney continues to set the benchmark for sustainability.

The UK’s capital city withstood post–Brexit concerns to claim pole position for the second time in a row on Price Waterhouse Coopers' seventh global Cities of Opportunity Index, while Sydney drew first with Stockholm in the sustainability category and came in 10th overall.  

The study benchmarks 30 leading business centres from around the world, measuring their performance against 10 indicators including transportation and infrastructure, ease of doing business, demographics and liveability, sustainability, technology readiness and cost.


Sydney was the only Australian city to be analysed and ranked third highest of the Asia­ Pacific cities, behind Singapore and Hong Kong, and fared well in health, safety and security (ranked third), and economic clout (ranked sixth).

It was let down by its tech-readiness, infrastructure and transport (although it did significantly improve on its 2014 position) and its ranking as city gateway to world travel.

The sustainability indicator was ranked on four major variables including water-related business risk, recycled waste, air pollution and natural disaster responsiveness.

View the full Price Waterhouse Cooper study here.


The news comes days after the release of the 2016 GRESB study report which showed that Australia’s property market remains the world’s most sustainable, despite increasing competition from other markets.

The GRESB is the leading data provider for environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance of real assets. For the 2016 report, a record 759 real estate companies and funds, representing more than 66,000 assets and AUD $3.7 trillion in gross asset value were assessed by GRESB.

Describing Australia’s performance as an “unbroken streak of global leadership”, the 2016 report reveals that the average GRESB score of companies and funds in the Australia/NZ region improved from 70 in 2015 to 74 in 2016 against the global average of 60.

GRESB’s Head of Asia Pacific, Ruben Langbroek observes that Australia’s leadership reflects a long-term commitment to sustainability and a “pervasive spirit of collaboration and knowledge sharing”. He adds that Australia’s property industry regards superior sustainability as a proxy for quality.

The report also reveals that companies reporting to GRESB for seven consecutive years outperformed their peers in environmental, social and governance (ESG) by an average of 12 points.