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A word from Rom - Rewriting the rules

While politicians continue to debate emissions targets, the international community negotiates a climate change deal and we creep closer to the UNFCCC discussions in Paris in December, the Australian property industry has been turning the dial right up on sustainability leadership - and is achieving better outcomes than any other industry sector. 

Our industry hasn’t waited for federal government support, and it hasn’t followed global examples – we’ve just re-written the rules of the game. And boy, have we done it with gusto. 

There are now six certified Green Star – Communities projects and another 34 registered. These include university and airport masterplans, inner city infills and large-scale greenfield developments that will have their own postcodes. 

Every week we announce the certification or registration of unique and diverse Green Star projects – from railway stations to community halls, university faculties to apartments, Indigenous centres to libraries, well-known restaurants and wineries, hospitals and health fund HQs. From Melbourne to Mudgee, Perth to Penrith, from Tasmania to the Top End – Green Star has spread like wildfire.

The leading organisations in our industry are changing the game, and they are using Green Star to help them rewrite the rules.

Australand, for instance, has spent many years identifying opportunities, testing ideas and developing capabilities – and has 1.3 million square metres of Green Star-rated floor space as positive proof of its green leadership.  

Now, Australand is making a firm and fearless commitment to achieve minimum 5 Star Green Star – Design & As Built ratings for all new industrial, commercial and retail projects. Does Australand think business-as-usual is broken? You betcha. 

Or how about Lendlease, that has just achieved the nation’s first 6 Star Green Star – Performance rating at Commonwealth Bank Place?

This Sydney landmark now boasts the first ‘quadrella’ of Green Star ratings for design, construction, interior fitout and operations.  As investors seek guidance on safe, sustainable assets, Lendlease understands that business-as-usual doesn’t cut it.  Instead, Lendlease is determined to demonstrate an enduring commitment to buildings that are sustainable not just on the day the doors open, but for many years to come. 

Or consider Stockland, with five new Green Star ratings for retail centres under its belt in less than a year, the first green bond issuance and the first commitment to Green Star portfolio ratings

Or Kathmandu, which is working with us to revolutionise the retail space, or Coles, which has just achieved the first Green Star rating for a sustainable supermarket.  

These companies are rewriting the rules – because they know that if they don’t, someone else will. 

Breaking out of business-as-usual is not limited to the big players in our industry. Adelaide developer Palumbo recently achieved the first Green Star – Design & As Built rating, and took the risk of trying something new because it was better than the risk of staying with the same-old, same-old. 

And Palumbo understands that its Green Star rating for 185 Pirie Street will translate into a broader tenancy base, lower outgoings and quality asset.

As the innovators continue to challenge the status quo, we understand that Green Star must continue to adapt and evolve too.  In the last six months alone we have forged new international partnerships with GRESB, the Green Building Information Gateway and the Climate Bonds Initiative to support our industry as it pushes the boundaries of best practice and delivers better places for people. 

These are just some of the strategic partnerships and conversations we are having, and many more discussions are underway. 

And we’ve worked hard to streamline our systems and refine our processes – with feedback on our Green Star portfolio approach and Design & As Built certification confirming that we’re delivering on our promises.  I was particularly excited to hear Paul Davy, the ESD consultant on 185 Pirie Street, say that getting a Green Star rating is now cheaper than ever before

The evidence of this evolution is there for all to see.  More than 970 Green Star projects equating to more than 11 million square metres of Green Star certified space.  That’s nearly double the size of the Melbourne CBD.

Our industry’s vanguards are questioning business-as-usual, repositioning their products, inspiring their staff and growing their capacity to deliver new levels of possibility.  They are building equity in their brands, loyalty with their investors and a future full of possibility. 

And as they do, Green Star will be here to help them rewrite the rules.