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40% increase in certifications confirms sustainability is here to stay

Date Added: 16/12/2015 Last Updated: 16/12/2015

A 40 per cent increase in year-on-year Green Star certifications confirms that sustainability is here to stay, says the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA).

The GBCA certified 218 Green Star projects in 2015, compared with 156 in 2014.

In addition, 184 projects registered to achieve Green Star ratings over the course of the year, up 52 per cent on the 121 registrations in 2014.

“We have surpassed the magic 1,000 milestone, and now have 1,020 Green Star certified projects rated,” says the GBCA’s Chief Executive Officer, Romilly Madew.

“More than 530,000 Australians now work in Green Star-rated offices – that’s 4.5 per cent of our total workforce. A further 4,400 people now live in Green Star-rated apartments and more than 16,800 students learn in Green Star-certified schools. The Green Star – Communities projects certified this year will one day be home to 80,000 people.

“We applaud the efforts of every person, every organisation and every stakeholder – from our government members to our industry partners – that have demonstrated steadfast commitment to sustainability this year,” Ms Madew adds.

The GBCA has crunched the numbers, and acknowledges the leadership of a select group of companies.

Development leadership

Frasers Property Australia climbed to the top of the league table in 2015, with 62 Green Star projects registered and 58 projects certified over the course of the year. This is the second year in a row that Frasers Property has come out on top.

“Frasers Property stands at the forefront of leadership in sustainability. The team has made sustainability part of its DNA, after spending many years identifying opportunities to improve the efficiency of its portfolio. This year, Frasers Property certified 983,985 sqm of floorspace under the Green Star – Performance rating tool alone, and certified 1.03 million sqm in total.

“Frasers Property was also the first company to make a commitment to achieve 5 Star Green Star ratings for all new developments. Fifty-eight certifications in a single year is an exceptional result from an exceptional organisation,” Ms Madew says.

“The GBCA is our partner in sustainable development, providing the tools we use to define our aspirations and measure our performance, and establish a framework for driving continuous performance,” says Rod Fehring, Chief Executive Officer of Frasers Property Australia.

Ms Madew says Lendlease also deserves applause for certifying the largest area of Green Star space in 2015.

“Lendlease certified a whopping 1.39 million square metres of Green Star space this year – a truly mind-blowing effort. In total, Lendlease has 2.24 million square metres of certified space – almost double its nearest rival. Lendlease continues to strive for excellence in sustainability, and deserves its place as a green leader,” Ms Madew says.

Tarun Gupta, Lendlease’s Chief Executive Officer, Property, Australia and Deputy Chair of the GBCA says: “Lendlease’s vision to ‘create the best places’ is underpinned by a belief that the built environment has a critical role to play in delivering real action on climate change and contributing positively to the health and wellbeing of people. Our global $30.1 billion of major urban development projects, which have achieved or are targeting green certification, showcase our commitment to sustainability to our customers, residents and workers, and provide a compelling business case for green certification.”

Consultancy leadership

Arup Australasia has been the Green Star Accredited Professional on more projects than any other consultant, with a total of 11 Green Star certified projects for the year.

“Arup has 65 Green Star projects under its belt, including offices, schools and university buildings, apartments and shopping centres around the country. Many of Australia’s most talked about green buildings – including One Central Park, voted the world’s best tall building and Commonwealth Bank Place, which is arguably Australia’s greenest office – have been influenced by Arup’s talented team of thinkers and innovators,” Ms Madew says.

“Over the last decade we have enjoyed collaborating with GBCA to create amazing green buildings using a first principles approach. We are looking forward to our continued involvement with the GBCA in shaping the next generation of green buildings, liveable spaces and smarter cities,” says Haico Schepers, Arup Principal.

Special mention goes to dsquared as the ESD consultant on the first Green Star – Design & As Built office, Palumbo’s 185 Pirie Street in Adelaide.

Government leadership

The South Australian Government is the clear leader in 2015, with three Green Star ratings, including a massive 292,000 square metres of Green Star space at the New Royal Adelaide Hospital.

“The New Royal Adelaide Hospital was the largest Green Star project certified in 2015, but the South Australian Government’s leadership extends beyond bricks and mortar. It has committed to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, has achieved a Green Star – Communities rating for the Tonsley urban renewal project in Adelaide, and the 5 Star mandate at Bowden is beginning to bear fruit,” Ms Madew says.

Other notable government achievements include: Defence Housing Australia achieving the first 6 Star Green Star rating for a residential building for the Prince’s Australian Terraces in Adelaide; Wollongong City Council scoring the first 5 Star Green Star – Performance rating for its Council Administration Building; and the Sydney Opera House bagging a 4 Star Green Star – Performance rating.

Communities leadership

Lendlease was the only organisation to certify two Green Star – Communities projects in 2015: Alkimos Beach in Perth, which achieved the first 6 Star Green Star rating for a community, and Aurora in Victoria.

Stockland takes the crown for the largest certified Green Star – Community. Aura, on the Sunshine Coast, is the nation’s largest master planned community under single ownership, with 20,000 new homes on the horizon.

State leadership

State-by-state analysis reveals that New South Wales certified the most projects – 70 in total. In comparison, Victoria certified 62 and Queensland 46. Victoria still has more Green Star projects than any other state, with 292 in total.

“While our leaders are forging ahead, and the industry is heading in the right direction, we cannot be complacent in 2016. We must continue to share our successes and share the story of how sustainability can create brand value, encourage innovation, create new revenue streams, secure stakeholder confidence and mitigate risk,” Ms Madew concludes.