The big winners in the NABERS portfolios index 2020

Part of the Cbus Property portfolio in Melbourne

It’s only the second iteration of the NABERS Sustainable Portfolios Index but it’s seen a 48 per cent jump in participation since last year.

There’s now 40 portfolios disclosing their energy and water performance, with overall energy use tracking downwards across the portfolios indexed last year.

This year, CBUS Property topped the charts with the best performing office portfolio on carbon emissions, with Local Government Super, Charter Hall, Brookfield, Lendlease and GPT portfolios also high achievers in office energy.

Local Government Super still has the best performing shopping centre portfolio on NABERS energy ratings, with Stockland, Lendlease, AMP Capital and GPT portfolios also top performers in shopping centre energy.

The index, which is designed to make it free and easy for the public to see the sustainability performance of Australia’s biggest property portfolios, has a couple of new features.

NABERS is now measuring indoor environment quality and waste at the commercial portfolio level, with 17 pioneering portfolios opting to display their performance against these indicators.

NABERS director Carlos Flores says that overall, energy use and carbon emissions have gone down compared to last year.

Flores says it’s great to see a growing number of companies being open and transparent about their portfolio’s environmental performance. It’s a bold move that tends to pay off as it allows investors to track improvement over time.

Going forward, Flores wants to see more companies at an earlier stage of their sustainability journeys to join the market leaders on the index.

The benefits of tracking performance at the portfolio level

Flores suspects the index is one of the world’s largest publicly available indices showing fund environmental performance side-by-side, making it a powerful tool for investors and anyone else interested in a whole-of-portfolio view of building sustainability.

The index will help many investors and other stakeholders to have easy access to the verified progress each of these leaders are making towards net zero emissions.

While much of this information is available already in some form, it is typically embedded deep in many different sustainability reports. It makes it difficult to understand what is happening across the whole market, and how the environmental performance of one portfolio compares to others.

Flores says this kind of comparison can be very helpful for building owners, validating the efforts of teams making great progress while also motivating others to aim even higher.

“We have also received a lot of interest from building owners, many of whom are genuinely interested and curious to see how they are tracking against their peers.”

Charter Hall head of sustainability and community Margot Black said that the industry has come a long way in terms of sustainability.

“As we return to work, it will be more important than ever to provide our tenant customers with high-performing, environmentally friendly and resilient workplaces that not only drive business efficiencies, but also prioritise employee wellbeing.”

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