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Green Star Performance – who’s leading the charge?

Dexus, Frasers, Charter Hall and Vicinity Centres appear to be in fierce competition as to who can get the most Green Star Performance ratings under their belts.

The leaders’ uptake of the tool has been so extensive, between them they account for more than half of the more than 700 ratings certified or registered under the tool.

The tool assesses the operational performance of buildings against nine environmental impact categories – management, indoor environment quality, energy, transport, water, materials, land use and ecology, emissions and innovation.

GBCA chief executive Romilly Madew said it was not just commercial offices using the tool to assess asset performance, with 45 per cent of current ratings obtained for retail properties.

Vicinity Centres achieved 92 ratings last year, covering its entire portfolio.

Melissa Schulz, general manager sustainability, said the process helped to benchmark individual centre performance following the consolidation of its asset portfolio.

“We found it really helpful in highlighting existing areas of best practice, which we are now rolling out across the broader portfolio to drive performance improvements,” Ms Schulz said.

The tool will also be used to measure changes in performance in future.

As well as big league retail owners like Vicinity, smaller retail portfolios, such as centres held by SCA Property Group [Shopping Centres Australia], are also obtaining ratings across entire portfolios.

Dexus currently has 76 Performance ratings, including commercial office and industrial properties.

Paul Wall, group sustainability and operations manager, said the tool had been a “conversation starter” for its industrial tenants who occupy an asset class where data has been historically “difficult to obtain”.

“Having credible metrics to start the discussion with our industrial tenants allows us to open up a broader discussion about energy efficiency and renewable energy, which can provide benefits including cost reductions and energy security,” Mr Wall said.

Frasers Property Australia has also gained Performance ratings for industrial properties among the 70 Performance ratings it holds across its portfolio.

Paolo Bevilacqua, Frasers’ general manager sustainability said the tool had enabled the benchmarking of its properties at both an asset and a portfolio level.

This has enabled Frasers to make “more informed decisions” as it develops asset plans and sustainability strategies to improve performance.

Charter Hall now wants a piece of the Performance action, recently registering its entire portfolio of 179 assets. They include retail centres, distribution centres, logistics centres, commercial office properties and industrial properties around Australia.

Managing director and group chief executive David Harrison said the portfolio rating was important as it would provide a “consistent cross-sector benchmark to enhance our buildings’ operational performance and deliver our tenant customers a consistent high-performing product”.

2017 should see more action in this space, with AMP Capital earlier this year announcing it will seek Performance ratings for all its wholly owned Wholesale Office Fund assets this year as part of its ambitious, CEFC-backed plan to become carbon neutral by 2030. It already holds a 6 Star Green Star Performance rating for 700 Bourke St.

Other asset owners that have achieved one or more Performance ratings to date include ISPT, GPT, Mirvac, and Wollongong City Council.

Interestingly, among the holders of very large numbers of certified ratings, only SCA Property Group has elected to have the star rating, property name and location details of all their rated assets made publicly available at the GBCA website.

Looking through all ratings under Performance PILOT, Performance V1 and Performance V1.1, the majority of ratings certified are for assets whose details, including location and owner, have been withheld.

While many of the star ratings for these anonymous projects are quite low, ranging from 0 to 3 Stars, there are two with 4 Star Green Star Performance V1, one 6 Star Green Star Performance V1 and one with 4 Star Green Star Performance v1.1.

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