Australian cities among world’s ‘greenest’: CBRE

Australian cities among world’s ‘greenest’: CBRE

4 May 2018

A new joint study conducted by CBRE and Maastricht University (Netherlands) has ranked Melbourne and Sydney among the ten top cities in the world to adopt “green” building certification programs.

The inaugural International Green Building Adoption Index (IGBAI) study reports that 18.6 per cent of space in ten markets across Australia, Canada, and Europe is now certified “green” versus just 6.4 per cent in 2007.

Sydney and Melbourne ranked third and fourth in the index, just behind Canadian cities Vancouver and Toronto.

In 2017, Australia’s Green Property Index figures demonstrated that on average the total three-year annualised return for “Green Star” six-star rated office buildings was 15.6 per cent compared to a 12.8 per cent total return for the remainder of the market.

According to the study, governments, corporate tenants and institutional investors are increasingly demanding more environmentally responsible buildings, especially in cities where “green” properties made up virtually no part of the office market just a few years ago.

Sydney and Melbourne, for example, saw their “green” office square footage increase from less than one percent in 2006 to more than 46 and 28.8 percent, respectively, in 2017.

CBRE’s Pacific Head of Sustainability Emma McMahon said the Australian real estate market had long been recognised as a global leader in sustainability and adoption of green building certification.

“Australia has topped the GRESB leader board for the past seven years in a row,” Ms McMahon said.

“The country’s industry driven integrated approach to sustainability and associated reporting is testament to efforts to create efficient buildings and precincts, healthy working environments and inclusive communities.

Increased use of green building certification tools such as Green Star and NABERS in Australian office markets have directly contributed to our high “Green” credentials, she added.

All of the cities studied in the CBRE report were increasingly “green,” despite the wide variety of local building certification programs used around the world.

However, internationally recognised green building certificates tend to be more widely adopted in the commercial real estate market, said Dr. Rogier Holtermans, project lead on the International Green Building Adoption Index.

“Tenants and investors need such standardised measures of environmental performance,” he said.

CBRE’s International Green Building Adoption Index is an expansion of the firm’s annual U.S. Green Building Adoption Index, also produced in collaboration with Maastricht University.

The index details the growth and distribution of “green” buildings in the country’s top 30 office markets.

The report’s full market findings are as follows:

Rank Market Market Total

(Sq. Ft.)

% of Sq. Ft. Certified
#1 Vancouver 55 MSF 51.6%
#2 Toronto 49 MSF 51.0%
#3 Sydney 55 MSF 46.5%
#4 Melbourne 49 MSF 28.8%
#5 Warsaw 54 MSF 21.3%
#6 Frankfurt 118 MSF 17.5%
#7 Stockholm 124 MSF 12.6%
#8 Amsterdam 73 MSF 11.0%
#9 Paris 312 MSF 9.1%
#10 London 226 MSF 8.7%