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Australian rated highly in sustainability

Australia rates highly when it comes to sustainability  16000646 800514461 0 0 14091569 300

Australia has been rated highly when it comes to its sustainability, according to the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) 2013, which highlighted the nation's position as a global sustainability leader.

The GRESB is an industry-driven organisation that aims to assess the sustainability performance of real estate portfolios, public, private and direct, from around the world. This benchmark helps institutional investors to engage and aim to improve the sustainability performance of their investment portfolio, with a knock-on effect for the whole property sector.

In a media release from September 5, the GRESB said that Australia come out on top when it comes to sustainability performance, as the highest performing region for 2013.

Australia has been making efforts when it comes to sustainable building and development, in order to lower the impact of electricity prices on individuals and businesses, while also paying attention to the needs of the natural environment.

"Australia and New Zealand continue to demonstrate global leadership in sustainability performance as the top performing region in the GRESB Survey," said the GRESB report.

"It is the only region that achieves, on average, Green Star status. In 2013, the US and Canada advanced significantly - the average overall GRESB score in North America is 39, a 12 per cent improvement since 2012. In Asia, a growth region in the GRESB Survey, 22 per cent of participants are Green Stars."

Around the world the real estate sector is reducing its environmental impact. Over 2011-2012, energy consumption decreased by 3.8 per cent. During that same period, greenhouse gas emissions also reduced by 2.5 per cent, while water consumption decreased by 1.2 per cent.

Surprisingly, Europe is lagging behind other regions with only a reduction of 0.7 per cent in its energy consumption.

The US on the other hand, had a 6.6 per cent reduction in energy use, and a 4.8 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

More and more property companies and funds are achieving "Green Star" ratings, meaning that they meet stringent sustainability benchmarks and act as eco-friendly role models for the industry.

The GRESB report has noted that an increasing number of businesses are integrating sustainability into their everyday decision-making processes, and over 80 per cent of participants involve senior management in the reviewing and monitoring of processes.

Posted by Charlie Moore