15 Nov 2023
The Green Building Council of Australia and the Australian Sustainable Finance Institute have today released a practical guide to drive greater understanding of sustainable finance for the real estate and finance industries.
The first-of-its-kind guide looks in detail at the mechanisms available, with the aim of facilitating more efficient adoption of them in the Australian market and unlocking the enormous environmental and investment opportunities available.
CEO of the Green Building Council of Australia, Davina Rooney, said improved collaboration between the real estate and finance sectors will be essential to meet Australia’s climate goals, with buildings accounting for almost a quarter of the country’s emissions.
“While our leading property companies continue to top international sustainability benchmarks, sustainable finance will be the key to extending this progress across the sector more broadly,” Ms Rooney said.
“Australia is on the cusp of a sustainable finance revolution, and when this opportunity is unlocked, the gains for global sustainability will be enormous,” Ms Rooney said.
“This is an exciting, and much-needed, opportunity to deepen cross-sector understanding of what’s possible as we move closer towards our decarbonisation goals.”
CEO of the Australian Sustainable Finance Institute, Kristy Graham, said growing Australia’s nascent market for sustainable finance in the building sector required a supportive ecosystem.
“This includes working together to establish common definitions and approaches for sustainable finance that are environmentally credible, understood and useable by industry, and inter-operable with global standards,” Ms Graham said.
“This is the technical, collaborative work that will underpin greater ambition for the property and finance sectors, leveraging the capabilities of each to support a safer and more prosperous future for all.”
Around the world, the real estate industry has increasingly embraced sustainable finance instruments such as green loans and green bonds, recognising their potential to drive decarbonisation efforts and support sustainable development projects.
“We are seeing significant year-on-year increases in investments in sustainable projects globally, and the built environment here in Australia is ripe for an explosion in opportunity,” said Ms Rooney.
“The real estate sector offers multiple opportunities to address climate, resource, and biodiversity issues – but it can’t do it by itself. The finance sector has a key role to play.”
Green loans and bonds are already accelerating the building and retrofitting of more efficient, low carbon, resilient and comfortable buildings – with no shortage of projects to complete in the coming years and decades.
The investment opportunity in numbers:
To achieve net-zero carbon targets by 2050, Australia must:
“This all represents an investment opportunity of at least half a trillion Australian dollars for the finance industry, if they’re equipped with the right knowledge and tools,” said Ms Rooney. “But more importantly, it will mean the finance industry will be better placed to play its crucial role in the fight against climate change as outlined by the IPCC.”
Unlocking the value: A practical guide for sustainable finance in the Australian real estate sector was produced by GBCA and ASFI, with the support of NABERS, the Property Council of Australia, Australian Passivhaus Association, Living Futures Institute of Australia, International Well Building Institute, GRESB and Climate Bonds
About the guide
You can download the guide here