24 Jun 2020
In 2016, the Commonwealth Bank was celebrated as a “game changer” for being the first financial institution to achieve a 5 Star Green Star rating for its branch fitouts. Four years on, the Bank’s ambitious plan to roll the design out across branches is being realised, with the institution opening its 30th Green Star certified branch last February.
To reach this achievement, the Commonwealth Bank became a pioneer user of the Green Building Council of Australia’s (GBCA) Volume Certification Program, a customised Green Star service used to certify a group of projects that share similar features.
The Volume Certification Program represents an important milestone in the evolution of the Green Star tool, carving a path forward for future certifications. Davina Rooney, GBCA CEO, says the Commonwealth Bank has helped pave the way, not just for other financial institutions, but for retail stores and restaurants too.
“Commonwealth Bank’s adoption of Green Star, along with their participation in the Global Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment puts the bank at the forefront of green leaders worldwide,” Ms Rooney said.
Volume certification is more than a milestone in the development of the Green Star tool, the process also makes sense for businesses wanting to replicate a sustainable design across multiple sites and projects.
The system involves less documentation, lower fees and costs, faster submission turnaround and a greater certainty that common design, processes and materials comply with best practice benchmarks.
“Volume certifications for Green Star are growing rapidly as more companies see the value in reducing costs, future-proofing assets, and helping more people enjoy the many benefits working in a Green Star environment,” Ms Rooney said.
A Green Star environment has health and well-being benefits for the people who work there, and volume certification enables businesses to better share these benefits with customers and communities too.
Jennifer Saiz, Executive General Manager Group Property and Security, Commonwealth Bank, said, “We aim to drive positive change through good business practice and one way we achieve this is through our sustainable branches.”
Staff and customer wellbeing also influenced the choice of materials selected, with projects using low chemical paints, Forestry Standard certified timber and water-efficient fixtures and fittings. These decisions reflect the institution’s commitment to healthier places of staff, customers and communities.
“We are proud to be the first Australian financial institution to achieve a 5 Star Green Star certification for our retail design standards, and we are thrilled that 30 of our branches have now achieved Green Star certification,” said Jennifer.
In 2020 the Commonwealth Bank has proven to be ahead of the game when it comes to sustainable branches and workplaces. The volume certification opens a new chapter for Green Star, represents leadership in healthy, sustainable workplace design and reaffirms Commonwealth Bank Australia’s support of a transition to a net-zero future.