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Green Gold

Green Gold

A new report released by the Australian Property Institute and the Property Funds Association reveals that the environment case for green technology and buildings are now being supported by the financial case…
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The environmental benefits of green technology and green buildings are well documented. We know they can reduce energy consumption, improve air quality, regulate temperature and increase biodiversity.

The aesthetic benefits of such technology are also immediately apparent. A green wall’s cascading mass of lush foliage never fails to delight. It is the financial benefits which until now have often been considered more ambiguous.

As kiwis the thought of investing a large percentage of capital upfront is often enough to deter us from adopting green technology, irrespective of its long term pay off. However the latest research by the Australian Property Institute and the Property Funds Association of Australia may help reduce consumer’s perceived risk of return.

The report, ‘Building Better Returns’, demonstrates that green buildings are not synonymous with green bling. It found that Green Star rated buildings showed a premium in value of 12% and 5% in rents. “The environment case is now being supported by the financial case,” says Professor Newell one of the report’s authors.

Interestingly the findings also showed that the most dramatic fiscal impact occurred when buildings failed to go green. For instance although rents did not appreciate noticeably for high NABERS (National Australian Built Environment Rating System) rated buildings, for lower rated buildings rents fell by 9% in the Sydney CBD and 6% in Canberra.

These findings support the recent work by Ernst & Young on the Six Global Trends Shaping the Business World. The global survey identified cleantech becoming a competitive advantage,a trend Australia seems to be capitalising on. They already have a growing reputation in green and clean tech field, and their best green buildings are highly regarded.

While New Zealand has historically been regarded as a nursery for innovation, in this instance it appears we have a bit of catching up to do. Green technology and green buildings are a growing trend. As companies face increasing pressure from their stakeholders to demonstrate that their businesses are sustainable, It makes sense financially and environmentally to build green technology into growth strategies. After all what could be more satisfying than an investment that literally grows before for your eyes.
by Lydia Franken,
Landscape Architect
Natural Habitats