We have partnered with Commonwealth Bank Australia to help commercial property customers identify and implement meaningful, strategic actions to improve the environmental outcomes of their building operations through our Green Buildings Tool. Commonwealth Bank is the first Australian bank to offer an interactive digital tool to help commercial property customers define a sustainability strategy and identify energy efficient investments to progress their net zero transition.
On 5 May 2023, the Australian Government announced it would legislate a new national Net Zero Authority. Commercial buildings account for 24%  of Australia’s national electricity consumption and 10% of national greenhouse gas production, presenting a strong opportunity for national emissions reduction. For the past 18 years, we have been helping commercial property owners in Europe and UK to make their properties greener, with more than 1,500,000 buildings in Europe analysed each year. Commonwealth Bank and CFP, with the support of NABERS and the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA), are proudly bringing the Green Buildings Tool to Australia.
Grant Cairns, Executive General Manager Business Lending at CommBank, said: “It’s clear that property owners have a strong interest in sustainability, but many face an uphill climb to understand the environmental impact of the buildings they own, let alone what property upgrades can really move the needle on making their buildings more sustainable. Our Green Buildings Tool will provide our customers with initial insights into their building’s estimated emissions profile and potential decarbonising actions free of charge.”
He continues: “Excitingly, expert advice shows that simple upgrades like LED lighting and intelligent building management systems (IBMS) systems can meaningfully reduce a property’s carbon footprint while improving energy efficiency. This, in turn, can reduce operating costs, making sustainability upgrades economically attractive and accretive to property value. We know from market research that Green buildings tend to have higher occupancy rates, higher rents and longer lease terms.“
“As the leading business bank in Australia, we want to bring new insights to both existing and new-to-bank customers and support the property sector in navigating the transition to net zero,” Mr Cairns said.– Grant Cairns, Executive General Manager Business Lending at CommBank
The interactive digital tool uses a data-driven approach to allow commercial property customers to understand their building’s baseline emissions footprint and provides insights about the potential decarbonisation impact of retrofitting. The tool also estimates the scope of investments required to achieve a National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) Energy rating improvement and energy cost savings.
The CommBank Green Buildings Tool allows customers to input building information and estimate:
The tool covers a range of property types including office, retail, industrial, hotels, and other. According to Bram Adema, CEO at CFP Green Buildings:
“Australian owners of Commercial Estate can now save weeks of time and thousands of dollars per asset on energy consulting; the Green Buildings Tool will show business cases and pathways to energy and carbon reduction instantly, empowering everyone to assess the next steps to sustainability. With the tool’s guidance, both single assets as well as portfolios can be analysed.”
In Europe, this has resulted in massive carbon reduction in buildings and homes. As Bram continues: “Owners suddenly could spend maintenance and renovation budgets energy efficiently, and talk to their banks, tenants and contracts on sensible next steps for their properties. We are excited about the CBA leadership and ambitious climate goals for Australian real estate.”
Carlos Flores, Director of NABERS said: “Sustainable finance is becoming a powerful force driving decarbonisation in the building sector. We welcome the efforts by CFP and CBA to significantly grow the number of Australian buildings investing in energy upgrades, and to help them verify their sustainability claims with a NABERS rating.”
Would you like to learn more on the sustainable real estate landscape in Australia? Have a quick read on the key frameworks and regulations governing ESG reporting in the Australian real estate or reach out. We are happy to help!
 Source: Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Baseline Study 2022. Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water.