Momentum for green buildings and NABERSNZ gathers pace

27 May 2019

Just hours after the government made a major announcement about the zero carbon bill, dozens of industry figures and key people in the green building sector bustled into venues at two of our major cities to discuss the growing movement for energy efficient buildings.  

Ruben Langbroek - Head of Asia Pacific, GRESB opened the discussion and set the scene by looking into global environmental, social and governance trends. Three key trends highlighted: Responsible investing is the new norm; the rise of mainstream impact investing; the focus on climate - disclosure, action and impact.

“Responsible investment is an approach to investing that aims to incorporate environmental, social and governance factors, to better manage risk and generate sustainable, long-term returns” 

Ruben also joined a lively panel discussion facilitated by Andrew Eagles - Chief Executive Officer at New Zealand Green Building Council. The panel featured Arti Prasad - Senior Investment Strategist, Responsible Investment at NZ Super Fund and Alain McKinney - Senior Development Manager at Precinct Properties.

Arti Prasad discussed their investment strategies, stating “institutional investors such as the New Zealand Super Fund are increasingly wanting to know their investments are associated with lower carbon assets”.

Alain McKinney engaged the crowds when talking about the Mason Bros. building, “We wanted to blow the doors off NABERSNZ, we worked hard to achieve the 6 Green Star standard and equally hard for the 5.5 star NABERSNZ rating. It’s awesome for tenants, and for staff, just as importantly, we are incredibly proud developers.” he said, and also highlighted the number of pleasant surprises, “there has been a documented 8.3% improvement in productivity per occupant and 20-25% reduction in absenteeism”.

These sessions put on by EECA Business and the New Zealand Green Building Council were supported by both Beca and Bayleys. Everyone that attended certainly left hearing two common themes. Firstly, how better sustainability performance including the measurement and improvement of energy performance, delivers not only better financial returns for building portfolio owners, but, makes them more attractive to tenants. Secondly, Investors are asking about the carbon impact of buildings and taking action to invest accordingly. 

It’s no wonder we have seen the substantial rise in the numbers of NABERSNZ certifications continue past the pre-Christmas boom. 

Aotearoa, and the whole world, has to get to zero carbon very soon, and buildings are responsible for 20% of Aotearoa’s green house gas emissions so we know buildings are going to have to play a big part of this vital transition.

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