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Billion-dollar buildings may become stranded assets

A new report released by the Australian and New Zealand Green Building Councils today warns that billions of dollars of industrial buildings face becoming ‘stranded assets’ if they cannot prove that are low or zero carbon.

Green Star in focus: The case for sustainable industrial buildings finds Green Star certified buildings reduce emissions by two-thirds at a minimal 2 per cent upfront cost. In addition, the total lifetime savings of construction will be reduced by 20 per cent.

However, a number of buildings earmarked for construction over the next 10 years fail to meet these requirements, and may fall short of introduced standards, making them essentially useless.

“The sheer size of industrial facilities means they can play a big role in increasing rooftop solar PV capacity,” GBCA CEO, Davina Rooney said.

“If we put solar panels on all industrial facilities in Australia, we could almost double our capacity – from the current 6,500 Megawatts (MW), to 12,800MW.

“We must act swiftly to ensure our industry plays its part in global efforts to avoid catastrophic global warming,” Ms Rooney continues

“To remain competitive in the Asia-Pacific region and meet Paris Agreement commitments, Australia and New Zealand must shift to a significantly less polluting, lower carbon economy and society by 2050.

“The science is clear, and there is growing financial pressure, political will, public demand, and legislation driving us towards a zero carbon world. As this shift occurs, buildings that are not zero carbon have a real risk of becoming stranded assets.

“They’re being backed by large financial institutions, international agreements, national legislation, and by businesses who can see the all so obvious benefits,” NZGBC chief executive Andrew Eagles adds.

“Most importantly, less polluting buildings are backed by the people working in them.

“Industrial buildings play a major role in providing our businesses and our families with the goods and services they need. And our families, our businesses, and our economy need to slash climate pollution and be zero carbon as soon as possible. Industrial buildings have a key part to play to achieve this.”

The full report can be read here.

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