Properties & Pathways

The burning truth about sustainability in commercial real estate


02 May, 2022

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Did you know buildings are responsible for 40 per cent of the world’s carbon emissions? They even use 40 per cent of the planet’s energy and 30 per cent of the globe’s available drinking water. Commercial real estate investment and sustainability have long been used in the same sentence, but the potential for a positive relationship has only recently become a thing.

Office buildings play a key part in the urban environment, housing hundreds of thousands of workers across the country, but they are hungry for resources. And it’s when they’re maintained without the environment in mind that we see some devastating footprints left on our planet. Maintaining a sustainable commercial premises has never been more crucial.

sustainability office property australia

But it’s not just the planet that benefits from a sustainable building. Landlords and tenants will see a glowing bottom line with the application of a few simple sustainability measures. A green office building – an office premises with a stellar NABERS rating and an environmentally friendly operational performance – is more affordable to run and more productive to work out of. Plus, it gives landlords a competitive edge when vying for a high-quality tenant to occupy their space.

Reducing a commercial premises environmental impact

There are many ways to reduce an office building’s environmental impact. Shifting toward a greener environment will not only strengthen your tenant’s bottom line but will allow their employees far greater comfort in the setting they’ll occupy for up to eight hours a day. That’s a win for the tenant. And a win for the tenant is a win for the landlord.

Here are a few simple ways to increase the sustainability of your building:


Energy efficient light fittings and globes, such as LEDs, are a no-brainer for increasing energy efficiency and reducing costs.

commercial property investment nabers

Beyond the fittings themselves, the strategic position of skylights can help reduce energy consumption. Leveraging natural light, instead of relying entirely on artificial lighting, with larger external facing windows and appropriate window glass is a sure-fire approach to reducing associated costs.


Buildings no longer need to be so reliant on utility companies. Thanks to the ease of access to solar panels more commercial premises are seeing their roofs covered in solar, leveraging the sun’s energy to power up their building.

Costs to install solar panels aren’t necessarily cheap. But these costs are typically recouped in energy savings over just a few years of use.

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Climate control

A building’s climate is one of the most common causes of energy inefficiency. Overuse of heating or air conditioning can result in far higher energy bills than tenants need or want. Using automation and smart devices can help monitor the temperature of a room and ensure its climate doesn’t hit excessive levels. Even using double-glazed windows or applying window film can improve a building’s insulation.

sustainable commercial office property

Property landlords are typically investors, so they know the cost of these pricey installations should provide a return in the long-run. The good news is that they do, from our experience, as a tenant can reduce their energy costs while also seeing an uplift in employee productivity from a result of a more comfortable working environment.

How does this benefit the landlord? An energy efficient premises, one with a robust NABERS Rating and offering – say – 10 per cent cheaper energy costs, is infinitely more appealing to a tenant than a hungry commercial building.

So, it’s not just the planet that benefits from a sustainable building. On your next property acquisition, consider the environment. It might do wonders for your investment.

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