Green Star Certification and What It Means For You

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Our built environment is currently the world’s single largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, it consumes around a third of our water, and generates 40% of our waste. 

Fortunately, Australia has the largest cohort of companies decarbonising their portfolios by 2030 through the World Green Building Council’s Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment. These companies recognise that supply chain transformation is required to reach net zero, and that Green Star is the common language for every company along the supply chain. 

Buildings don’t need to be new in order to be sustainable; existing buildings have countless opportunities to improve the way in which they operate and obtain Green Star certification.  

 

What is Greenstar certification?   

Launched by Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) in 2003, Green Star is Australia’s largest voluntary and only truly holistic sustainability rating system for the design, construction and performance of buildings, fit outs and communities. 

Green Star provides a common language to describe how to achieve world-leading benchmarks for sustainability across a wide range of categories including:  

  • energy,  
  • water,  
  • materials,  
  • land use and ecology,
  • emissions,  
  • transport, 
  • livability,  
  • governance,  
  • economic prosperity,  
  • management systems,  
  • design, and  
  • indoor environment quality.  

 

A Green Star certification provides independent assurance that particular benchmarks or credits described within these categories have been met to an agreed standard.  

Green Star aims to transform the built environment by:  

  • reducing the impact of climate change, 
  • enhancing our health & quality of life, 
  • restoring and protecting our planet’s biodiversity and ecosystems, 
  • driving resilient outcomes for buildings, fit outs, and communities,    
  • contributing to market transformation and a sustainable economy.    

 

Green Star is a Certification Trademark. 

Green Star uses a robust, transparent and independent assessment process, and projects, communities or facilities that are certified can proudly display the Green Star Certification Trademark. Those companies that claim to meet the requirements of Green Star but are not fully certified are potentially in breach of trademark rules and may be accused of ‘greenwash’. 

A Green Star certification recognises leadership, commitment and achievement in the delivery of healthier, resilient and positive places for people to live and work. 

 

How does the process of gaining Green Star certification work? 

Green Star Certification identifies projects that have demonstrated the achievement of a specific level of sustainability. Green Star assesses the sustainability attributes of a project or facility through impact categories. Each category groups a number of issues related to a certain sustainability impact; these are known as ‘credits’.

A credit addresses an initiative that improves or has the potential to improve a project’s sustainability performance; each of these initiatives is a criterion.  

Credits are weighted in relation to each other by varying the number of points available. Each credit defines a clear outcome that a project must meet.  

When the outcome is verified to have been met, a project will be rewarded with the relevant available points. 

Once all credits are assessed, the total number of points achieved is compared with the available points in the rating tool and a certified rating is awarded. 

 

DID YOU KNOW?  

Ecoloop, has been verified by to comply with Green Building Council of Australia’s (GBCA) Construction and Demolition Waste Reporting Criteria.

The GBCA’s Construction and Demolition Waste Reporting Criteria allows waste contractors and waste processing facilities to be verified by an independent auditor for compliance with minimum standards of reporting. This is a critical step in ensuring not only transparency in the industry but also customer confidence regarding the recycling of waste.

 

What does this mean for you?  

  • Achieve your Green Star rating – 
    Using a Green Star verified waste receiver and processor contributes points to your overall building certification. 
  • Commit to compliance and reputation – 
    Proof of a compliant and reputable process, aligning with environmental legislation.  
  • Portray transparency – 
    Confidence in recycling claims made with auditing of processes to ensure transparency.
     

How do you trust that something is green and not greenwash? Green Star translates good intentions into real world outcomes. Here’s how Green Star certification can help you… 

  • Portray trust and reliability – 
    Green Star’s third-party seal of approval holds Australia’s property industry to account. It signals that a building or a community meets certain standards. This confidence is critical for all stakeholders.   
  • Demonstrate excellence in sustainability – 
    Green Star certification brings with it access to expert technical support and transparent assurance that a project cuts no corners when it comes to sustainability. Without the assurance of Green Star certification, projects cannot communicate their sustainability credentials, and are at a market disadvantage. 
  • Future proof investments –
    Investors, now more than ever, are scrutinising company ratings and digging deeper into sustainable performance metrics. Green Star ratings offer investors and asset owners independent, internationally-recognised verification that their investments are future-proofed. 
  • Lower operating costs – 
    Green buildings are built for high energy and water efficiency, so they are cheaper to operate. Therefore, green buildings can provide tenants with a buffer against future increases in water and energy services costs and protect against services shortages.  

 

“Green Star’s final stamp of approval is unarguable – you have either built it right or you haven’t. The only way to get true confirmation that you’ve met Green Star benchmarks is to get a rating.” 
Patrick Campbell, ESD Engineer, Hutchinson Builders  

To understand more about Green Star and its contribution to Sustainability in the design and construction industry please join us for our complimentary webinar on Thursday 7 October 2021.  

Hear from Dr Mark Jackson, Jackson Environment and Planning Pty Ltd for an overview of Green Star; How Green Star can assist in the design & construction phase of developments and how the industry can find out if a product or service has a green star rating. 

For more information or to register now click here