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Australia's property market 'world's most sustainable'

The property markets in Australia and New Zealand have retained their crown as the greenest in the world for another year.

The Green Building Council of Australia has revealed that the market has been named the most sustainable across the globe in the 2017 GRESB real estate results, which are an international benchmark of the environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors relating to property.

A GRESB score of 63 was found to be the global average for the last 12 months, but the Australia and New Zealand markets were awarded a score of 73 for the past year due to their particularly high level of green credentials.

Although the market down under continues to set the standard for sustainability, the gap between it and the rest of the world has closed slightly over the last year. The 2016 GRESB report have Australia and New Zealand with a score of 74, while the global average came in at 60, showing that more organisations are making efforts to improve their sustainability ratings.

Ruben Langbroek, head of the Asia-Pacific region at GRESB, explained: "Transparency on ESG performance of property companies and funds supports investors, such as superannuation funds, to make better-informed decisions on where and how to allocate their capital.

"Importantly, it also enables them to identify material topics for engagement with their investment managers, with the aim of enhancing and protecting shareholder value."

In total, 94 per cent of investors said they now use GRESB data when making decisions about where to put their assets, with 100 per cent expecting their managers to be prepared to work towards targets in line with the GRESB.

Overall, the top three real estate organisations with the highest sustainability ratings in Australia and New Zealand over the last year were named as DEXUS Office Trust, Vicinity Centres Direct Portfolio, and Australian Prime Property Fund Commercial - Lendlease.

Frasers Logistics and Industrial Trust and Dexus Wholesale Property Fund completed the top five.

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