December 2017

Chadstone, VIC - Vicinity Centres

Our property and infrastructure investments ranked highly in Australian and global benchmarks for energy efficiency and environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards, according to Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark’s (GRESB) 2017 Benchmark Report.

GRESB recently analysed our unlisted direct property holdings, including WA’s Karrinyup Shopping Centre, Victoria’s Malvern Central Shopping Centre, and NSW’s Dapto Mall. They found these holdings rank in the top 15% compared to global peers, and in the top third for all retail assets for ESG outcomes.

Talieh Williams, Manager of Governance and Sustainable Investments, says many of UniSuper’s major property and infrastructure investments are concentrating their efforts on environmental sustainability.

“Over recent years, sustainability performance is increasingly recognised as critically important within the commercial property market—from both a financial and broader ESG perspective.”

We manage a large portfolio of Australian property and infrastructure investments—often referred to as ‘fortress assets’ due to their strong market positions and high asset quality—and there’s a growing trend in this space to improve energy efficiency and environmental sustainability.

GRESB’s findings the latest in a series of ESG achievements for our major holdings

Adelaide Airport, the unlisted asset in which we own 49%, was recently named by GRESB the number one ranked ESG airport in Australia for 2017, and in the top 10 infrastructure companies in the world (ninth out of 160).

Scentre Group (owner and operator of Westfield shopping centres), recently reported lifting its average NABERS energy rating to 3.5. The Group also reported diverting 49% of operational waste from landfill, and adding 5 MWh to added solar capacity. 

GPT Group, one of Australia’s largest diversified property groups, reports similar trends. Since 2005, the company has reduced its energy intensity by 40% and emissions intensity by 57%. In 2016, it cut 126,336 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.

Vicinity Centres awarded Australian leader

Vicinity Centres—whose shopping centre portfolio includes Chatswood Chase Sydney, Melbourne’s Chadstone shopping centre, and Brisbane’s QueensPlaza—was recently awarded the GRESB 2017 Australian Retail Sector Leader.

Vicinity was also ranked number one for ESG practices in the Asia Pacific Retail sector, second for all ASX-listed companies, and fourth for all retail companies globally.  

Vicinity Managing Director and CEO, Angus McNaughton, says that the Group’s approach enables the business to “drive more sustainable outcomes over the long term, creating a more resilient business model”. 

Vicinity was chosen by GRESB as a result of a range of sustainability programs, including its 2017 average 3 Star Green Star Performance rating across its portfolio, the largest overall portfolio to achieve that result.

Other 2017 highlights include the group’s 8% reduction in carbon emissions intensity, 6% reduction in energy intensity, and diverting 36% of waste from landfill.

Head of Asia Pacific at GRESB, Ruben Langbroek, says Vicinity has “demonstrated that its shopping centres can positively contribute to local communities and smart, sustainable cities across Australia”.

Ongoing collaboration

We’ll continue to work alongside our major property and infrastructure investments to review the ways in which they approach sustainability and ESG outcomes. Learn more about our approach to responsible investment.

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