Australia: Local Government Super wins environmental awards

Local Government Super (LGS), the industry superannuation fund for NSW local government employees, has won two environmental awards for its property portfolio.

It has been awarded a 5-Star Green Star rating for its entire direct property portfolio – the first portfolio in Australia to achieve the rating. It has also been named Australia’s ‘Best Green Super Fund’ for the sixth time in Money magazine’s Best of the Best awards.

“The awards further cement LGS’s position as an industry leader in responsible and sustainable investing,” said LGS Chief Executive Officer, David Smith. “Our commitment to sustainability has been a key factor in the strong performance of our direct property portfolio in recent years, helping us to achieve our aim of long-term sustainable returns for our members.”

The 5-Star Green Star Performance rating is an internationally-recognised building sustainability rating system. It assesses the operational performance of a portfolio of buildings across nine impact categories, including management, indoor environment quality, energy, transport, water, materials, land use and ecology, emissions, and innovation.

The award recognises a number of key achievements within the LGS direct property portfolio, including:

  • The first portfolio to complete the Green Building Council of Australia’s (GBCA) ‘Powered by Renewables Innovation Challenge’ across all assets, due to ongoing commitment to GreenPower purchase since 2007.
  • The new ‘Carbon Neutral Innovation Challenge’ introduced by the GBCA in 2017 resulting in the portfolio achieving up to 6 points per site for on-site solar, engagement with tenants for their purchase of 100 percent GreenPower, base building purchase of 100 percent GreenPower, and no fossil fuel use on selected assets.
  • An average of 97 percent of total points available were achieved for the Greenhouse Gas Emissions credit across the portfolio, reflecting the energy efficiency of the assets, tenant engagement, and ongoing commitment to GreenPower.
  • Over 80 percent of the available points for the Management category were claimed by the retail component of the portfolio, demonstrating a high focus on sustainability.

 

The Best Green Super Fund award follows LGS’s number one global ranking for the management of climate change in the Asset Owner’s Disclosure Project (AODP) 2017. Earlier in the year it won the SuperRatings Infinity Award, also for the sixth time.

LGS says it has one of the most sustainable direct property portfolios in Australia. It investments include $40 million in the Lighthouse Solar Fund, which has solar farm assets in Clare, near Townsville in Queensland, and in Moree in northern NSW.

The buildings in its property portfolio have an average NABERS (National Australian Built Environment Rating System) Energy rating of 6-star, the highest possible rating.

“The Best Green Super Fund award recognises the way we actively invest in a wide range of sustainable activities,” said Mr Smith. It shows the extent of our management of environmental, social and governance risks across our investment portfolio.

“LGS currently has just under $1 billion in low-carbon investments. We’re investing in a number of long-term growth sectors and actively seeking out investments that have a positive social or environment impact on the wider community. These include renewable energy generation, clean technology, recycling, and sustainable agriculture.”

LGS’s direct property portfolio comprises seven assets including three shopping centres: Marketplace Leichhardt, Village Centre Batemans Bay, and Bridge Plaza in Batemans Bay. There are also four commercial buildings: Local Government House (28 Margaret St, Sydney); 120 Sussex St, Sydney; 76 Berry St, North Sydney; and 2-4 Lyonpark Rd, Macquarie Park.

Graeme Philipson / GovernmentNews