Climate Bonds Initiative recognises Green Star as a pathway to net zero buildings: Two new proxies available for Certification under the Low Carbon Buildings Criteria

Climate Bonds Initiative recognises Green Star as a pathway to net zero buildings 

Two new proxies available for Certification under the Low Carbon Buildings Criteria

Barangaroo/London: 24/11/2021: Green Star has achieved recognition as an international pathway to net zero emissions building, after the Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI) approved two of the Green Building Council of Australia’s rating tools as compliant with green bonds certification under the Climate Bonds Standard.

“As CBI mobilises the $100 trillion bond market, tying green finance to Green Star – and to highly efficient, fossil free buildings that are powered by renewables – helps to carve out a clear pathway to net zero,” says Davina Rooney, CEO, Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA).

To qualify for Certification under the Climate Bonds Standard, proceeds of a bond must be directed to new buildings that demonstrate very low carbon emissions during operations. Two GBCA rating tools, Green Star Buildings and Green Star Homes, delivering buildings in the top 15% in terms of low carbon emissions intensity (kgCO2/m2).

Any building seeking a world-leading 6 Star Green Star rating under Green Star Buildings rating tool automatically complies with Climate Bonds Standard's Commercial Buildings Criteria. All other Green Star-rated buildings that follow the climate positive requirements – fossil fuel free, highly efficient and powered by renewables – also automatically comply.

Meanwhile, all single-family dwellings with a Green Star Homes rating will comply with the Residential Buildings Criteria.

“As governments and investors respond to climate change and the outcomes of COP26, demand for green finance is growing rapidly,” says Sean Kidney, CEO, Climate Bonds Initiative.

“Reducing emissions from the built environment is a critical part of the transition to net zero. This best practice recognition of Green Star Buildings and Green Star Homes will make it easier for developers to attract new capital and for investors to identify and back climate friendly opportunities.”

The built environment is responsible for 23% of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions and almost 40% of the world’s carbon footprint.

The OECD has estimated that almost US$7 trillion a year will be needed by 2030 alone to tackle climate change. The World Economic Forum has noted a $2.5 trillion-a-year financing gap stands in the way of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. 

“The GBCA and CBI established a partnership in 2015 and have been working steadily towards this goal for several years. We are proud that this partnership can strengthen the active green bonds market and provide clear pathwaysfor the next wave of capital wanting to invest in climate-ready buildings,” Ms Rooney concludes.



Contact information:


Leena Fatin,

Senior Communications & Digital Manager,

Climate Bonds Initiative (London).

+44 (0) 7593 320 198


Sally Foley,

Green Building Council of Australia 

0435 710 336


About Climate Bonds Initiative: is an investor-focused not-for-profit, working to mobilise global capital for climate action. It undertakes advocacy and outreach to inform and stimulate the market, provides policy models and government advice, and administers the Climate Bonds Certification Scheme. For more information, please visit

About Green Building Council of Australia: Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) is the nation’s authority on sustainable buildings and communities. Our mission is to accelerate the transformation of Australia’s built environment into one that is healthy, liveable, productive, resilient and sustainable. We work with industry andgovernment to encourage policies and programs that support our mission. We educate thousands of people eachyear on how to design and deliver sustainable outcomes for Australia’s buildings and communities. And we operate Australia’s only national, voluntary, holistic rating system for sustainable buildings and communities – Green

About Green Star: Established by GBCA in 2003, Green Star is a trusted, internationally recognised rating system for healthy, resilient, positive buildings and places. There are more than 3,200 Green Star certified buildings and places in Australia. The average Green Star certified building produces 55 per cent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than a standard new building, consumes half the water and eliminates 96 per cent of construction waste.

About Climate Bonds Standard: The Climate Bonds Standard is an international screening tool for investors and governments, which allows them to easily evaluate climate and green bonds with confidence that the funds are being used to deliver climate change solutions.  

The Low Carbon Buildings Criteria:  Set out what building assets are eligible for certification under the Climate Bonds Standard. They are divided into three different types: 

  •  Commercial Buildings: buildings used for office space. 
  •  Residential Buildings: buildings used for housing that includes single family, multi-family, and mixed use where more than 50% of the asset is residential. Subcategories of residential buildings have unique emissions performance profiles. Existing instruments such as local building codes, energy rating schemes and energy labeling schemes (e.g., Energy Performance Certificates in the EU) are leveraged as emission performance proxies (using the proxy methodology). 
  • Upgrade Projects: Commercial, residential and some other types of buildings can be eligible for Certification if they achieve an emission reduction of 30%-50% (depending on bond term) from a baseline.

About the Commercial Low Carbon Buildings Criteria: The underlying concept of the Criteria is the low carbon trajectory. Climate Bonds have calculated trajectories for each city and established by taking a baseline representing the top 15% in terms of carbon intensity (kg CO2/m sq) and drawing a linear line down to zero carbon in 2050. This rate of decarbonisation is in alignment with the Paris Climate Agreement and a below 2°C warming scenario.

There are three options for Certifying a Commercial Building under the Low Carbon Building Criteria. Which option the issuer can take depends on the location of the buildings, and the related data which is available. For more visit

About Residential Property Criteria: Residential Buildings Criteria uses local building codes and energy ratings/labels as a proxy for performance of the top 15% of buildings in a city. Criteria by location is analysed by city or region by relevant Building Code and/or Energy Rating.






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Certification under the Climate Bond Standard only reflects the climate attributes of the use of proceeds of a designated debt instrument. It does not reflect the credit worthiness of the designated debt instrument, nor its compliance with national or international laws.
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