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Asset Management Frameworks

ESG reporting within the property sector has matured significantly over the past 20 years with a range of different frameworks for your Asset Management planning. You can have your buildings, office fit-out or infrastructure certified against a comprehensive sustainability framework that takes into account, embodied carbon, material sourcing, labour, environmental sustainability, ecology, energy efficiency, waste management and water consumption.

Asset Management Frameworks:

1. US Green Building Council (LEED)



4. Green Building Council of Australia (Green Star)

5. Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA)

6. Climate Bonds Initiative (Green Bond)

7. CICERO (Green Bond)

US (United States) Green Building Council (LEED)

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. Available for virtually all building types, LEED provides a framework for healthy, highly efficient, and cost-saving green buildings. LEED certification is a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement and leadership.

LEED is for all building types and all building phases including new construction, interior fit outs, operations and maintenance and core and shell.

Identify an appropriate rating system

The following 40/60 rule provides guidance for making a decision when several rating systems appear to be appropriate for a project. To use this rule, first assign a rating system to each square foot or square meter of the building, and then choose the most appropriate rating system based on the resulting percentages. The entire gross floor area of a LEED project must be certified under a single rating system and is subject to all prerequisites and attempted credits in that rating system, regardless of mixed construction or space usage type.

  • If a rating system is appropriate for less than 40% of the gross floor area of a LEED project building or space, then that rating system should not be used.

  • If a rating system is appropriate for more than 60% of the gross floor area of a LEED project building or space, then that rating system should be used.

  • If an appropriate rating system falls between 40% and 60% of the gross floor area, project teams must independently assess their situation and decide which rating system is most applicable.

Project types

BREEAM - Infrastructure

BREEAM is the world’s leading sustainability assessment method for masterplanning projects, infrastructure and buildings. It recognises and reflects the value in higher performing assets across the built environment lifecycle, from new construction to in-use and refurbishment.

BREEAM does this through third party certification of the assessment of an asset’s environmental, social and economic sustainability performance, using standards developed by BRE. This means BREEAM rated developments are more sustainable environments that enhance the well-being of the people who live and work in them, help protect natural resources and make for more attractive property investments.

How BREEAM Certification Works

BREEAM is an international scheme that provides independent third party certification of the assessment of the sustainability performance of individual buildings, communities and infrastructure projects.

Assessment and certification can take place at a number of stages in the built environment life cycle, from design and construction through to operation and refurbishment.

In the case of BREEAM, third-party certification involves the checking – by impartial experts – of the assessment of a building or project by a qualified and licensed BREEAM Assessor to ensure that it meets the quality and performance standards of the scheme. At the heart of this process are certification bodies – organisations with government approval (through national accreditation bodies) to certificate products, systems and services.

The main output from a certified BREEAM assessment is the rating. A certified rating reflects the performance achieved by a project and its stakeholders, as measured against the standard and its benchmarks.

The rating enables comparability between projects and provides reassurance to customers and users, in turn underpinning the quality and value of the asset.

The BREEAM ratings range from Acceptable (In-Use scheme only) to Pass, Good, Very Good, Excellent to Outstanding and it is reflected in a series of stars on the BREEAM certificate.


CEEQUAL is the sustainability assessment tool of choice for industry professionals. With over a decade of operational experience, CEEQUAL can be used for the assessment of all types of civil engineering, infrastructure, landscaping and public realm projects and contracts. Unlike decision-support tools, it uniquely uses rigorous evidence-based assessment criteria, and external verification, to provide a result that can be made public and used in publicity. In addition, integration of the question set in the development of projects and contracts can very positively influence design and construction management and often leads to significantly better outcomes than would otherwise have been the case.

Benefits of CEEQUAL

Award recipients report a range of benefits from using CEEQUAL as a driver for improvement and having their work assessed.

  • Significant improvements to your projects and contracts through adoption of best practice including whole-life costing, waste minimisation, resource efficiency (materials, water, energy), responses to predicted climate change effects, as well as project management and reduction of complaints and environmental incidents.

  • Reputation-building and good PR including verified demonstration of delivery of your environmental, sustainability and/or corporate social responsibility policies.

  • Cost savings through CEEQUAL’s influencing role. Projects have reported savings ranging from £30,000 on waste minimisation to £5 million (3.3% of total project cost) saved through design changes and alternative materials.

  • Demonstrating your commitment to the sustainability agenda, and providing public recognition of your work to clients, to the industry as a whole, and/or to stakeholders and the general public.

  • Enhanced team spirit through CEEQUAL’s recognition of teams that have “gone the extra mile” and, because using CEEQUAL provides encouragement and a target for your project and contract team to deliver high performance, it helps to develop a positive performance attitude.

  • Award presentations celebrating high performance and reinforcing team spirit.

CEEQUAL contains nine sections:


Green Building Council of Australia (Green Star)

Green Building Council of Australia rate the sustainability of buildings, fitouts and communities through Australia’s largest national, voluntary, holistic rating system – Green Star.

Green Star is a Certification Trademark

Green Star uses a robust, transparent and independent assessment process, and projects that certify can proudly display the Green Star Certification Trademark. Only projects that we have certified can claim to achieve a Green Star rating. Projects that claim to meet the requirements of Green Star but are not certified are potentially in breach of trademark rules and may be accused of ‘greenwash’.

We operate a quality management system which complies with the requirements of ISO 9001:2015 for the development, upkeep and delivery of Green Star Certification.

How it works

Green Star assesses the sustainability attributes of a project 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. Where 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 against the available points in the rating tool and a certified rating is awarded. Certification identifies projects that have demonstrated the achievement of a specific level of sustainability. The rating describes the sustainability attributes of the project in terms that are widely understood and accepted.

We represent 550+ members including individual companies with a collective annual turnover of more than $46 billion.

Our membership reflects the diversity of Australian business with over 500 small-to-medium enterprises through to 83 companies with annual turnover of more than $100 million and 30 companies now listed in the SP/ASX200, with a combined market capitalisation of more than $608 billion. Our members include major developers, professional services firms, banks, superannuation funds, product manufacturers, retailers and suppliers. We also have 32 local government, 24 state government departments and land organisations, and 21 university members (Note, there are 24 education members, but three are schools).

Company members alone employ more than 50,000 staff across Australia. Our professional development program boasts over 1,400 people advancing their careers and building their skills through their membership with us.

Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA)

Accelerating Sustainability in Infrastructure Through Collaboration

The Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA) is a member-based, not-for-profit peak body operating in Australia and New Zealand with the purpose of enabling sustainability outcomes in infrastructure.  We do this in the following ways;

  • With an Infrastructure Sustainability (IS) rating scheme for planning, design, construction and operations of infrastructure assets,

  • Education, training and capacity building,

  • Connecting suppliers of sustainable products and services with projects through ISupply,

  • Bringing together experts to share knowledge and lift the community of practice,

  • Recognition and rewarding best practice.

ISCA’s greatest strength is our community of engaged stakeholders – we have a great deal of expertise within our network of members. We position ourselves as a network for collaboration, discussion and education. Our regular events, conferences and seminars facilitate knowledge sharing, and enable experts to get together in a focused environment.

The Infrastructure Sustainability (IS) Rating scheme facilitates the ratings of infrastructure projects and assets. The IS Rating Scheme (IS) is Australia and New Zealand’s only comprehensive rating system for evaluating sustainability across the planning, design, construction and operational phases of infrastructure programs, projects, networks and assets.  IS evaluates the sustainability performance of the quadruple bottom line (Governance, Economic, Environmental and Social) of infrastructure development.

The IS rating scheme aims to:

  • Provide a common national language for sustainability in infrastructure.

  • Provide a framework for consistent application and evaluation of sustainability in tendering processes.

  • Help in scoping whole-of-life sustainability risks for projects and assets, enabling smarter solutions that reduce risks and costs.

  • Foster efficiency and waste reduction, reducing costs.

  • Foster innovation and continuous improvement in the sustainability outcomes from infrastructure.

  • Build an organisation’s credentials and reputation in its approach to sustainability outcomes.

The process of undertaking an IS Rating:

There are four stages:

1) Registration : Filling out a registration of interest (ROI) form and signing rating agreement with ISCA.

2) Assessment : The main stage with the most case manager support and interaction. This is undertaken by your designated Case Manager. 

3) Verification : This is undertaken by independent third-party verifiers and usually takes 3 months from submission to final score.

4) Certification : Projects will be awarded an IS Rating based on an overall score.

For IS version 1:

  • 25-49+ – Commended

  • 50-74+ – Excellent

  • 75+ – Leading

For IS version 2:

  • 20-39 – Bronze
  • 40-59 – Silver
  • 60-79 – Gold
  • 80-94 – Platinum

      Climate Bonds Initiative (Green Bond)

      Climate Bonds Initiative is an international, investor-focused not-for-profit. We’re the only organisation working solely on mobilising the $100 trillion bond market for climate change solutions.

      We promote investment in projects and assets necessary for a rapid transition to a low carbon and climate resilient economy.

      The strategy is to develop a large and liquid Green and Climate Bonds Market that will help drive down the cost of capital for climate projects in developed and emerging markets; to grow aggregation mechanisms for fragmented sectors; and to support governments seeking to tap debt capital markets.

      Climate Bonds Initiative is an investor-focused not-for-profit. Our work therefore is an open source public good and falls into three workstreams.

      1. Market intelligence

      • Reporting on green bond market evolution

      We produce a Green bonds: State of the Market report, quarterly highlights reports, regional and country-specific reports and updates. We track post-issuance reporting and green bond pricing in the primary market, green bond underwriter league tables and stock exchanges with green/sustainability bond segments. We issue thematic reports, e.g. on sectors and structures used in the market. We also produce guides to facilitate issuance.

      A core network development is the Market blog, designed as both a journal of record for bond issuance and updates on investment news and research material to fixed income investment in climate solutions. We maintain a bond library for new issuers since early 2018.

      • Sizing the climate bonds universe

      To overcome the perception of a niche market and demonstrate the opportunities available to investors, the Climate Bonds Initiative undertakes an annual survey of bonds outstanding globally related to climate change. The 2018 report showed US$1.45tn outstanding (including US$389bn of green bonds). Each year the report is presented in seminars in multiple countries and via briefings for banks and investors.

      • Demonstrating green infrastructure pipelines

      Green infrastructure presents a huge investment opportunity globally, with an estimated US$100tn worth of climate-compatible infrastructure required between now and 2030 in order to meet Paris Agreement emissions reduction targets. The Green Infrastructure Investment Opportunity (GIIO) programme aims to identify and demonstrate green infrastructure investment opportunities around the world. We have published GIIO reports on Indonesia and Australia & New Zealand.

      2. Developing a trusted standard 

      The Climate Bonds Standard and Certification Scheme is a FairTrade-like labeling scheme for bonds. It is designed as an easy-to-use tool for investors and governments that assists them in prioritising investments that truly contribute to addressing climate change. The Standard is a public good resource for the market.

      • Climate Bonds Taxonomy is the backbone of the standard work – it defines investments that are part of low carbon economy.

      The Climate Bonds Standard is overseen by a Board representing $32 billion of assets under management.

      3. Providing policy models and advice

      Rapid change at very large scale will depend on a close working relationship between government, finance and industry. The Climate Bonds Initiative is developing policy proposals for all three sectors, including:

      • How to boost bank lending to renewables by adapting the $3 trillion covered bonds market to create renewable energy covered bonds.

      • Delivering on the promise of large-scale energy efficiency (e.g. getting to 85% of housing stock within 10 years).

      • Policy risk insurance for renewable energy bonds, to be provided by a consortium of governments.

      CICERO (Green Bond)

      CICERO Shades of Green AS provides independent, research-based evaluations of green bond investment frameworks to determine their environmental robustness. Our second opinions are graded Dark Green, Medium Green and Light Green to offer investors better insight into the environmental quality of green bonds. We also offer assessments of companies, sustainability-linked bonds, and impact reports.

      CICERO Shades of Green has close ties to CICERO Center for International Climate Research, one of the world’s foremost institutes for interdisciplinary climate research. CICERO scientists and experts provide quality control and methodological development for the Second Opinions at CICERO Shades of Green.


      CICERO provided its first Second Opinion when the World Bank issued its first green bond framework in 2008. CICERO was a key part of the green bond model developed for the first World Bank green bond together with SEB and helped the market diversify with integrity.


      CICERO has been providing independent research-based evaluation of green bonds since it evaluated the first green bond issued by the World Bank in 2008. With its second opinions CICERO has helped pave the way for increased green capital flows.  


      Our Shades of Green methodology applies three shades of green to indicate relative climate risk and impact. This encourages companies and organizations to improve their green ambition over time.


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