January 23, 2019

The case for sustainable healthcare

There’s growing awareness across industry, government and the community that we need to improve the way we design, build and operate the buildings in which we heal.

Patient outcomes are better, productivity is improved and ongoing energy costs are reduced in health-industry buildings that are Green Star-rated, according to new a research report, The case for sustainable healthcare released by The Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA), with the New Zealand Green Building Council (NZGBC).

NAB is proud to sponsor the report which reveals the triple bottom line benefits of green-certified health facilities.

NAB supports the transition to a low carbon economy and has committed $20 billion to support green infrastructure, capital markets and asset finance by 2025.  We can help drive investments in sustainable communities by financing major infrastructure projects that build productive, sustainable and inclusive cities, regions and rural communities.

Download the Case for sustainable healthcare.

According to research by the Green Building Councils in Australia and New Zealand, Green Star-certified healthcare facilities are:

More cost effective

  • Green Star-certified buildings use 66% less electricity than average Australian buildings, 62% fewer greenhouse gas emissions, and use 51% less potable water.
  • An analysis of Green Star-certified healthcare facilities showed that hospitals and healthcare facilities produce 57% fewer greenhouse gas emissions than average healthcare buildings.
  • The World Green Building Council’s Business Case for Green Building showed that a minimal 2% upfront cost to support green design can result, in life cycle savings of 20% of total construction costs.
  • Better places to heal

Research from green hospitals in operation shows

  • 41% reduction in average length of stay for patients in sunlit rooms over dull rooms
  • 30% reduction in medical errors
  • 11% reduction in secondary infections
  • Faster recovery rates overall and reductions in pain medication.

Better places to work

  • Harvard University research found that green buildings improved productivity over 26%. A conservative estimate of improved productivity of 10% in a green building will lead to huge savings in large organisations such as hospitals.
  • Pre- and post-occupancy studies published by the WGBC illustrate:
  • A reduction of four sick days per employee per year and a 27% reduction in staff turnover.
  • A 19% reduction in absenteeism.

Can contribute to national emissions reductions targets

  • Under the Paris Agreement, NZ has committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30% below 2005 levels by 2030, and Australia by 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2030.
  • In Australia and NZ, buildings are responsible for around 23% and 20% of total emissions respectively. Healthcare facilities are one of the biggest energy users and sources of GHG emissions. Australia has almost 700 public hospitals and over 620 private hospitals. NZ has 87 public hospitals and 80 private hospitals. These figures, together with the growing number of aged-care facilities, makes the potential for savings significant.

Deliver accountability and credibility

  • Green Star provides certainty and independent verification that benchmarks have been met, unlike buildings which claim to be ‘designed to’ Green Star standards without engaging in the certification process.


Speak to a NAB specialist