The report, entitled Healing, Wellbeing and Productivity in Retail: The Impact of Green Buildings on People and Profit, notes that green retail environments have a positive effect on the retail experience of customers, and as a result produce greater profits. The focus of the report centres on how retailers should be looking to their own properties to better understand their physical environment and how to use that to improve productivity and therefore profits, and support the case for greener, healthier buildings.
Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) CEO and WorldGBC board member, Romilly Madew believes retailers that maximise the environmental benefits of their businesses will be better able to sustain competitiveness in the marketplace into the future.
With over 650 office projects around the country having received Green Star ratings and a quarter of Australia’s CBD offices being Green Star-certified, it is evident the commercial office market is readily embracing sustainability. Madew notes however that the retail section has been much slower in embracing the practice, with only 33 centres in Australia achieving Green Star ratings.
According to the International Council of Shopping Centres, retail spaces that include pedestrian walkways and natural elements perform better than conventional enclosed centres. Research indicates that the number of stores visited is higher and repeat visits are more common, while some American retailers note that store areas flooded with daylight, as opposed to artificially lit spaces, record higher sales per sqm.
Research also suggests that green spaces are rated as friendlier by consumers, encouraging them to purchase more, stay longer and visit more often. Consumers are also more willing to pay a higher price for the same product in these environments.
The report serves as a reminder to specifiers in the retail sector of the viability of sustainability, according to Madew. And retailers should be embracing the opportunities offered by green buildings for creating happier, healthier, and more profitable retail spaces.