The Sydney Opera House was recently awarded a 4 Star Green Star Performance rating by the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA), putting the national icon among a select few World Heritage buildings that have achieved green certification globally.

The announcement was made jointly by NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for the Arts Troy Grant, Sydney Opera House Building Director Greg McTaggart, and GBCA Chief Executive Officer Romilly Madew on stage in the Concert Hall – a key venue in the Opera House’s sustainability strategy.

The 4 Star Green Star rating, awarded for ‘best practice’ in the industry, is an extraordinary achievement for a heritage building. It will also be critical to the Opera House’s Decade of Renewal, a sequenced program of works to update the world-renowned performing arts centre for 21st century audiences, artists and visitors.

NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for the Arts Troy Grant said, “The Opera House is an icon of Sydney and a symbol of modern Australia so it’s vital that it sets the standard. The endorsement of the Opera House by the GBCA sends a clear message that green buildings don’t have to be new – even the most recognisable and historic landmarks can earn a place among the most celebrated sustainable buildings in the world.”

CEO of the Green Building Council of Australia Romilly Madew said, “About 340 million square metres of commercial and public building space in Australia needs upgrading. Despite the operating costs amounting to around $27 billion a year, the general consensus has been that it’s ‘too hard’ to improve the sustainability of these buildings. The Sydney Opera House has laid down the gauntlet for the property industry with a pragmatic, practical approach which shows even the most iconic, historic and challenging buildings can be high-performing, energy efficient and sustainable. If you can green the Opera House, you can green anything.”

From the installation of new energy efficient technologies in key performance venues to the use of eco-friendly cleaning products and a robust Reconciliation Action Plan, a wide range of both environmental and social sustainability initiatives across three core areas have contributed to the Opera House’s 4 star rating.