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Brisbane’s STARS setting a new standard in hospital sustainability


The Surgical Treatment and Rehabilitation Service (STARS) located in Herston Quarter, Brisbane, has achieved a significant milestone by becoming the first hospital in Australia to receive a 5 Star Green Star Performance rating from the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA).

This prestigious rating is awarded for Australian excellence in building operations and assesses performance across a wide range of categories, including indoor environment quality, energy efficiency, transportation, water conservation, materials used, land use and ecology, emissions, and innovation.

STARS’ award-winning operations and building innovations include energy and water efficient systems, effective waste management strategies, architectural designs that enhance air flow and thermal performance, initiatives to protect surrounding environmentally significant areas, and excellent access to public transport.

Hospitals often encounter unique challenges in their efforts to reduce carbon footprint and waste. However, Davina Rooney, the Chief Executive Officer of the Green Building Council of Australia, highlighted STARS as a pioneering example of how healthcare facilities can achieve exemplary operations.

“STARS has set a new standard in the Australian health sector for energy and water consumption, thermal insulation, and decreased operational emissions,” Rooney explained. She praised Australian Unity, the operator and landlord of STARS, for their leadership and expressed anticipation for future improvements and inspiration this achievement might bring to other healthcare facilities.

Nicole Plant, Assistant Fund Manager-Healthcare Property at Australian Unity, attributed the 5 Star rating to the fruitful cooperation between Australian Unity’s Healthcare Property Trust as the landlord, STARS operator Metro North Health, and facility manager Cushman & Wakefield.

Ms. Kellie Williams, Environmental Sustainability & Climate Change Manager at Metro North Health, mentioned the growing evidence that healthier hospitals contribute to better patient outcomes and provide a safer, more productive, and enjoyable workplace. She stressed the importance of hospital sustainability in achieving net zero emissions targets.


STARS’ recognised achievements also include its innovative design, operational excellence, connectivity to public transport, and the amenities offered throughout the Herston Quarter precinct. These accomplishments underscore the benefits to the city of Brisbane, as well as to the clinicians, patients, and their families.

In addition to STARS, Australian Unity’s Healthcare Property Trust is embarking on more sustainability initiatives across its $3.7 billion property portfolio. These initiatives include the installation of smart metering and data platforms for enhanced environmental performance reporting, development of property-specific NetZero transition plans for capital planning, and efforts to obtain National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) Energy and Water ratings for its aged care property portfolio.

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