Commonwealth Bank (CBA) has today launched a Property Sustainability Upgrade Loan for new and existing business customers, enabling more Australian businesses to reduce the environmental impact of commercial properties, while significantly reducing operating costs.

With zero margin and zero fees*, eligible businesses will be able to increase their Commercial Property Investment Loan by up to 20 per cent to complete property sustainability upgrades that achieve a NABERS (National Australian Built Environment Rating System) rating improvement or reduce the property’s carbon emissions. CBA worked closely with NABERS, a national program administered by NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment to develop the loan eligibility criteria that will help businesses reduce their emissions by at least 30 per cent and meet or exceed average market performance.

CBA’s Executive General Manager, Business Lending, Clare Morgan said: “Sustainability upgrades can significantly reduce a property’s carbon footprint while improving energy and water efficiency.

“As the largest commercial real estate lender in Australia, we play an important role in supporting the industry to lower its emissions. To encourage businesses – both our existing customers and new customers – to play their part and make these upgrades, we are offering the ability to borrow up to an additional 20 per cent, with zero line fees and no establishment fee through these loans.

“Investing in sustainability upgrades also makes commercial sense in that it can boost the value of properties while reducing operational costs, making the property more attractive to long-term renters and potential buyers.”

Buildings account for around 50 per cent of electricity use in Australia, and almost a quarter of emissions**. According to the International Energy Agency, buildings offer one of the largest opportunities for low-cost carbon abatement in developed countries like Australia.

Magali Wardle, Head of Market Development at NABERS said: “CBA and NABERS worked together to design this offer that incentivises building upgrades that will result in real and measurable sustainability outcomes. We’re excited by the potential of partnering NABERS data sets with a sustainable loan product that could have a positive long term impact on emissions reductions.”

“With over 60 per cent of commercial office buildings currently having a NABERS energy rating below 5 stars this loan has great potential for buildings to make important energy efficiency upgrades,” Ms Morgan said.

“We appreciate it’s a challenging time with some buildings experiencing reduced foot traffic or lower occupancy, however, for some businesses this has become an ideal time to undertake building upgrades and property improvements and we’ve already seen strong demand,” Ms Morgan said.

“We encourage new and existing customers to speak with us and see if a sustainability upgrade might be right for them. Depending on their situation and location, new green credentials could also make them eligible for other incentives like the federal government’s instant asset write off or various state-based energy upgrade schemes.”

Eligible upgrades include:

  • Energy efficient lighting;
  • Eco and smart building management systems;
  • Energy efficient lifts and escalators;
  • Solar panels and battery storage;
  • Heating, ventilation and air conditioning upgrades;
  • Water recycling systems;
  • Cladding and insulation upgrades; and
  • Fenestration efficiency upgrades.

Benefits of improving the sustainability of commercial properties include:

  • Significantly reducing property operating costs;
  • Greater appeal to tenants; 
  • Reduced sustainability risk factors; 
  • Potential access to government grants and funding schemes (e.g. NSW’s Energy Savings Certificate scheme); and 
  • Positive environmental impact.

Today’s announcement sees CBA expanding its suite of products to help customers reduce their environmental footprint and follows the recent launch of CBA’s Green Loan for up to 600,000 retail customers.

For more information, customers can contact their dedicated Relationship Manager or visit

*No establishment fees, line fees or usage fees when you increase your CommBank Commercial Property Investment Loan for Sustainable Property Upgrades. The only interest paid is based on BBSY (an Australian benchmark interest rate published daily). The maximum zero margin loan term is the lesser of two years or the duration of the upgrade. Standard rates and fees apply to the CommBank Commercial Property Investment Loan.

** Source:

About NABERS: The National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) provides simple, reliable and comparable sustainability measurement across building sectors including offices, apartments, hotels, shopping centres and data centres. NABERS is a national program administered by NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment. NABERS Energy measures the efficiency of a building and rates either the base building, tenancy or whole building. An energy rating is calculated by comparing the energy consumption of a building against the sector average. NABERS Water measures the amount of water used and recycled within a building. NABERS star rating ranges from 1 to 6 with 6 stars indicating market leading performance