Left to right: Bruce Tanner, Martin England, Peter Matic

19 December 2011 – Arup (Queensland) has won the CitySwitch national signatory of the year award for improving office energy efficiency and demonstrating environmental leadership.

Office televisions which show staff how much energy, water and paper they are using has helped the consulting firm win the award in the CitySwitch Green Office program – led by the City of Sydney.

The engineering, design and planning advisory company has achieved a 4 star NABERS energy rating with equipment upgrades, lighting retrofits and innovative behaviour-change programs.

It also displays public transport information and the number of computers turned off overnight. The information is analysed each month by the company’s sustainability committee to see how offices can become more energy and water efficient.

The award’s national judges, Ed Palmisano, Property Council of Australia and Suzie Barnett, Green Building Council of Australia in their citation said:

“Arup has really stood out this year for market innovation. Using existing technology to generate real-time data is no easy task. We commend Arup for looking into the future and creating practical solutions for making the invisible visible.”

City of Sydney sustainability program leader Esther Bailey said: “The CitySwitch program is playing an important part in connecting leading companies and reducing the carbon emissions of our cities”.

An estimated 60 per cent of total energy demand in the central business districts of Australia’s capital cities is attributed to stationary energy use, including office equipment,lighting and computers, with tenants accounting for almost half the electricity consumed.

Arup’s education programs included a “Be an energy hero” poster campaign to encourage staff to reduce their energy use in the work place and a competition where office floors competed to reduce energy consumption.

Arup principal and acting office manager, Martin England, said: ““This outcome is a reflection of all our staff and their commitment to understanding and reducing their day-to-day energy consumption in the office.

“It is also a testament to our sustainability and buildings specialists who made a significant contribution towards achieving our NABERS energy tenancy rating.”

The CitySwitch program helps companies to address their carbon impact by improving their office energy efficiency and thereby reduce their operating costs.

The program is run in partnership with the City of Sydney, North Sydney, Parramatta, Willoughby, Ryde, Brisbane, Adelaide, Melbourne, Port Phillip, Yarra, Perth, the ACT Government and the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, and Sustainability Victoria.

CitySwitch currently represents over 1.6 million square metres of office space and over 340 signatories, and is already approaching the halfway point of its target of 20 per cent of the net lettable area of office space.

This equates to 3.5 million square metres of office space, with the potential to reduce carbon emissions by 162,000 tonnes annually.