Investa chief operating officer Jason Leong with City of Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore.

By Cameron Jewell

18 September 2013 — Sydney’s Better Buildings Partnership has exceeded its emissions reduction targets, cutting commercial office emissions by 25 per cent since its inception and saving over $25 million in energy bills.

The BBP, an alliance of commercial landlords representing over 50 per cent of office floor space across Sydney’s CBD, was established to improve the energy, water and waste efficiency of Sydney’s existing buildings.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore announced the results at an event hosted at Investa’s 260 Elizabeth Street building, which had cut emissions by 71 per cent, and said it was clear that business and local government realised cutting emissions was crucial for the future.

“If we were on track we would have reduced our emissions by now by 24 per cent,” Ms Moore said. “But what we can say to you today is that we’ve not only met that target, we’ve gone beyond it; we’ve actually reduced out emissions by 25 per cent conjointly.

“The reason why this is so important is that 75 per cent of emissions occur in the commercial district of the city.”

Ms Moore said rather than waiting for state and federal government to show initiative, business and local government were working together to effect change.

“We’re just focusing on getting on with the job here,” she said.

“We think its a fantastic result for the planet; we think its a fantastic result in terms of commercial benefit for these companies.”

City of Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore with Better Buildings Partnership co-chair Emlyn Keane.

Emlyn Keane, co-chair of BBP and head of property management and sustainable performance at AMP Capital Investors, said collaboration was key to going beyond the low-hanging fruit and continuing the targeted three per cent reduction in emissions a year that would help Sydney’s goal of reducing the city’s emissions by 70 per cent by 2030.

“By collaborating, by working together and by sharing knowledge, and by influencing others – everyone from our leasing agents through to our fitouts, engineers, our facilities managers and indeed to the legals that put together the leases – we can achieve this ongoing reduction for the 17 years we have ahead of us,” he said.

“We can innovate and test boundaries together. That is exactly what we’ve been doing over the last two years.”

Chief operating officer of Investa Jason Leong said the company was a proud member of BBP, and gave a case study of how its 260 Elizabeth Street property reduced its energy use.

“At 260 Elizabeth Street we have reduced emissions by 71 per cent since 2005,” he said.

“This year, we achieved a 5.5 star NABERS Energy rating. At 24 years old, 260 Elizabeth Street is the oldest building to achieve a 5.5 star rating in the City of Sydney.

“Rating well above the 3 star average clearly demonstrated that it is not only new buildings that can achieve high ratings.”

Measures implemented to improve environmental performance and reduce costs included the installation of low-glare, low-energy lighting, increasing on-site recycling and implementing water saving devices such as rainwater collection tanks, water sub-meters, low-use taps and waterless urinals.

Climate control initiatives have included progressive installation and replacement of variable speed drives and optimising economy cycles and chiller staging to reduce large power spikes during the building’s start-up phase.

Back row (left to right): Jamie Loader, national operations and sustainability Manager, Brookfield; James Freeman, general manager, Sydney CBD portfolio, Investa Office; Tanya Cox, executive general manager, property services and chief operating officer, DEXUS. Front row (left to right): Beck Dawson, general manager, corporate sustainability, Investa Office; Emlyn Keane, head of property management and sustainable performance, AMP Capital Investors; Lord Mayor Clover Moore; Jason Leong, chief operating officer, Investa Office.

Other BBP success stories included:

  • DEXUS – lifted DXS office portfolio from 3.2 to 4.7 star NABERS
  • Brookfield – Major upgrades at IAG house achieving 5 Star Green Star Office Design and 4 Star Green Star Office As Built ratings, and a 4.5 star NABERS Energy rating
  • AMP Capital – two core funds achieving an average 4 star NABERS Energy rating
  • GPT – Upgrades to airconditioning plant at 580 George Street reduced electricity by 32 per cent, and the attainment of a 5 Star NABERS Energy rating
  • Colonial First State – 60 Castlereagh Street increased NABERS Energy from 2 to 4.5 stars

The BBP’s founding members are AMP Capital Investors, Brookfield Office Properties Australia, Charter Hall, City of Sydney, Colonial First State Global Asset Management, DEXUS Property Group, Frasers Property, The GPT Group, Investa Property Group, Lend Lease, Mirvac, Stockland, the University of Sydney and the University of Technology Sydney.