Frank Gurrieri of Ernst & Young centre with Mark Dreyfus left and Victorian CitySwitch team.

30 November  2011 – Ernst & Young won state and national prizes at Victoria’s City Switch Green Office signatories awards on 29 November –  ahead of next week’s national awards.

City Switch signatories in Adelaide and Brisbane also received their awards on the same day.

CitySwitch is a national tenant energy management program which has partnered with capital city councils in Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney.

Ernst & Young was judged Victoria’s large signatory of the year (over 2000 square metres) and was acknowledged nationally as the most successful new-comer to the program.

The Public Transport Ombudsman won the small signatory of the year prize.

One hundred program signatories are involved in CitySwitch, Victoria and represent over 295,000 square metres of office space.

Cabinet Secretary and Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Mark Dreyfus said:

“Using energy more efficiently can lower carbon pollution as well as save money for business. All it takes is small changes and being smarter about energy use – the winners of the CitySwitch awards have proven that a commitment to energy efficiency delivers real benefits.”

City of Melbourne Eco City Councillor Cathy Oke said the partnership between the three councils and the state government allowed the CitySwitch program to have a greater reach and impact on the environment.

“The combined work of the cities of Port Phillip, Yarra and Melbourne and Sustainability Victoria to educate and assist office tenants to be smarter about their energy use is producing some fantastic results,” Councillor Oke said.

Ernst & Young upgraded its office down lights to energy efficient globes and had an energy saving lighting control system installed. Its energy efficient office fit out has seen it achieve a 4.5 star NABERS energy tenancy rating.

Left to right, front, Mark Dreyfus, Janine Young and Megan Cooper of Public Transport Ombudsman and the CitySwitch team.

The national judging committee that included representatives from the Green Building Council of Australia and Property Council of Australia praised the commitments of Ernst & Young in Victoria following the national awards judging session.

“As a new signatory in Victoria, Ernst & Young has hit the ground running, demonstrating strong commitment to change with a system for tracking their performance and an ongoing program of activities. With lighting upgrades complete, we look forward to seeing its energy action plan formalising next year’s efforts,” they said.

As part of the program, the Public Transport Ombudsman Victoria installed a sensor lighting control system, LED down lights and upgraded to LED computer monitors. It achieved a 5.5 star NABERS energy tenancy rating as a result of its efficient practices.

Adelaide honours Cundall and state department

Building design consultants, Cundall  and the Department for Community and Social Inclusion won the top awards in Adelaide.

Lord Mayor Stephen Yarwood said at the Adelaide City Council’s CitySwitch Green Office Awards 2011:

:“They have set a benchmark which we hope will encourage other offices to join the CitySwitch program and commit to energy efficiency improvements.”

“Council began the program with an ambitious target to involve 20 per cent of the CBD’s commercial office space by 2012,” the Lord Mayor said.

“We’re at almost 18 per cent and exceeding expectations. In the City of Adelaide alone we have signed up 41 offices, representing over 168,000 square metres of office floor space.”

The Lord Mayor said Cundall  was a great example of a small tenancy taking a proactive approach, constantly measuring and monitoring its energy consumption and changing its behaviour to reduce its energy load. It was awarded Signatory of the Year for the office category under 2000 square metres.

Councillor Natasha Malani who was the MC at the event said the team at Cundall use low-cost solutions to produce easy to use, effective opportunities in energy reduction.

“Their staff are all actively involved in maintaining an efficient and comfortable office environment,” Ms Malani said.

Cundall CEO Simon Wild said it was keen to set an example as a small tenancy committed to actively maintaining an efficient and comfortable office environment.

“With this industry acknowledgement we hope to encourage other companies to join the CitySwitch program and to commit to energy efficiency improvements, no matter how large or small the building or tenancy is,” Mr Wild said.

“Achieving sustainable outcomes is a collaborative process and to this end we have recently launched our Collaborative Futures website. Its objective is to encourage members of the industrial to share their intellectual property gained from the implementation of the Green Star and NABERS ratings programs which can help others achieve the same outcomes with less wasted resources.

“As an industry we have come a long way over the past decade and the next step is to work together and share our information, rather than work independently.  Small and large office environments all have a role to play in creating a better environment,” said Mr Wild.

The Department for Families and Communities city centre office won the CitySwitch Signatory of the Year in the over 2000 square metres category for the second year running.

The department has achieved significant cuts in energy use and expenditure through a variety of simple measures. It has undertaken regular energy ratings and made ongoing efforts to communicate its proactive approach to staff in smaller tenancies across the state.

“This organisation continues to demonstrate that with a strong commitment to energy efficiency and leadership in supporting staff behaviour change, a lot can be achieved,” Ms Malani said.

“It’s a great example of leadership and a holistic approach to sustainability, not only to energy reduction but for reducing waste to landfill, consolidating equipment, improving fleet efficiencies and staff communication.”

In Brisbane, local businesses Arup and Energetics won the Brisbane CitySwitch Green Office awards.

“Arup has shown great initiative in reducing energy use by hosting a Biggest Energy Loser competition which awarded the office section with the lowest energy consumption implementing the energy action plan containing energy efficient measures, developing a system to see real time energy use data and trialling various lighting technology to find the most energy efficient,” Councillor Peter Matic, chairman of the environment, parks and sustainability committee. said.

Arup and Energetics win in Brisbane

Arup and Energetics  were named the winners of the Brisbane CitySwitch Green Office Awards.

The program has a total of 47 signatories in Brisbane, making up 49 tenancies.

Arup took out the award in the over 2,000 square metres of office space category, while Energetics was recognised in the under 2,000 square metre category.

Environment, Parks and Sustainability Committee Chair Peter Matic, who presented the awards, said consulting firm Arup: “had shown great initiative in reducing energy use by hosting a Biggest Energy Loser competition which awarded the office section with the lowest energy consumption, implementing an energy action plan containing energy efficiency measures, developing a system to see real time energy use data, and trailing various lighting technology to find the most energy efficient.”

Energetics was also leading the way on reducing their carbon footprint by purchasing 100 per cent GreenPower and implementing an energy action program, he said.

Cr Matic said CitySwitch signatories committed to increasing their energy efficiency through actions such as installing energy efficient lighting and office equipment, changing to flat screen computer monitors, implementing occupancy sensors for lighting, and encouraging staff to reduce their energy use in the workplace such as shutting down computers at night.

“Brisbane’s office tenants can play a major role in reducing carbon emissions,” he said .

“In Brisbane alone, office tenants have the potential to achieve a reduction of 101,500 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually. This is the equivalent of taking over 21,000 cars off the road annually or permanently switching off the lights in 1,777 office buildings. Not only is this a win for the environment it is also a win for business as $11 million in energy costs would be saved.

“This program contributes to council’s goals of making Brisbane a carbon neutral city and achieving a 50 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from the business and industry sector by 2026,” he said.