By Tina Perinotto
30 June 2011 – “It’s about time we realised the limitations of using the atmosphere as a tip,” said GPT’s Bruce Precious on the launch today (Thursday 30 June) of a new coalition of 13 major commercial property owners in Sydney and the City of City, who publicly pledged to lower their greenhouse emissions and become more sustainable.
It was no empty promise, at least by intent: together these owners own 58 per cent of the CBD of Sydney.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the Better Building Partnership, was an historic agreement and covered the “most power hungry geographical area in the country”.
Held at AMP’s 33 Alfred Street, overlooking Circular Quay, the signing ceremony was the first time major property owners in Australia have come together to develop energy, water and waste systems to improve environmental performance precinct-wide, Ms Moore said.
“Buildings produce nearly a quarter of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions, so buildings that use less energy and water and produce less waste will help in the fight against climate change,” the Ms Moore said.
A good start was a distributed energy system. “Producing energy locally instead of bringing it in from the Hunter Valley reduces pressure on the state’s ailing electricity infrastructure and future electricity price rises across the State,” Ms Moore said.
Mr Precious who is chair of the partnership and GPT Group sustainability manager, Bruce Precious, said, “The Better Buildings Partnership provides an exciting and unique opportunity for collaboration to cut greenhouse emissions arising from the social and economic activity across the City of Sydney.
“This critical mass of public and private property owners has the capacity to guide, as well as make, the important decisions needed to reach a low carbon, sustainable city.”
The agreement was signed by AMP Capital Investors, Brookfield Office Properties Australia, Charter Hall, Colonial First State Property Global Asset Management, DEXUS, GPT Group, Investa Property Group, Lend Lease, Mirvac, Stockland, Frasers Property, the University of Sydney, the University of Technology Sydney and the City of Sydney.
Initiatives underway by BBP members include:
- Trigeneration engines that run on natural gas and produce low carbon electricity, heating and cooling for buildings
- Water recycling systems that collect and purify water from laundries and bathrooms for reuse in irrigation and flushing toilets
- Solar electric panels and solar hot water systems
- Energy efficient T5 fluorescent and LED lighting
- High performance building facades to reduce heat but allow in natural light
- Energy efficient heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems
- Rooftop gardens.