CitySwitch winners

Western Australia has been the big winner at the national awards for CitySwitch Green Office, a City of Sydney-led program that helps businesses across the country cut carbon emissions, improve energy efficiency and reduce waste.

The West Australian Local Government Association was awarded CitySwitch National Signatory of the Year, for its efforts to go from a three- to six-star NABERS rated office, installing solar panels and working to encourage staff through sustainability programs.

At the awards event held in Sydney on Tuesday night. The National Partnership of the Year went to the Government of Western Australia Housing Authority and Curtin University, which have been working together on sustainability initiatives.

Curtin University students helped the authority prepare a sustainability action plan, which recommended annual NABERS assessments, LED lighting upgrades, recruiting a “green team” and enacting sustainability engagement programs. The Housing Authority also integrated their tenancy management system with a TRIM document sharing system, helping to save 620,000 pages of paper in six months.

Allens, a new signatory in WA and Victoria, won New Signatory of the Year for impressive savings made from digitalising of services, leading to reduced energy use.

This year saw Allens undertake a national server virtualisation project, which led to many individual servers consolidated onto one high-efficiency server. Corporate travel was also reduced through greater use of video conferencing. In total, reductions in carbon were at 14 per cent. They have become carbon neutral through the National Carbon Offset Scheme, supporting traditional fire management projects in Indigenous communities.

Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said CitySwitch participants were taking action and “showing by doing”.

“In our cities, around 80 per cent of emissions come from buildings, and half of that 80 per cent is controlled by building occupants,” she said.

“It’s impressive to see Australian businesses proactively tackling climate change by making their buildings more efficient, and in doing so reduce their bottom line.”

The CitySwitch program covers over 12 per cent of all office space in Australia, covering almost three million square metres of floor space, with members this year embarking on 1463 sustainability projects and reporting an average NABERS rating of 4.5 stars.

The full list of winners can be found here