CitySwitch 2014 National and Victorian winners

A project that slashed carbon emissions by 43 per cent has seen Future Proofing Geelong and Ryrie Centre Property take home the National Partnership of the Year Award at the national CitySwitch awards for commercial office energy efficiency.

The City of Greater Geelong project developed the first two CitySwitch vertical communities in Victoria and resulted in 12 tenants across two properties achieving 43 per cent savings in CO2. The project also won the Partnership of the Year Award in the Victorian CitySwitch Awards.

CBRE took home the National Signatory of the Year award following their NSW win, while another NSW winner, Echo Entertainment Group, took home the National New Signatory of the Year award.

Chair of City of Melbourne Council’s Environment Portfolio Arron Wood presented the awards on Thursday night last week at the Circus Oz Spiegeltent in Melbourne.

“This year’s national winners made a commitment to reduce their office energy use and delivered inspiring environmental improvements,” Mr Wood said.

“I commend the leadership shown by the City of Greater Geelong in working to reduce office operating costs through increased energy efficiency. This is one of a number of measures taken by the council to revitalise Geelong and protect the city from future price increases in electricity.”

The CitySwitch judging panel said the Ryrie Centre Property and Future Proofing Geelong collaboration has “brought companies together to create a shared high performance culture with clear energy efficiency objectives and significant progress already under their belt”.

The tenants of the two buildings at 235 and 237 Ryrie Street have developed energy action plans with several completing lighting upgrades and staff engagement programs. The overall aim is for the tenancies to achieve a four star NABERS tenancy rating, which is the commitment required under the CitySwitch program.

The Victorian judging panel commended the teams involved for creating Victoria’s first vertical CitySwitch communities, “showing how building owners and tenants can collaborate to achieve significant energy reductions.”

The CitySwitch program now involves more than 600 commercial tenancies around Australia, equating to over 12 per cent of all city office space nationally.

“Across Australia, CitySwitch signatories reported undertaking 840 energy saving actions this year, which resulted in $9 million in electricity savings,” Mr Wood said. “[They] have saved a total of 400,000 tonnes of carbon emissions since the program began in 2005, which is equal to driving a car to Saturn or making 13 return car trips to Mars.”

Other state-based winners this year have been:

Signatory over 2000 sq m

  • Queensland Nurses Union – Queensland
  • Wallmans Lawyers – South Australia
  • Department of Planning, Transport and Local Infrastructure – Victoria
  • Department of Housing WA – Western Australia

Signatory under 2000 sq m

  • dsquared consulting – South Australia
  • Baptcare – Victoria
  • Jones Lang LaSalle – Western Australia

Partnership of the Year

  • ActionAid and WWF – New South Wales
  • The Royal Automobile Club of Western Australia and HFM Asset Management

New Signatories

  • VRT Systems – Queensland
  • Nunkuwarrin Yunti of South Australia Inc – SA
  • Ross House Association – Victoria
  • Psaros – WA
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