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For the second consecutive year, Charter Hall Group and Cbus Property have been awarded a 6-Star NABERS Waste rating for their premium-grade commercial asset, 171 Collins Street in Melbourne.

The six year old building now boasts 6-Star Indoor Environment Quality, a 5.5-Star NABERS Energy ratings and is now powered by 100 per cent renewable energy thanks to the building’s involvement in the second Melbourne Renewable Energy Project.

Cbus Property chief executive officer Adrian Pozzo said the combined ratings now made the building an Australian, if not a world, leader in sustainable design practice.

Certanly its waste rating makes the building Australia’s most waste-efficient building, with a 74 per cent recycling rate over consecutive 12-month periods.

According to Nicole Ward, Charter Hall’s regional portfolio manager, said collaboration was key to the outcomes, especially from agents Knight Frank, consulting firm Ausnviro, and “more importantly”, the tenant customers, which includes BHP, Evans & Partners and VicSuper.

Nicole Ward, Charter Hall
  • See separate story on Ausnviro’s Jay Gualtieri

Ms Ward said the innovative and data-based waste management strategy delivers an industry-leading sustainable workplace.

“The biggest challenge was with education and getting our tenant customers to understand the importance of properly using the different waste streams and encouraging their staff to do the same,” she said.

“That side is the most important, because if we get it wrong on the floor, then it’s not going to translate down the track with the recycling rates. It just takes a small part of the workforce to not buy in and not claim ownership of doing the right thing with their waste, for all the hard work to go to waste.”

According to Ms Ward key was getting everyone to understands the importance of the strategy and the mechanics of dealing with waste streams  in a commercial building – something quite different to how it’s done at home.

Initiatives implemented included daily on-site measuring of all building waste, separation of bins by tenancy and floor in order to track waste on a micro-level, bi-annual waste audits, as well as specialist recycling activities.

The building’s waste and contamination data is monitored daily by Ausenviro to identify any trends and areas for improvement in real-time, providing critical reference points and a holistic overview as to how the building is tracking.

Monthly waste monitoring is also reported to all tenant customers, allowing them to see how they measure up against everyone else in terms of waste. This data is then be used to provide actionable recommendations and solutions.

The sharing of data and the consultation with tenants creates “healthy competition within the building, encouraging everyone to keep up with each other,” Ms Ward said.

“It really gives our tenant customers the ownership of these ratings and I think that’s a key measure that’s a little different to other buildings, and that is certainly something we’re keen to roll-out throughout our other buildings.

“We’d love 171 to continue leading the charge on sustainability ratings, but we want to try and get the rest of the portfolio up to the same levels too… to lift our sustainability ratings across our portfolio.”

While 171 is relatively new – about six years old – Ms Ward said there was no reason that several older buildings in the portfolio, around 20-30 years old, could not perform to the same level.

Adrian Pozzo, Cbus Property

Cbus Property CEO Adrian Pozzo congratulated the on-site management team in the building and said the program showed how an effective recycling program could be delivered, and “the importance of engaging positively with our tenants and having access to quality, timely data to monitor.”

He said the learnings would be helpful to apply to other investments as part of the broader vision to reach 75 per cent recycling rates across the company’s commercial office portfolio by 2022.

“171 sets an impressive new benchmark with its 6-Star NABERS Waste” Mr Pozzo said.

“It is now being powered by 100 per cent renewable energy through our involvement in the second Melbourne Renewable Energy Project, making it one of the most sustainable commercial buildings in Australia, if not a world-leader in sustainable design practice.”

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