Sydney and Melbourne awarded for green office program

Monday, 05 December, 2016

Sydney and Melbourne awarded for green office program

The City of Sydney and City of Melbourne have been recognised at the C40 Cities Awards for their CitySwitch Green Office program.

This office program is designed to improve energy and waste efficiency, and has helped signatories from across Australia save $34 million on power bills.

Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore accepted the award with the City of Melbourne’s Director of Strategy and Place, Kate Vinot, at a gala ceremony in Mexico City.

“If we are serious about tackling climate change in our cities, where around 80% of emissions are generated by buildings, then we’ve got to find solutions that are practical,” Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.

“CitySwitch remains the only program in Australia that brings state and local government together with commercial tenants to improve environmental performance in this most critical sector — and it is one of the great success stories.”

When CitySwitch began in 2005, it was a small program in Sydney. Since then it has spread to states across Australia where it has received strong support from several councils, especially the City of Melbourne, which has recognised the need to engage the business community to improve building efficiency.

Last year, a record 618,000 square metres of office space were added to the program. These were either from new tenancies signing up or existing signatories adding new space. The program now covers over three million square metres of office space.

CitySwitch businesses across Australia carried out almost 1500 environmental projects in 2016, reducing carbon emissions by 57,871 tonnes and purchasing a further 323,970 tonnes in carbon offsets.

Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said CitySwitch is one of a series of programs that helps the City of Melbourne work with small and large businesses to contribute to its goal of reaching Zero Net Emissions by 2020.

“Melbourne and Sydney are occasional rivals on and off the sporting field, but collaborations like CitySwitch show how our two cities are working effectively and collaboratively to preserve and generate energy,” Doyle said.

“We have 150 offices covering more than 700,000 square metres in Melbourne, committed to reducing their environmental impact through CitySwitch. This is equal to the area covered by 35 MCGs and represents 70,000 city workers.”

A total of 571 signatories with 871 offices are signed up to the CitySwitch Green Office program including Sydney-based financial institution AMP Capital and Melbourne-based Frasers Property Group.

“As part of the program, we commit to continue to change our behaviour and influence others in cooperation with CitySwitch partners and the wider community, to make a difference to climate change and help shape a more sustainable future,” said AMP Capital Managing Director Louise Mason.

Frasers Property Group General Manager of Sustainability Paolo Bevilacqua said the company is committed to reducing the environmental impact throughout our business, while maximising social and economic returns for its customers.

“Our partnership with CitySwitch has led not only to better environmental performance in our own offices, but importantly, educated our staff about practical things that can be done at home and within the buildings and communities we develop,” Bevilacqua said.

Image courtesy of City of Sydney.

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