Policy change

For modern and complex workplaces, sustainability works best if it is becomes part of the workplace's fundamental values, “the way we do things around here”. Written policy is an embodiment of value and sustainability criteria can be included for many disciplines such as purchasing, HR, working from home, publicity and more. To effect change in your workplace it is important to understand when policies are up for review, become engaged as stakeholder and provide practical input into the document’s scope and formation. While not all suggestions will make it, inclusions can have far reaching implications as policies are in place for three to five year cycles. A simple line in a workplace policy can bring about far-reaching change. Measures will cascade into corporate reporting and compliance frameworks and eventually into practical daily proceses and procedures.

Key elements

Related resources

Slide deck: Leading by doing Sydney event



Leading by doing - How business can take action in an uncertain policy environment.

The business environment continues to evolve, and the opportunities and expectations for businesses in addressing climate change are no different. Innovative businesses are embracing the challenge of addressing climate change as an opportunity to evolve their own business processes, and to engage with their customers. In the lead-up to the international climate conference in Paris this December (COP21), there is an increasing focus on the role and opportunity for business to take a leadership position on climate change. While the broad international political consensus over limiting global warming to two degrees exists, the policies to deliver this ambition continue to evolve both domestically and internationally.

This CitySwitch event held in May 2015, gave businesses an insight into how they can demonstrate leadership on climate change in the current climate policy environment and the practical actions being taken by those businesses that are leading by doing.

The session focused on:Australia’s climate change policy landscape

  • The global context to climate policy
  • evelopments in Australian and international energy markets
  • The changing energy market and what this means for your business
  • Why businesses need to stand up and be counted
  • How you can send a strong message to your customers and our politicians that good business is sustainable business.

Speakers and topics included:

Dr Graham Sinden - Senior Manager: Climate Change & Sustainability Services, EY Australia
What is the climate policy landscape and what are the opportunities for business?

Hugh Bromley – Associate, Bloomberg New Energy Finance
How is the energy market changing and how does this affect business?

Monica Richter - Climate Change Business & Industry Engagement Manager, WWF
How can business show leadership on climate change?

Download the Leading by doing event slide deck >




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Case studies

Case Study: Viridis

Case Study: Viridis

Viridis, a small design agency closely involved their team in choosing a new office to match their sustainability principles, and closely monitored electricity loads. By giving staff more control over equipment and using daylight and fresh air they cut thousands off energy bills and enhanced staff well-being.

Case Study: Steensen Varming

Case Study: Steensen Varming

Steensen Varming used their office move to select a green building with strong credentials and enter into a green lease with their new landlord. Selecting a suitable building, plus an approach that maximized daylight, used zoned air-conditioning and recycled office furniture resulted in savings from day one. Staff were engaged in all stages of the move.

Case study: AMP Capital

Case study: AMP Capital

AMP Capital's behaviour change competition saw staff across seven floors of their Sydney office battle it out to reduce energy and increase recycling. The 'Floor Wars' campaign resulted in energy savings of 15 per cent and supported the roll-out of lighting upgrades.

Case Study: Goodman Group

Case Study: Goodman Group

Goodman Group have increased staff collaboration, job satisfaction and achieved energy savings of 46 per cent as a result of transitioning to an activity-based workplace. The CitySwitch award-winner cites an innovative staff change management program and technology upgrades as the key to the fitout's success.

Case Study: Cameron Chisholm Nicol

Case Study: Cameron Chisholm Nicol

The Perth tenancy of architecture and interior design practice Cameron Chisholm Nicol is testimony to the organisation's energy efficiency and carbon neutral commitment. They have achieved energy cost savings of 30 per cent and a 4.5 star NABERS Energy rating.

Case Study: SA Dept for Families & Communities

Case Study: SA Dept for Families & Communities

A 'Staff Greening Program' helped SA's Department for Families & Communities meet ambitious sustainability targets and reduce operating costs by around $552,000. Other measures included lighting upgrades, zero waste to landfill and the purchase of electric hybrid vehicles. 

Case Study: Norton Rose

Case Study: Norton Rose

The Sydney tenancy of international legal practice Norton Rose, was able to save around $42,000 per annum
through technical upgrades and staff engagement. An internal sustainability guide, personal footprint reporting and move away from paper based filing, was key to their success.

Case Study: Craft Victoria

Case Study: Craft Victoria

Craft Victoria's advocacy of sustainability extends from their public programmes to the Melbourne tenancy's day-to-day operations. Simple lighting, heating and cooling modifications were driven by a staff green team who were able to slash energy consumption by 27 per cent.

Case Study: City of Port Phillip

Case Study: City of Port Phillip

As part of their 'Toward Zero' strategy, City of Port Phillip conducted energy audits across their 250 building property portfolio. By implementing an impressive retrofit program across their portfolio and purchasing 25 per cent GreenPower, they reduced total emissions by 36 per cent.

Search resources

CitySwitch Signatory of the Year and New Signatory Awards - category judging criteria

  • Delivering outcomes as demonstrated by an improved or maintained current NABERS Energy rating and achieved energy savings* (up to 28 points)
  • Implementing one or more energy saving initiatives (up to 10 points)
  • Demonstrating leadership by undertaking innovative, creative or progressive office energy efficiency activities (up to 10 points)
  • Engagement of staff/ customers/suppliers and/or stakeholders to educate and create market transformation (up to 10 points)
  • Participation in CitySwitch local program activities (up to 10 points).
Note, new Signatories submitting for New Signatory of the Year Award need only complete an indicative rating – all other submissions must be accredited.

CitySwitch Partnership of the Year Award - category judging criteria

Eligibility Criteria

Submitted projects should:

  • Involve more than one registered company 
  • Demonstrate that they are  innovative and over and above “business as usual”
  • Demonstrate that they catalyse “market transformation” and or “address a market barrier”
  • Deliver a reduction in energy consumption and carbon emissions within the built environment 

Judging Criteria

  • Delivering outcomes as demonstrated by an improved or maintained current NABERS Energy rating and achieved energy savings* (up to 14 points)
  • Implementing one or more energy saving initiatives (up to 10 points)
  • Demonstrating leadership by undertaking innovative, creative or progressive office energy efficiency activities (up to 17 points)
  • Engagement of staff/ customers/suppliers and/or stakeholders to educate and create market transformation (up to 17 points)
  • Participation in CitySwitch local program activities (up to 10 points)
  • The submitting entity MUST be a CitySwitch Signatory
Note, Signatories submitting for the Partnership of the Year Award may submit an accredited NABERS tenancy, whole building or base building rating.

It’s easy and free to join the program. Your good-will commitment to the program is an acknowledgement of the business sector’s role in
contributing to environmental sustainability and your intention to reduce your own energy consumption and associated carbon emissions.

As part of this, Signatories to the program commit to achieve an accredited NABERS Energy tenancy rating (between 4 and 6 stars) and
work with CitySwitch to improve their tenancy’s environmental performance.

Find out more about how obtaining a NABERS Energy rating ensures you can benchmark your performance, better manage your progress
over time and promote your star rating achievement.