Why carbon positive

Why carbon positive

When Australia and nearly 200 other nations signed the Paris Agreement in 2015, we made a commitment to keep global warming below 1.5°C to 2°C. We now have a limited ‘carbon budget’ to expend before 2050. All signatories to the Paris Agreement must decarbonise their economies – and do so rapidly. 

At the same time, the United Nations has established 17 Sustainable Development Goals, some of which demand action on climate change. The Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals send a signal to the international business community. We must take rapid steps to eliminate carbon from our business operations, or risk being left behind.

Why are buildings important?

According to the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council, our buildings are responsible for 23 per cent of our nation’s carbon emissions. Buildings also offer some of the quickest, lowest-cost opportunities to reduce Australia’s emissions.  ASBEC has found we can eliminate all our emissions from buildings by 2050, create healthier and more productive homes and workplaces, and save $20 billion that we would otherwise spend on energy. And we can do it all using technologies that exist today.

What does carbon positive mean?

There are many terms for buildings that use renewable energy sources to reduce or eliminate emissions, including low-carbon, carbon neutral, zero energy, zero emissions and carbon zero. A ‘carbon positive’ building takes this a step further, producing more energy than it needs and feeding that energy back into the grid. 

Why should businesses take action?

Failure to adapt to climate change is materialising on the balance sheet of major corporations around the world. The S&P Global 100 Index, for example, has found 90 per cent of companies see climate risk as a current or future threat to their business. There are, however, many opportunities for businesses willing to walk the carbon positive path – and financial savings through energy efficiency are just the start. 

Large and small companies are reducing their emissions to enhance their efficiency and competitiveness, enter new markets, attract investors, get ahead of regulation, manage risk and inform investment decisions.

Leading businesses around Australia are working with CitySwitch to build a carbon positive future. Your business can too.

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.