What is CitySwitch?

What is CitySwitch?

CitySwitch helps office-based businesses to improve their energy and waste efficiency.

The program, which is free to join, is helping commercial office tenants around Australia to:

  • Enhance energy efficiency and reduce costs

  • Manage energy price increases and mitigate business risks

  • Work towards a carbon positive future

  • Reduce waste

  • Improve the health and productivity of employees.

When you join CitySwitch, you gain access to one-on-one support and a wide network of other companies also taking steps to improve their sustainability.











Alley Koster



Ally has been pivotal in getting Finder Green content live across the Finder website. Ally has been the technical driving force behind our Finder Green push with all the skills to publish pages on the internet and has an eye for design that has made everything look amazing.  

Amy Bradney-George



Amy is the editorial powerhouse behind Finder Green and has led the charge on our "Going Green" interview series as well as writing and improving a huge number of pages in the name of Finder Green. Without her, Finder Green would not exist today.

Kamisha Goburdhun

Steensen Varming


Kamisha has shown drive and a tenacity for sustainability outcomes. Kamisha has been able to cut through beauracracy and bring teams together to drive outcomes.

Kate Jermyn


Sustainability Manager

Kate has been working with the Department of Home Affairs for over 3 years and through her tenacity finally got them to sign up to CitySwitch and start pursuing sustainability projects.

Olivia Leal-Walker

Fraser Property

Sustainability Coodinator

Olivia has been nominated for her work with Fraser’s “A Different Way”. A Different Way is how Frasers talk about their vision for a more sustainable future. It has three core areas: progressive thinking, restoring resources and people focus.

Phil Ridler


Senior Business Development Manager

Phil has a Masters Degree in Environmental Management from UNSW and is a past director of Australian Alliance to Save Energy (A2SE). Additionally Phil has a Permaculture Design Certificate and teaches Permaculture part time at the Permaculture Sydney Institute. Phil has also undertaken consultancy in renewables, solar and batteries and a background in Energy Management, Energy Efficiency and Sustainability here in Australia, the UK and in the US.

The George Greenies

Designlogic Australia

Operations Manager

Our committee, The George Greenies, is a group of 15 volunteer staff who are passionate about sustainability. They work in their own time on sustainability activities in the workplace and actively promote sustainability to senior management to ensure sustainability is embedded in business practices. They are tenacious in their efforts and work hard to improve corporate responsibility.

Alex Sejournee




David Low

Knight Frank



Francis Stockwell




Kaushik Sridhar

Regis Aged Care



Melissa Cutler




Kelly Johnson

Uniting Communities



























Typically 80% of a city’s emissions come from its buildings. Half are generated by the use of base building services, the other half by tenant activity.

Esther Bailey, CitySwitch National Coordinator

The good news is that so many businesses are seeking the challenge and opportunity to become front runners in the shift to a low carbon economy.

Ross Gittins AM, SMH Economics Editor

Improving building energy efficiency by committing to targets and networking with other CitySwitch tenants and peers is the most effective and immediate way to achieve meaningful progress.

Norton Rose Australia, CitySwitch Signatory of the Year (NSW) 2011

The connections that we have made through our involvement in CitySwitch and the resources we have been able to utilise have made it possible to achieve what we have in sustainability.

Laim Henderson, Baptcare - CitySwitch Award winner in Victoria 2013

It has been an interesting, educational and commercial experience to be part of CitySwitch and we thank them for their dedication and constant support.

Baenziger Coles, CitySwitch Signatory, Victoria

CitySwitch Green Office is a tremendous sustainable energy initiative.

Peter Wyton, Managing Director AECOM NSW + ACT

Having a central contact point helps me keep up-to-date with the various local initiatives taking place around the country, so that I can follow up with our local people or attend events.

Dale O'Toole , National Sustainability Manager, Savills Australia

We are now building business opportunities using CitySwitch as a catalyst.

Amanda Steele, National Sustainability Manager CBRE

With the tools given to us by CitySwitch we were able to calculate the cost saving to our company by powering down and utilised this in our messages.

Priya Pathmanathan, Manager, Environmental, Leighton Contractors Pty Ltd


Currently 869 tenancies covering over 
3,844,258 sqm
have committed to CitySwitch

Latest news

Back to the Workplace

Back to My Healthy Happy Workplace event - held 25th March 2021

Organised by The Fifth Estate and supported by CitySwitch. 

Key speakers from Dexus were Chris Alcock and Daniel Quinn

When COVID-19 hit our shores in March 2020 we all discovered what ‘resilience’ really meant.  As a result of lockdowns and other strategies, March (and many other months) meant offices were empty and a lot of us asked “Is this the death of the office?”.   This was an important question, so Dexus did some research between April and June 2020 to find out.  They ran three surveys across a variety of sectors covering 368 organisations across 28 industries and 7,647 people responded.  This is what they found out. 

There were three key findings.

#1 We discovered that virtual working actually works.

  • Video conferencing was considered a game changer.  People took to virtual working and working remotely.  Mass adaption in a short timeframe was remarkable.
  • Only 36% considered access to hardcopy information to be important when working from home (WFH)
  • Easy transition once everyone got used to it
  • Some struggled – key determinant was pre-lockdown technology adoption.

In relation to returning to work many will be wondering, will we revert to the old ways, or is our working life going forward going to embrace new approaches and ways of working?   It seems the latter is most likely.

#2 The office is as important as ever.

The survey found that 80% of people missed being the office for a variety of different reasons.  Those reasons included:

  • Professional and social interaction
  • Building culture
  • Learning and development
  • Fostering innovation
  • Business development
  • Client interactions

But will everyone go back?  It seems that 77% expect to continue to work primarily in the office post lockdown, but many also prefer to work remotely.   Which has the workplace team rethinking office space.  If people want to be here for professional and social interaction, learning and other active engagement activities, does the current office desk, office and space set up facilitate that as best possible?  Probably not.

#3 Its clear the future is a blend of physical and virtual

Most survey respondents wanted WFH to continue as it provided more choice and flexibility.  Seventy-three pre cent want to WFH at least 1 day a week, 49% executives thought response would be lower, 24% want to WFH more than 2 days a week.

Blending the work environment seems to be the preferred way forward.  According to Dexus, the blended office has potential to deliver:

  • Improved talent attraction and retention
  • Increased flexibility
  • Reduced commuting time
  • Ability to attract, retain and support talent regardless of geographic location
  • Wellbeing benefits balancing work/life (and family) commitments

But that will bring some challenges such as:

  • Overcoming WFH inertia, concerns about COVID-19 and justifying commute
  • Providing reassurance about health and wellbeing
  • Making strategic decisions at time of continuing uncertainty
  • Understanding how to determine and implement a blended strategy in existing environment.

So organisations will need to answer:

  • How many people need to be in the office for it to be worthwhile and how can that be achieved.
  • How can we achieve consistency for remote working?
  • To what extent can the individual’s location, performance and health be monitored and self-managed?
  • How can new starters be on-boarded, settled and supported effectively?
  • How do you build and maintain a culture with a large number of remote workers?
  • How will the office manager role need to change to adapts to a blended workplace environment?

And management need to be aware that adaptation needs to work at various levels:

  • Organisation – shareholder value, recruitment, industry leadership, brand and culture, technology.
  • Business team – Leadership, team dynamics, productivity, customer experience, learning and mentoring
  • Individuals – engagement, retention, motivation, wellbeing

Getting this right will take some experimentation, but it should be done.


Making the comeback – returning to work safely and effectively

What needs to happen now and how do you transform the workplace to a place people actually want to come into?  That raises more questions such as?

  • How to avoid an empty office (i.e. staff come in but none of their team is there or the office is empty)?
  • How do you give them confidence that making the trip will be worthwhile?
  • How do you assume them that it’s safe from COVID-19?

Some ideas include:

Making sure the office is occupied – get attendance projections right (preferences, scheduling, monitoring, management), create collaborative and individual space, curate activities and connections that make it worthwhile.  That won’t be easy, but the office is a significant business investment and it needs careful planning, resources, change management, monitoring and being prepared to experiment.

Reviewing existing office environment and rethink how it works – there could be lots of opportunities to revamp and use existing space differently.  Does the workplace reflect your organisations values and culture? Does it create a place that people feel they belong in and value?   Does your technology support you the way it needs to?  Does the workplace assure health and wellbeing of people in the office?   Are you optimising the workplace experience for your people? 


In Conclusion

We now find ourselves with the unusual opportunity to make a profound and long lasting difference to organisation and people, and there is so much you can do with your existing workplace to start this journey.   

Watch the webinar to see what Dexus has done to change their workplace.  It provides an excellent example and food for thought.  There were also interesting sessions on the impact of lighting and acoustics in the office. 

You can Watch the full recording here


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.