2012 energy efficiency heroes announced

Application of a marginal cost curve of abatement, use an interactive real-time visual display and an innovative staff energy reduction competition have given two Victorian and Western Australian tenancies the winning edge at this week’s National CitySwitch Green Office Awards. The Royal Automobile Club of Western Australia (RAC) and the joint tenancy of Tract Consultants and GIW Environmental Solutions took out the top accolades. Both organisations have implemented a range of comprehensive, bold and innovative projects in an effort to minimise their carbon impact.

The Royal Automobile Club of Western Australia impressed judges with their commitment and rigour to introducing and implementing new green initiatives. Having conducted a comprehensive assessment of resource consumption at their West Perth office, a range of opportunities to reduce energy consumption were identified. A resulting Resource Efficiency Action Plan and associated Marginal Cost Curve of Abatement have helped prioritise three priority implementation stages. This will include a rollout of delamping, altering of a number of control systems including and enhancement of the air-conditioning and lighting systems. The CitySwitch national judging panel commented that, “The creation of a marginal abatement cost curve showed a first-principles approach to formulating efficiency strategies and ensured that the right projects were tackled in the right order.  The real-time communication techniques give staff immediate feedback on the results being delivered.  RAC’s communications and staff engagement strategy demonstrated leadership over-and-above in delivering sustained change that is well ingrained in its corporate culture.” 

City of Perth Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi said “RAC are an inspiration and a fine example of how companies can significantly reduce their carbon emissions and become more energy efficient, through a combination of smart investment in technology and actively engaging with their employees.” Tract Consultants and GIW Environmental Solutions, are the collective winners of the 2012 National New Signatory of the Year. Sharing a tenancy in Richmond, Melbourne, the office has cut energy use by 10 per cent and are on track to reduce their annual energy consumption by 19MWh, saving $4,400 and achieving a 4 Star NABERS energy rating.

The judges said, “If the definition of leadership is to inspire others to follow, Tract and GIW are the standout winner in this category. Their internal competition has all the hallmarks of best practice: creating competition to drive engagement, empowering teams to improve their environments, backing this up with budget and management support, and implementing ideas for continuous improvement.”

The shared office put staff up to the challenge of an internal energy reduction competition across ‘blue’, ‘yellow’, ‘green’ and ‘orange’ teams. Competing for maximum energy savings, teams actioned a diverse number of initiatives ranging from delamping, an HVAC upgrade and an energy-saving tips mascot, to equipment timer switches use of switch-off signage with the slogan ‘we are yellow’ to bolster team member participation and behaviour change.  

The tenancy has since gone on to partner with RMIT University students (as part of CitySwitch Victoria’s collaboration) to identify new strategies for further reductions for continuous improvement. Mayor Jackie Fristacky said “Yarra recently became Victoria’s first carbon neutral council and the national recognition of Yarra businesses, Tract Consultants and GIW Environmental Solutions, demonstrates that reducing carbon emissions is an achievable goal that any organisation can choose to make.”

Director of GIW Environmental Solutions, Gary Wertheimer said, “The Tract and GIW office is located near one of Melbourne’s most popular shopping strips, Bridge Road. Together we are committed to sharing our knowledge and spreading the energy efficiency message. In so doing our ambitions are to make local businesses more competitive through operational efficiency and environmental awareness.”

The national CitySwitch Awards judging panel was comprised of Robin Mellon, Executive Director of the Green Building Council Australia, Ed Palmisano, NSW Deputy Executive Director of the Property Council of Australia, Luke Menzel, Manager of Sector Development for the Energy Efficiency Council, and Krista Milne, CitySwitch National Steering Committee from City of Melbourne. 

The national judges were impressed by the standard of this year’s submissions and commented that “It is pleasing to note that many submissions demonstrated a broad spread of lighting, IT and equipment upgrades, policy changes, and fleet efficiencies.  It is indicative of a step change in the sophistication of the market in general and CitySwitch members in particular that we now regard this work as business as usual.  This year’s winners, however, have done this, and much more. To win awards, businesses now need to deliver over and above the operating efficiencies that we now take for granted and must step out in front of the pack with projects that are comprehensive, bold and innovative.  We are delighted that the two winners this year have done just that.” This week’s CitySwitch national announcement follows partnering city state award ceremonies.

Find out more about this year’s corporate energy heroes >


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