Solar panels, carbon neutral operations and a comprehensive suite of energy efficient equipment initiatives have given Sydney businesses the winning edge at last night’s CitySwitch Green Office Awards for office energy efficiency.
DEXUS Property Group and construction company Buildcorp Group took out the top accolades at the awards ceremony in Sydney with both organisations having achieved impressive energy savings in an effort to minimise their carbon impact.
Sydney Lord Mayor, Clover Moore presented the awards for the CitySwitch NSW Signatory of the Year for the large office category to DEXUS (over 2,000 square metres) and the small office (under 2,000 square metres) category to Buildcorp at Customs House.
“Cities are the largest source of greenhouse gases, so if we are serious about tackling climate change that is where we need to focus our efforts,” the Lord Mayor said. "Rising electricity prices and the need to reduce pollution are taking energy efficiency to the top of the business priority list. DEXUS and Buildcorp have taken innovative approaches to making their buildings more energy efficient. They’ve shown a clear commitment to CitySwitch and in the process reduced their power bills and greenhouse gas emissions."
DEXUS, has achieved carbon neutrality at their head office at 343 George Street, Sydney for the second year running and increased its office’s energy-efficiency rating (NABERS) for 2011-12 from to 4.0 stars to 4.5 stars. “The carbon neutrality certification for DEXUS’ Sydney head office demonstrates the company’s high level of commitment to a sustainable office management and improvement,” the judges said.
Initiatives have included; roll-out of remote access software to reduce the number of PCs left on afterhours, switching to virtual servers to lower energy and cooling requirements and making adjustments to the tenancy’s lighting controls.
In addition, the property company has turned to day-to-day staff behaviour to increase the awareness of individuals on creating a more sustainable office with the launch of a ‘My Print’ swipe card printing campaign. The intranet software tracks personal print statistics detailing the amount of paper consumed, the costs and how these compare to the previous year, their department and the office as a whole. Overall, the company has saved approximately 70 tonnes of CO2 and reduced their head office energy consumption by 17 per cent.
Buildcorp, who have developed some of Sydney’s most significant green building projects including Workplace6 and Macquarie Bank’s fitout, turned efforts to their own operations with a full lighting upgrade as well as installing solar PV panels supplying power to their two floor tenancy in Camperdown. The former warehouse space has been fully refurbished, incorporating high tech energy saving technology and office equipment as well as Green Star accreditation. An active sustainability committee has been key in getting staff on board, thinking about sustainability at both work and home.
Buildcorp has reduced its electricity use by 5,580 kWh, saving 27.8 tonnes of carbon emissions.The judges said Buildcorp’s use of solar panels was particularly innovative. The company only recently joined CitySwitch and has already reported a 4.5-star NABERS Energy rating.
The collective efforts of Signatories part of the CitySwitch program are bringing about significant energy and cost savings. The program has grown significantly in NSW this year, with 157 tenancies now signed-up covering a total of 969,600 square metres of office space–21 per cent more than last year.
As the CitySwitch Green Office program nears the milestone of nearly 2 million square metres of commercial office space across the country, the national judging panel prepare to announce the overall national winners later this month.