The CitySwitch Green Office program has surpassed four million square metres of office space, as ANZ signs on 833 Collins Street in Melbourne.
The national program now represents 900 offices – or 16 per cent of Australia’s office space.
The free, flagship sustainability program assists office-based businesses to enhance energy efficiency, manage energy price increases and mitigate business risks, and reduce waste – contributing to cities’ overall carbon emissions and waste reduction targets.
According to National Program Manager Esther Bailey, CitySwitch signatories are making massive savings year on year.
“Last year alone, CitySwitch signatories saved 711,000 tonnes of carbon emissions from entering the atmosphere through energy efficiency, carbon offsets and renewables,” Ms Bailey says.
“Partners in the program also slashed energy bills by an average of 25 per cent.”
Lord Mayor of Sydney Clover Moore recognises the enormous impact the CitySwitch Green Office program, instigated in Sydney, has had on reducing carbon emissions around Australia.
“CitySwitch was co-founded by the City of Sydney in 2005 and targeted commercial office tenants because we recognised the huge potential for this sector to improve its energy efficiency,” the Lord Mayor says.
“I am proud that CitySwitch has expanded its scope and is now a national program that is helping those tenants to enhance energy efficiency, reduce costs, improve on waste management and work towards a carbon positive future together.
“Taking climate action is the City of Sydney’s most important priority and with more than four million square metres of office space now signed up to CitySwitch, this program is a powerful example of the results that can be achieved through collaboration and long-term commitment.”
ANZ’s 84,000-plus sqm office on Collins Street is the largest single-tenanted 6 Star Green Star fitout in Australia. The building has achieved an annual reduction in electricity demand of more than 12 per cent since the building’s opening in 2010.
“The CitySwitch program will help us build on our already successful energy reduction initiatives, improve our staff engagement programs and learn from other organisations in the program,” says ANZ’s Environmental Sustainability Change Lead, Jeff Elliott.
ANZ has been meeting its carbon neutral commitments since 2010 and has cut emissions globally by 18 per cent since 2015. The bank is committed to further environmental efficiencies through a science-based emissions reduction target, as well as cuts to waste, water and office paper consumption.
“Volunteer sustainability programs such as CitySwitch are a vital part of helping organisations transition to a low carbon economy,” Mr Elliott adds.
Esther Bailey applauds ANZ’s commitment, emphasising that the four million square metres of space represents a “shift in corporate culture” among Australia’s leading organisations.
“When CitySwitch was established in 2005, the name said it all – it was about switching off lights. Now it’s about values. Business leaders understand that disclosure drives value and directs investment inflows.
“The Responsible Investment Association Australia says $866 billion in assets – more than half of Australia’s professionally managed assets – now consider environmental, social and governance issues. And many investors turn to a company’s sustainability report to understand its corporate purpose, values and long-term strategy.
“As we move towards a zero-carbon economy, every business will be expected to manage their energy. And as they do, CitySwitch is standing ready to turn energy efficiency disclosure into a long-term driver of value and open doors to new opportunities,” Ms Bailey concludes.