A Sydney office taking part in the CitySwitch Green Office program has saved the same amount of emissions that a medium-sized family car would produce travelling around the world three and half times.
The CitySwitch program represents around 2.9 million square metres of commercial floor space and encourages commercial tenants to improve energy efficiency, save money and slash carbon emissions.
Eureka Funds Management joined the program last year and has undergone a massive office refit with flexible working spaces to improve energy efficiency and boost productivity.
Eureka Director, Quentin Shaw said the CitySwitch program provided resources to help Eureka make better informed sustainability decisions during the refit.
“CitySwitch has worked with us to identify areas of improvement,” Mr Shaw said. “As a direct result of this collaboration we are undergoing a complete lighting upgrade, and replacing existing bulbs with LEDs. This aspect alone will result in our office saving the same amount of emissions a family sedan would produce circling the globe three and a half times.”
During Eureka’s refurbishment over three quarters of materials were recycled. Conventional lights were replaced with LEDs and energy-guzzling desktop PCs replaced with tablets that can be used anywhere in the office including quiet spaces, soundproof collaboration zones and standing desks.
Businesses are signing-up to join the CitySwitch Green Office program at a rapid pace – saving over $14 million a year to their bottom line.
There are now over 741 offices involved in the program, with members collectively slashing around 86,000 tonnes of carbon emissions in the last year alone.
Combined energy savings by CitySwitch Green Office members would be enough to power nearly 13,000 homes a year.
City of Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said CitySwitch members were leading the way in improving environmental performance of buildings and tackling climate change with impressive results.
“This program has been gaining in popularity as businesses realise the many benefits of bringing energy efficiency programs on board,” the Lord Mayor said.
“We welcome our new members and congratulate our existing ones for recognising the difference they can make to the environment – and to their bottom line.
“Cities use over two-thirds of the world’s energy and emit more than 80 per cent of emissions, so action in cities is where we can make a significant difference. These great results from our CitySwitch members clearly demonstrate it is possible to significantly reduce carbon emissions and make business savings at the same time.”
Eureka employee Rachael Scott said the new space had changed how she works, offering a more collaborative approach where all the available office space can be used.
“The tablet computers make it easy to work with colleagues across all different areas of the office,” Ms Scott said.
“We simply use wi-fi, plugging our tablets into docking stations that are available across all areas. This allows us to work at any desk including standing ones, project onto any TV in the meeting rooms or sit in the kitchen eating breakfast and catching up on emails. By having a system that moves with us, there is a reduced need to print – everything I need is on my tablet.”
Another new member to join the program from NSW is Bupa. Bupa’s Director of Corporate Affairs for Australia and New Zealand, Dieter Lehmann, said Bupa was committed to improving its carbon footprint globally, while improving business operations locally.
“We’re proud to have signed-up to the CitySwitch Green Office initiative, and are excited to collaborate with other leading organisations,” Mr Lehmann said.
“At the end of the day, employees place their belongings in lockers to encourage a low paper environment so the space is free and clean for everyone to choose which desk or space they want to start the next working day.”
CitySwitch national program manager, Esther Bailey, said the program provides members with practical resources such as tool kits to help them make practical changes.
“Our members continue to demonstrate a growing level of commitment to the program and reducing their carbon impact,” Ms Bailey said.
“This has been combined with confidence to set and achieve ambitious goals proving that it is possible for both small and large businesses to make a real difference for their day-to-day waste and energy efficiency.”