News

Solar loan program shapes a better world

Arup’s interest-only solar loans encourage employees to join the 100% renewable revolution and shape a better world, says the firm’s Regional Corporate Communications Manager, Lisa Gardner.

Since 1963, when Arup’s team first arrived in Australia to work on the Sydney Opera House, the engineering and design firm has influenced some of our nation’s most iconic buildings – many of them setting new benchmarks for sustainability.

Today, Arup has more than 2,000 employees in Australia, each of them delivering projects and inspiring ideas that support a sustainable, low-carbon future.

A CitySwitch signatory since 2005, Arup’s Sydney and Melbourne use 100% renewable energy, and the firm is always looking for innovative ways to extend its emissions-reduction efforts.

Arup offers interest-free loans of up to $5,000 to employees looking to invest in solar – whether that’s photovoltaics, hot water systems or battery storage.

“We came up with the idea in a brainstorming session, as we regularly canvas our people for ideas for how we can be more sustainable,” Lisa explains.

“The idea of offering solar loans was perfect as it aligns with our approach to sustainable development. We want to walk the talk as a firm, and to enable our people to also do that.”

Any of Arup’s Australian employees can access interest-free solar loans, and 11 people have already seized the opportunity. A further 16 people have accessed interest-free bike loans of up to $2,000 to harness pedal power.

Arup hopes the program’s early success is a signal of things to come.

“We’ve received a lot of positive internal feedback and are now promoting the loans and benefits program to both new and existing employees.”

What’s Lisa’s advice to other CitySwitch members who may be considering a similar offer?

“Make sure any benefits program is aligned with your organisation’s values. We saw this as a way we can shape a better world – and that is what Arup is about.”

CitySwitch’s Positive Power campaign recognises that small actions can add up to big savings. And big actions – like committing to the 100% renewable revolution – can save both businesses and families money while helping us build a better future. Find out more about how you make the switch to renewable energy.

 



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Industry News

Investa achieves first Science Based Target approval in Australia

Investa achieves first Science Based Target approval in Australia

Investa today announced it has achieved Australia’s first approved real estate Science Based Target, verifying Investa’s ambitious, net zero carbon emissions by 2040 target and re-enforcing Investa’s leadership in committing to the rigour and quality of this globally recognised framework.  

 

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Psaros wins two prestigious sustainability awards

Source: Infolink

Leading Western Australian property developer Psaros was the recipient of two prestigious awards for sustainable development, cementing the company’s position as the leader in environmental design and sustainable practices in Perth.

In a first for a WA developer, Psaros won the National Banksia Sustainability Award for Sustainability Leadership as well as the CitySwitch State Award for New Signatory of the Year.

Geelong, CBRE and Echo big winners at national CitySwitch awards

Source: The Fifth Estate A project that slashed carbon emissions by 43 per cent has seen Future Proofing Geelong and Ryrie Centre Property take home the National Partnership of the Year Award at the national CitySwitch awards for commercial office energy efficiency.

CBRE took home the National Signatory of the Year award following their NSW win, while another NSW winner, Echo Entertainment Group, took home the National New Signatory of the Year award

Smart, green finance delivering efficient buildings in Sydney

Source: Retrofit AustraliaIn June, the City of Sydney signed an Environmental Upgrade Agreement (EUA) to fund energy efficient lighting, air conditioning and building management system (BMS) upgrades to James’ Hall  in Sydney. Under these agreements tenants provide contributions equal to or less than the savings they make in their utility bills as a result of the upgrade works. These contributions can then be used by the building owner to service the loan repayments and greatly improve the return on investment.  In addition, once the EUA is paid off, the tenants and building owner continue to benefit from reduced utility bills.

The Tenants and Landlords Guide to Happiness (chapter 8)

Source: The Fifth Estate

Despite the best intentions, most building owners and tenants struggle to keep up regular communication that could enhance their efficient use of the building, improve wellbeing of employees and substantially cut their business costs.

Find out more about the CitySwitch Vertical Communities initiative, the benefits of collaboration from industry and successful tenant and landlord staff engagement  programs in this latest chapter.

How the Renewable Energy Target affects your business

Source: The Fifth Estate

Changes to the RET could have significant implications for businesses wanting to take steps to reduce carbon footprints. Darren Willman from Climate Friendly a CitySwitch signator, discusses the impact of changes to the RET and why businesses should want to defend it in this article for The Fifth Estate.

CitySwitch partners with RMIT students to deliver resource assessments

Source: The Fifth EstateCommercial office tenant energy efficiency program CitySwitch has partnered with graduating environment students from RMIT to deliver resource assessments for participating signatories in Melbourne. There is only availability for 10-12 businesses this year, with only current CitySwitch signatories eligible.

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TFX2020 - October 2020

TFX2020 - October 2020

Engage with leaders in the FM industry and discover where Smart Spaces support impactful decisions and smarter choices at TFX 2020. 



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Case study: Frasers Property and healthy buildings

Case study: Frasers Property and healthy buildings

This case study looks at how Frasers Property Australia are creating places that support healthier lives.



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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.