Office by office: How Domain switched to buying 100% GreenPower

Number of sites: 7

Yearly electricity use: 771,929.34kwh

Buying method: Coupled – GreenPower plan with an electricity retailer

Sustainability officer Sophia Sotriffer and office experience lead Penny Sandercock at Domain championed its switch to GreenPower.

We asked Sophia a few questions about Domain’s shift.

Here’s what she had to say.

What were the biggest hurdles in securing GreenPower and how did you overcome them?

Domain has several offices around Australia. Most of our office leases are managed by Cushman & Wakefield. It played an integral role in assisting us to transition to GreenPower. The guidance meant we did not encounter any notable hurdles with our procurement.

For our offices which are managed independently, Brisbane and Adelaide, we are currently exploring options to overcome GreenPower sourcing challenges. Building regulation restrictions in Brisbane, and coworking arrangements in Adelaide, are limiting our options to source GreenPower.

Image: Sophie Sotriffer and Penny Sandercock, Domain Sydney office. Photography by Stefanie Zingsheim

What would you do differently?

Upon reflection we are happy with how we approached our transition to GreenPower.

Were there any unexpected benefits of switching?

The positive feedback from employees. There was a great sense of pride from employees who were excited to see the organisation take steps to reduce its environmental footprint.

What was the timeline or key points along the journey?

The timelines were different for each office. When existing contracts were due to expire, we took the opportunity to transition with GreenPower providers. The journey began in early 2020 with discussions of intent to transition to GreenPower. Our Perth office began with 50% renewables on a 1-year contract, acting as a test case. Following the positive experience, our Melbourne and Sydney offices switched in early 2021, with Canberra and the remainder of Perth switching in late 2021.

Image: Penny Sandercock in Domain Sydney office. Photography by Stefanie Zingsheim

Can you give us a rough timeline of the process and stakeholders involved? For example, who did you talk to in building management? Who is the account holder for the electricity retailer? How long did it take? Any challenges or pushback from various stakeholders?

Cushman & Wakefield managed most of our transition process. It led the conversations with building management and the GreenPower retailers, providing us with an array of options to choose from.

Our office experience lead managed the relationship with Cushman & Wakefield and key internal stakeholders such as the Chief Financial Officer. The only challenge we faced was seeking the best GreenPower option and having it align with building lease duration.

How did you position the extra cost internally?

At the time of transition, GreenPower was relative in cost to traditional grid energy. We were fortunate that our Chief Financial Officer and other key internal stakeholders could see the various benefits of moving to GreenPower and cost was never a barrier.

What's your advice to others wanting to pitch their CEO or manager and switch to GreenPower?

There are multiple actions that should be highlighted when creating a business case to transition to GreenPower.

  1. Decarbonisation – purchasing GreenPower is integral to achieving net zero carbon emissions.

  2. Corporate social responsibility/brand recognition – studies have shown customers and investors are more likely to associate with organisations demonstrating their commitment to making a positive impact.

  3. Cost – although GreenPower has historically been more expensive than traditional grid energy sources, you can save money by comparing providers, going to tender or securing long-term purchasing agreements.