Awards for Sydney businesses going green

Major construction and property companies are joining forces with the City of Sydney to make buildings more energy efficient and lower greenhouse gas emissions.

DEXUS Property Group and Buildcorp are the latest organisations recognised in the City of Sydney’s CitySwitch Green Office Awards, thanks to measures such as solar panels, improved computer management and lighting.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore presented DEXUS with the CitySwitch NSW Signatory of the Year award in the large office category (over 2,000 square metres), and Buildcorp the award in the small office category, at a ceremony last night 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.

“As a founding member of CitySwitch, the City of Sydney is also working to improve the energy and water efficiency of our own buildings.”

CitySwitch is Australia’s flagship office energy-efficiency program, with members accounting for nearly two million square metres of commercial office space. It began in Sydney in 2005 and went national in 2008.

The program has grown strongly 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.

DEXUS, at 343 George Street, Sydney, increased its office’s energy-efficiency rating (NABERS) for 2011-12 from to 4.0 stars to 4.5 stars.

It reduced its electricity use by 17 per cent or 74,000 kilowatt hours (kWh), saving $15,500 a year and reducing carbon pollution by 70 tonnes.

“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.

Energy-efficiency measures included software to reduce the number of computers left on after hours, better air-conditioning controls and a program that enables staff to halve how much they print.

Buildcorp installed a 21-kilowatt solar panel system on the roof of its office building in Mallet Street, Camperdown, and installed motion-sensor lighting, which greatly reduces energy consumption.

It has reduced its electricity use by 5,580 kWh, saving $1,250 a year in power bills and 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 NABERS Energy rating system is an industry recognised tool to help tenants across Australia benchmark their greenhouse gas reduction performance. Ratings go from 1 to 6 stars.

For more information contact: City of Sydney Senior Media Adviser Jon Walter, phone 02 9265 9753, 0406 868 359 or email jwalter@cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au

For interviews with Lord Mayor Clover Moore, contact: Jonathon Larkin. 0477 310 149 or jlarkin@cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au

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