Solar panels, carbon neutral operations and a comprehensive suite of energy efficient equipment initiatives gave Sydney businesses the winning edge at the CitySwitch Green Office Awards for office energy efficiency.
DEXUS Property Group and Buildcorp Group took out the top accolades at the CitySwitch Green Office Awards for office energy efficiency ceremony, with both organisations having achieved impressive energy savings in an effort to minimise their carbon impact.
The CitySwitch NSW Signatory of the Year for the large office category was awarded to DEXUS (over 2,000 square metres) and the small office (under 2,000 square metres) category to Buildcorp at Customs House.
DEXUS has achieved carbon neutrality at its head office at 343 George Street, Sydney for the second year running and has increased its office’s energy efficiency rating (NABERS) for 2011/12 from to four stars to four and a half stars. The judges commented that the carbon neutrality certification for DEXUS’ Sydney head office demonstrates the company’s high level of commitment to a sustainable office management and improvement.
Initiatives included the rollout of remote access software to reduce the number of computers left on after hours, switching to virtual servers to lower energy and cooling requirements, and making adjustments to the tenancy’s lighting controls.
In addition, the property company has turned to day-to-day staff behaviour to increase the awareness of individuals on creating a more sustainable office with the launch of a My Print swipe card printing campaign. The intranet software tracks personal print statistics detailing the amount of paper consumed, the costs and how these compare to the previous year, their department and the office as a whole.
Overall, the company has saved approximately 70 tonnes of carbon dioxide and reduced its head office energy consumption by 17 percent.
Buildcorp, which has developed some of Sydney’s green building projects including Workplace6 and Macquarie Bank’s fitout, turned efforts to its own operations with a full lighting upgrade as well as installing solar PV panels, which supply power to its two-floor tenancy in Camperdown. The former warehouse space has been fully refurbished, incorporating high-tech energy saving technology and office equipment, and has achieved Green Star accreditation. An active sustainability committee was key in getting staff on board.
Buildcorp has reduced its electricity use by 5580 kWh, saving 27.8 tonnes of carbon emissions. The judges noted that Buildcorp’s use of solar panels was particularly innovative. The company only recently joined CitySwitch and has already reported a four and a half star NABERS Energy rating.