CitySwitch Progress Report and Awards Presentation

(6pm, Monday 3 December 2012, Barnett Long Room, Customs House)

Good evening, everyone, welcome to our Report Night and Awards Presentation. I'd like firstly to acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora nation, the traditional custodians of our land, and to pay my respects to their Elders. I also acknowledge the people of 200 nations who live in our City.

A special welcome tonight to our keynote speaker, Ross Gittins and of course to our program partners and their representatives here tonight from North Sydney Council; City of Ryde and Representatives from our NSW Government partner, the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage

The PriceWaterhouse Coopers 2012 report on Cities of Opportunity ranked Sydney as one of the world's most liveable cities.

If health, safety, sustainability and liveability represent quality of life - "the urban characteristic for which many professionals and businesses appear to be searching", along with London, Singapore, Paris and Berlin, Sydney will be a major beneficiary of jobs gained by 2025.

Of course, that's all on the proviso of retaining and building on those qualities.

And we are.

The City of Sydney is leading the way on sustainability and its agenda-setting. Our efforts and your efforts have been recognised with a prestigious international award.

The City won a silver award in the most sustainable government category of the renowned International Green Awards for its vision, innovation and advocacy in areas including energy, water, waste and transport. It's wonderful to be ranked so highly by international experts.

Officially recognised as Australia's first carbon-neutral government the City's sustainability achievements include:

  • Reducing water consumption in the City's buildings by 20 per cent; and
  • Increasing recycling rates from 49 per cent to 66 per cent in one year through advanced waste treatment
  • Retrofitting city buildings to improve energy and water efficiency, reducing carbon pollution by 42 per cent;
  • Installing $4.3 million worth of solar panels on more than 30 major buildings, cutting annual carbon pollution by 2,250 tonnes;
  • Installing 6,500 LED street and park lights to reduce electricity use by 40 per cent;

In NSW, the energy efficiency revolution will play a very important part here, with our ageing buildings contributing about 23 per cent of carbon emissions. Of course, these are only half controlled by tenants, but tenants can also drive efficiency in base buildings by working with building owners to demand better and improved building stock.

Since 2006, we have been supporting tenants in commercial offices in this energy efficiency quest through CitySwitch, and we've been doing so in partnership with the Office of Environment and Heritage.

Indeed, the office supports us not only in NABERS rating discounts available to all our signatories, but also via the fabulous resources they've created for commercial tenants, including their recent Energy Management Guide for Tenants and their Lighting Training workshops. We're so grateful for their continuous support and wealth of resources.

Local government has many ways to support and inspire business. For example, at the City of Sydney, we've undertaken a retrofit program across our own properties, to "show by doing". There's also our work with the Better Buildings Partnership, Smart Green Business, and through our Environmental Upgrade Agreements.

And on that point, tonight is a good opportunity to offer special congratulations to Parramatta City Council who is close to signing the first Environment Upgrade Agreement being led by a tenant in NSW. The NSW State Property Authority initiated the project and is contributing to the repayment of the EUA as a tenant.

This is terrific news and it opens the way for others to follow. I'm sure you know that as well as the City of Sydney, North Sydney also offers Environment Upgrade Finance.

Back to CitySwitch and the program's achievements this year. We can proudly announce this evening that CitySwitch NSW signatories cover over 16 per cent of all business space.

This represents 125 signatories in NSW, 157 tenancies and very close to 1 million square metres. To be exact, we have 970,000 square metres of office space to date

Nationally, CitySwitch has nearly reached the two million square metres

And all indicators suggest a huge range of activities being undertaken by members, with over 360 projects reported by our signatories in NSW.

Again, congratulations to everyone and thank you for your genuine commitment to this program, and for your contribution towards a sustainable Sydney.

Later this evening , I'll be announcing the 2012 Award winners but now I think we're all looking forward to hearing Ross Gittins.

Thank you.



So tonight we look at the collective achievements of the past year and celebrate the success stories and the businesses showing outstanding leadership.

I've been told by the judges that the two winners were up against some very tough competition, so before I announce the winner, they have asked that I thank all signatories who've submitted their Progress Report.

They also asked that I make special mention of the following signatories who have undertaken fantastic energy efficiency projects - including behaviour change programs, equipment upgrades, lighting retrofits and policy changes.

And that group includes:

  • The Good man Group
  • Climate Friendly

Congratulations, and thank you all.

And now, the winners are:

  • Our CitySwitch Signatory of the Year for a tenancy under 2000 sq metres: the Buildcorp Group
  • And the CitySwitch Signatory of the Year for a tenancy over 2000 sq metres: the DEXUS Property Group.

Congratulations to the BuildCorp Group and the Dexus Property Groups. As NSW winners, you're now up for consideration as national CitySwitch signatory of the year. Well done!

Success breeds success, and as word continues to spread, CitySwitch will reach its 2013 targets. Well done, everyone.