The City of Sydney has signed a deal with big businesses to cut carbon emissions and improve the sustainability of buildings in the nation's largest CBD.


The Sydney Better Buildings Partnership (BBP) is an alliance of the City of Sydney and 13 major organisations, which collectively own nearly 60 per cent of Sydney's CBD office space.


Lord Mayor Clover Moore MP said it's the first time major property owners in Australia have come together to develop energy, water and waste systems to improve environmental performance precinct-wide.


"Sydney is the most power hungry geographical area in the country and buildings produce nearly a quarter of Australia's greenhouse gas emissions, so buildings that use less energy and water and produce less waste will help in the fight against climate change," Ms Moore said.


"Producing energy locally instead of bringing it in from the Hunter Valley reduces pressure on the state's ailing electricity infrastructure and future electricity price rises across the State.


"[This] historic partnership will help Sydney businesses reduce their overheads, create opportunities for new businesses and make our city a better place to liveand work.


"For many years now, we have worked closely in support of Sydney businesses, from small start-ups through to the big end of town, with grants, programs and business awards.


"Today's memorandum of understanding takes this relationship to a whole new level. By working together we will make Sydney one of the world's leading green cities."


Foundation members will today sign a memorandum of understanding with the City of Sydney to reduce carbon emissions from their buildings, helping the City cut 70 per cent of carbon emissions by 2030 (on 2006 levels).


Chair of the Partnership and GPT Group sustainability manager, Bruce Precious, said, "The Better Buildings Partnership provides an exciting and unique opportunity for collaboration to cut greenhouse emissions arising from the social and economic activity across the City of Sydney.


"This critical mass of public and private property owners has the capacity to guide, as well as make, the important decisions needed to reach a low carbon, sustainable city."


The 14 founding member companies and organisations are:


AMP Capital Investors, Brookfield Office Properties Australia, Charter Hall, Colonial First State Property Global Asset Management, DEXUS, GPT Group, Investa Property Group, Lend Lease, Mirvac, Stockland, Frasers Property, the University of Sydney, the University of Technology Sydney and the City of Sydney.


Collectively, the organisations own 58 per cent of commercial office floor space in the Sydney CBD.


They are constructing and retrofitting buildings that have set new standards for sustainability through innovative design and management practices, and use of advanced technologies and materials.


Initiatives include:

  • Trigeneration engines that run on natural gas and produce low carbon electricity, heating and cooling for buildings
  • Water recycling systems that collect and purify water from laundries and bathrooms for reuse in irrigation and flushing toilets
  • Solar electric panels and solar hot water systems
  • Energy efficient T5 fluorescent and LED lighting
  • High performance building facades to reduce heat but allow in natural light
  • Energy efficient heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems
  • Rooftop gardens.


"This is an important initiative in the battle against climate change, which threatens to produce more frequent extreme weather events like the floods in Queensland or the bushfires in Victoria, unless we reduce our carbon emissions," the Ms Moore said.


"Businesses recognise we need to act on climate change - and many of these companies are already leading within their own property portfolios. Working together takes this to the next level."