Melbourne’s City-wide sustainability push

The City of Melbourne’s ‘1200 Buildings’ program has been highlighted in a global carbon usage report.

Melbourne is leading the way for greener infrastructure in metropolitan centres with the planned upgrade of 1200 existing buildings across the City, according to a global report by independent greenhouse gas reduction champion, the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP).

An initiative of Melbourne City Council, the ‘1200 Buildings’ program aims to stimulate the enhancement of 1200 commercial buildings across Victoria’s capital to become more energy and carbon efficient.

The program has attracted global attention, having been highlighted as a potential catalyst for the retrofit of private commercial buildings in the CDP’s recently released Cities 2012 Global Report, which featured carbon reporting from over 70 of the world’s most iconic cities and identified a range of climate risks surrounding greenhouse gas emissions and water usage.

It is hoped that the program will not only help domestic building owners and tenants find attractive investment opportunities through efficiency savings, but have global implications as a beacon for other progressive cities to use as a blueprint for their own initiatives.

Technical professional services consultancy AECOM facilitated in-depth analysis of the report’s data and is supporting the council’s initiative.
Ed Brown, who leads AECOM’s building retrofitting capability, believes the ‘1200 Buildings’ program will be just the start for a wider ‘greening’ of Melbourne’s infrastructure. 

“What is particularly exciting about this program is that this helps building owners find attractive investments in a market which is currently cost pressured.

“They might be motivated by a particular return on investment, by the need to attract a higher quality of tenant, the need to hedge against future energy price rises, or to reduce their carbon footprint.”

Melbourne was joined by Sydney as Australia’s two featured cities in the 2012 report, with both cities also included in the C40 Climate Leadership group, which is widely acknowledged for being at the forefront of carbon reduction practices.

City of Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle says global business is about planning strategically from a city perspective rather than a country perspective.

“Sustainability, liveability and prosperity are intertwined. These are the fundamental elements of a competitive city in the 21st century. These cities are the global magnets for talent, innovation and prosperity.

The need to create a sustainable future is radically changing the way we design cities, do business and live our lives,” the Lord Mayor said.