The City of Melbourne has been recognised for its green building initiatives, earning a prestigious international award.

Melbourne was on of 10 cities around the world to receive a C40 and Siemens City Climate Leadership Award for its sustainable efforts.

In April, the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) announced a collaboration which would recognise cities that demonstrated leadership through scalable solutions to address global climate change.

Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle attended a conference in London to accept the C40 and Siemens Climate Leadership Award in the category of Energy Efficient Built Environment. Melbourne triumphed over New York and Berlin, which were also shortlisted for the award.

The remaining categories were awarded to the below cities:

  • Bogota (Urban Transportation)
  • Copenhagen (Carbon Measurement & Planning)
  • Melbourne (Energy Efficient Built Environment)
  • Mexico City (Air Quality)
  • Munich (Green Energy)
  • New York City (Adaptation & Resilience)
  • Rio de Janeiro (Sustainable Communities)
  • San Francisco (Waste Management)
  • Singapore (Intelligent City Infrastructure)
  • Tokyo (Finance & Economic Development)

“Melbourne, the most liveable city in the world, has now been recognised as having some of the smartest buildings in the word,” Doyle said of the city’s win. “We know that sustainability and liveability are inexorably linked. For us to maintain a high standard of living we need to set the highest standards in sustainability.”

“Every piece of research tells me that a sustainable city with high quality of life will attract the best and brightest and that’s what drives innovation and economic growth,” the Mayor added referring to Melbourne’s 1200 Buildings retrofitting program.”

The 1200 Buildings program is part of Melbourne’s commitment to be carbon neutral by 2020. It encourages owners in the commercial built environment to upgrade their buildings and improve the energy/water efficiency and reduce waste to landfill and lower carbon emissions.

Doyle outlined the targets associated with the program including its aim to generate economic benefits of $2 billion and create 8,000 jobs.

“Research suggests that the Gross Local Product of the City of Melbourne increased from $58 billion in 2008 to $68 billion in 2012,” he said. “Employment has received a major boost with 50,000 additional jobs created over the same period. The construction and building industries, professional services and downstream real estate services have experienced the largest jobs growth.”

City Climate Leadership Awards

City Climate Leadership Awards

In conjunction with 1200 Buildings, Melbourne’s other sustainable initiatives include CitySwitch, a program to improve energy efficiency in offices and Smart Blocks, which was launched in June and encourages a similar outcome but for apartment buildings.

Doyle said Melbourne also has the highest density of new green buildings across Australia.

Siemens Australia CEO Jeff Connolly congratulated Melbourne on its award.

“It’s great to see Melbourne, my home town and the city of our Australian Headquarters, win the award,” he said. “Lord Mayor Robert Doyle and the entire team show a clear vision and tireless passion for innovation which strives to maintain that reputation.”

Roland Busch, CEO of Siemens’ Infrastructure & Cities Sector, addressed the winners and pointed out that climate change is a global problem with cities accounting for up to 70 per cent of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions.

C40 and Siemens Award Collaboration

C40 and Siemens collaborated on the awards

“We all know two things: the fight against climate change will be decided in cities. And it is through co-operations that we can tackle climate change,” he said. “The City Climate Leadership Awards are a prime example of our successful cooperation with C40. It helps cities to optimise their performances and share their experiences. Its value is immeasurable.”

While winners for City Climate Leadership Awards have been announced, finalists will also have the opportunity to secure a Citizens Choice Award, which allows the general public to vote for nominated projects.

Voting can be completed online with a winner to be announced in November.