Australian CBD office space equivalent to the size of Uluru has committed to pursuing a 4-star NABERS rating as part of a nationwide initiative to raise the efficiency and sustainability of commercial property.

A nationwide campaign to raise the energy efficiency of Australia’s CBD office properties is overseeing the conversion of more than three million square metres of office floor area into sustainable building space.

A total of 754 tenancies have committed themselves to the CitySwitch Green Office initiative, comprising 3,030,485 square metres of office space. This amount is equivalent to approximately 12 per cent of all the office space situated in Australian CBDs.

Melbourne-based environmental consultancy Green Steps is one of the most recent companies to join the CitySwitch program, adding roughly 1,000 square metres to help push the total past the three million threshold.

In congratulating CitySwitch on pushing the initiative past the three million square metre milestone, Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore pointed to the critical importance of raising the sustainability of Australia’s office stock to achieving reductions in the carbon footprint of the national economy.

“Around 80 per cent of the emissions from cities come from commercial office buildings so if we’re serious about the war on climate change, that’s the front line,” said Moore. “Three million square metres is a terrific result for the program – the same size as Uluru which takes three and a half hours to walk around.

“These fantastic results are a real credit to Australia’s forward-thinking businesses for recognising climate leadership as a means of producing office efficiencies while making savings to their own bottom line.”

The City of Sydney-led CitySwitch Green Office program requires that all signatories seek a NABERS performance rating of at least 4 Stars by means of a structured energy efficiency plan.

The program provides a broad range of sustainability services free of charge to tenants in commercial offices in order to help them achieve these sustainability and efficiency goals. These include structured methods for improving energy and waste efficiency, formal assessment and reporting processes, as well as access to dedicated program managers.

Thus far CitySwitch members have logged an average accredited NABERS rating of 4.1 stars, and have purchased 296,600 tonnes of carbon credits.

In addition to achieving reductions in energy usage and associated utilities bills, raising the efficiency of office space could also be of benefit to the public image of companies that occupy them as well as the value of the properties themselves.

In order to raise the profile of program participants CitySwitch also confers awards to outstanding performers, recently naming West Australian Local Government Association the CitySwitch national signatory of the year, and Bupa the NSW New signatory of the year.