Good evening, everyone, and welcome. I would like firstly to acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora nation, the traditional custodians of this land, and I pay my respects to the Elders, both past and present.
I’m encouraged to see so many leading players here this evening, though I’m also not surprised. Last year, a survey of the world’s 700 largest property funds and private landlords nominated a number of Australia’s major property companies as global environmental leaders.
The survey said it was clear “that property companies from all over the world can learn from Australian best practices in environmental management”.
The industry has recognised the urgency of retrofitting our City for the age of climate change. Unfortunately, State and Federal governments are lagging, so it’s up to us – the City and the private sector – to ensure that Sydney does not lose its momentum or its position as one of the world’s most liveable global cities.
Sustainable Sydney 2030 commits the City to reducing our own greenhouse emissions by 70 per cent of 2006 levels by 2030, and to reduce emissions within our Local Government Area by the same amount.
We have a three-step strategy to achieve these goals. One is to green our own operations; two is to provide programs to help the wider community to live and work green; and the third is to develop a green infrastructure master plan – including demand management – for energy, water and waste.
The Better Buildings Partnership is the vehicle which will help us deliver real results for the whole local government area. It commits us to working with the City’s leading institutional and private landlords, representing almost 70 per cent of the commercial office space in the CBD.
The Partnership will help us improve the environmental performance of existing buildings and facilitate the rollout of, and connection to, our green infrastructure.
It will also engage with regulators and other levels of government to remove the regulatory impediments which currently exist to local energy generation.
Tonight’s briefing will provide you with more detail on the framework and structure of the partnership from our Sustainability Director, Chris Derksema.
Allan Jones will then update you on the progress so far on our Green Infrastructure Plan. You’ll have opportunities to ask any questions throughout as well.
Over the past few months, Council staff have been working with representatives from each of your organisations to develop a Memorandum of Understanding which will formalise the partnership.
This is close to being finalised and Council will write to each of you inviting your organisation to join as a founding member of the Better Buildings Partnership.
I’d especially like to thank all of you for the support your organisations have provided in establishing this important and potentially very exciting initiative.
We will be publicly launching the Better Buildings Partnership on March10/March 31, and I hope to see you all there as founding members.
Chris Derksema will now give you more details on that.