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How to improve sustainability in commercial property

At ACORPP, sustainability is one of the most important parts of what we do. It’s central to our own strategy as a company, which is why we were the first company outside of the Perth CBD to sign up to the CitySwitch program. This initiative was set up to help commercial tenants improve their sustainable credentials and achieve a higher NABERS rating.

 

However, from our experience, we also know that wanting to work more sustainably and actually making it happen are not always the same thing. It can be difficult to know where to start, which is why we have decided to produce this little guide to improving sustainability in your office or commercial space.

 

Benchmark energy consumption

In order to keep your consumption down you can set a benchmark for your workplace, either internally or with an external management tool. Offices are responsible for using vast amounts of energy and the cost of powering these spaces can be a significant chunk of any company’s operating budget. So, the reasons for cutting down are clear. It’s important to set realistic targets that you can stick to, but if you’re finding it comfortable, squeeze the figures year on year.

 

Think about lighting systems

One of the largest costs of running any commercial property is lighting. Of course, lighting is essential for safe and efficient operations but new lighting technology, including LED bulbs, can reduce emissions and cost. An LED bulb will last around 50,000 hours, over five times the length of a conventional energy saving bulb. Equally impressive are the compact fluorescent light bulbs and high intensity discharge bulbs on the market.

 

However, nothing beats maximising the use of natural light. It’s the same for air conditioning - which can be costly and consume lots of energy – so natural and passive stack ventilation are preferred methods of addressing these issues.

 

Reduce waste

Do you need to print it? Does it get thrown away or can it be recycled. Simple questions we ask ourselves each day, but don’t take them for granted. Each person working in a commercial premises produces about one kilogram of municipal waste each day, on average. If you personally are producing less then where else in the company might this be coming from?

 

Staff buy in

 

The key to the success of any sustainability program is getting others enthused and excited. It’s not enough to just do your bit. It needs to be implemented company wide, or if your commercial space has tenants, there needs to be benefits for them too. Good ideas only take hold if people make them happen. And remember that an 80% effort is better than no effort at all.

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