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Water

GPT is committed to employing leading practice approaches to the sustainable use and management of water resources.

The Group has achieved:
  • 44% reduction in water intensity since 2005
In 2015 this meant:
  • $6.6 million of avoided costs*; and
  • 1.6 million kilolitres of water saved*

*compared to 2005 baseline

Background and Policy

GPT aims to use, source, re-use and discharge water efficiently. The Group recognises that water is a constrained but essential resource to the sustainability of the business and more broadly to society and the environment. GPT’s Water Management Policy contains the complete policy background and commitments.

GPT’s commitments and intended approach to managing water are guided by the Integrated Water Cycle Management framework.

Integrated Water Cycle Management Framework*

*Adapted from Hoban and Wong 2006

The framework is an approach to water management that acknowledges the interdependencies between potable water, waste water and stormwater that seeks to optimise water use on each site, whilst being mindful of the site specific constraints and opportunities and the needs of the local environment.

Targets

To use and manage water sustainably at each of the sites owned and managed by GPT.

Target Performance and progress
2015 target of 830 L/sqm Achieved 876 L/sqm, a 1% reduction on 2014
All new developments will use the IWCM framework to inform design IWCM framework used in planning for redevelopment of Highpoint and Wollongong Shopping Centres
Water Balance surveys of existing sites A pilot program of assessments has been undertaken at GPT Office sites
2016 target of 835 L/sqm Strategies are in place to identify further efficiency measures, alternate supplies of water and non GPT uses of water

The ongoing target will be to continue to improve environmental performance above the average rate of the Global Real Estate Benchmark - Green Stars in relevant environmental categories while continuing to strive to meet the aspirational targets as fast as commercially viable.

Performance

GPT has reduced water used per square metre of lettable space by 44% since 2005, from 1,561 litres per square metre in 2005 to 876 litres in 2015.

Reductions have been achieved across all portfolios, with Office achieving a 54% improvement and Retail a 32% improvement since 2005. Additional sub-metering to effectively measure and monitor this use, raising awareness amongst tenants and encouraging them to use water more efficiently continues to be deployed.

Water intensity performance (litres/sqm)

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The strategy of best matching water use to water sources is important. Augmentation of potable water supplies with non-potable water still represents a small amount of total water consumption. In 2015 use of reticulated non potable water totaled 16,921 kilolitres or 1% of total supplies.

Key water savings initiatives

Water savings devices
  • Low flush toilets installed in new developments.
  • Waterless or low water urinals installed in all new developments and retrofitted to existing assets.
  • Use of cooling towers avoided where a viable alternative is available. For example, at workplace6 there is heat exchange through the harbour.
Tenant guidelines and awareness
  • Retail fitouts have minimum standards on the adoption of water efficient fittings and fixtures.
  • Use of waterless woks for food facilities
  • Fit Out Guides and Building User Guides are provided to assist tenants in the use of low water consumption devices in Office tenancies.
  • Base building consumption is reported to Office tenants during Building Management Committee meetings.
Metering
  • Water meters in new developments and retro fitted to existing assets.
  • Close monitoring of water consumption by on-site Operations team.
  • Sub-metering is enabling allocation of water consumption costs on a user-pays basis at an increasing number of sites.
Targets and monitoring
  • Site targets set annually, taking account of improvement plans.
  • Performance closely monitored through the year via management reporting.
Alternative sources
  • Rainwater tanks have been installed at several sites for irrigation and other non-potable water use.
  • Precinct supplied recycled water is used where available for suitable purposes. For example, the Quad buildings use recycled water available through Sydney Olympic Park.
Recycling
  • Water recycling where viable. At workplace6 the black water treatment plant can be viewed from outside the building and is used as a public educational tool. At this site excess recycled water is used to irrigate surrounding parkland.
Discharge management
  • Sites are cleaned to minimise contamination of stormwater run-off.
  • House Rules / Fitout Guides specify the need to avoid sewerage contamination, especially relating to fitouts and other building works.
Refer to our case studies section for more information on some specific examples of how GPT has improved water sustainability.

NABERS ratings

GPT’s portfolio weighted average NABERS Water ratings for office is 3.8.
GPT’s also rates eligible shopping centres under management.
Further information is available on the GPT NABERS page.

Challenges and Outlook

Addressing the following challenges will support improved management of water resources and allow water to be used more sustainably:

Challenge What we are doing
Understanding where water is consumed GPT continues to implement water metering to closely measure and monitor base building water consumption. This strategy is being extended to include metering to monitor consumption by tenants that are currently high users
Non-potable water use and infrastructure suitability To increase the volume of non-potable water used in our new developments and building renewal program, the Group seeks to specify the use of non-potable water at the design phase of projects. This will help to ensure the appropriate plant and equipment selections are made, or the required water treatment processes are embedded into the initial stages of design.
GPT actively participates in industry bodies engaging with government and water authorities to support and encourage the continued evolution of planning and regulatory controls.
Cost of water While GPT can take a long term view, the relatively low cost of water can make the commercial viability of some water saving initiatives difficult to achieve.
Discharge flows Rainwater harvesting is an appealing source of water but care must be taken to ensure that local hydrology needs are met. At Rouse Hill Town Centre, for example, rainwater harvesting was limited so that sufficient flows remained for Caddies Creek to be rehabilitated.
Precinct solutions GPT is a leader in black water recycling with a pilot installation at workplace6. The technology required for sewer mining is expected to continue to improve which could be expected to improve economic viability and the broader community impact requiring management of sewer flows. Economies of scale and resolution of these issues mean that precinct based solutions to alternative water supplies may be preferable for many sites. As such GPT is actively engaged in initiatives such as Sydney’s Better Buildings Program which, in partnership with City of Sydney, is exploring the feasibility of reticulating non potable water in the Sydney CBD.

Quick Links
Environment Data Pack

For detailed statistics around GPT's Sustainability Reporting Download the Environment Data Pack.

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