The GPT Group today announced the GPT Wholesale Office Fund (GWOF) had set a target to achieve net zero carbon emissions across its portfolio of 18 buildings in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane by the end of 2020.
The initiatives GWOF will undertake to reach the target will include a further reduction in the energy consumption of its buildings, investing in more on-site renewable energy generation and purchasing renewable energy.
“This is a challenging task but we are committed to taking a leadership role in reducing carbon emissions,” said GWOF Fund Manager Martin Ritchie.
“We recognise the property sector accounts for a significant proportion of global greenhouse gas emissions and as result we want the GWOF portfolio to be carbon neutral by the end of 2020.”
“Cutting the energy use of our buildings and moving to a zero carbon target also makes good business sense as it will significantly reduce energy costs and assist tenants who have their own targets to reduce emissions.”
Initiatives that GWOF will undertake to achieve the target will include the roll-out of energy efficient LED lighting across its portfolio, the installation of photovoltaic solar cells on several office buildings and securing long-term contracts with renewable energy suppliers.
“We expect the installation of LED lights across our portfolio alone will reduce energy costs by around $600,000 a year and cut carbon emissions by 3,000 tonnes a year,” said Mr Ritchie.
Mr Ritchie said the recent installation of high-performance LED lighting at 8 Exhibition Street in Melbourne had cut common area lighting electricity consumption by 75 per cent.
“The $185,000 cost of installing the LED lights has reduced 8 Exhibition Street’s energy and maintenance costs by around $7,800 a month, which translates to a return on investment of around 50 per cent,” said Mr Ritchie.
GWOF also plans to trial battery technology to reduce energy costs and dependence on the grid during peak demand periods.
The GPT Wholesale Office Fund portfolio comprises $7.5 billion of high quality office assets located in the Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane CBD markets.