Office and tourism sectors join climate change battle

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Following its success with Sydney’s major commercial landlords, the City is now enlisting the office, accommodation and entertainment sectors in the battle to slash carbon emissions.

‘Sydney’s Sustainable Office Building Plan’ encourages office building owners and tenants to reap the cost benefits of renewable energy. It outlines sector-specific actions, including environmental upgrades and ratings, increased use of renewable energy, improved recycling and stronger owner–tenant engagement.

The linked ‘Making Sydney a Sustainable Destination’ plan is a vision for Sydney to be recognised globally as a sustainable destination for business and holidays. It identifies opportunities for accommodation and entertainment providers to become greener through environmental ratings, improved waste management and renewable energy.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the new sector plans are designed to help businesses get to net zero emissions by 2050.

“The phenomenal results achieved by the Better Buildings Partnership have encouraged us to expand the program,” the Lord Mayor said.

“We need to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 and our experience has shown it’s not just essential to work with the business community, but they share our sense of urgency in tackling this.

“Sydney is Australia’s largest accommodation market. Our city is home to 20,000 hotel rooms, 5,000 serviced apartments, 6,000 backpacker hostel beds and more than 6,000 short term letting listings.

This sector is undergoing rapid development, so we need to act fast to make an impact.

“We know that 47 per cent of all commercial waste in our city is generated from the accommodation and entertainment sector – only half of which is recycled.

“If owners, operators and industry bodies take this action, by 2030 we can reduce emissions in the accommodation sector by 61 per cent, reduce potable water consumption by nine per cent and divert 90 per cent of waste from landfill.

“It’s a similar story in our office buildings, which account for 45 per cent of the City’s emissions.

We’ve had great success engaging leading owners and tenants in the Better Building Partnership and CitySwitch programs, our challenge now is to work more closely with the less-engaged parts of the sector.

“We hope the actions in Sydney’s Sustainable Office Building Plan will increase the number of tenants demanding net zero office space powered by renewable energy,” the Lord Mayor said.

The nation’s peak accommodation industry association, Tourism Accommodation Australia, is supporting the City’s plans.

“We support the City of Sydney’s sustainability plan for the accommodation and entertainment sector, recognising that sustainability delivers real economic as well as environmental savings.

We are committed to working with our members and the City of Sydney to assist in delivering on the actions in the plan,” said Carol Giuseppi, CEO of Tourism Accommodation Australia.

To view and comment on the plans, visit

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