Around the table
- Moderator: Ken Morrison, national policy director and COO, Property Council of Australia
- Andrew Aitken, executive director, Green Star, Green Building Council of Australia
- Rosemary Kirkby, head of sustainability, GPT Group
- Carolyn Mclean, architect, Woods Bagot
- Chris Nunn, sustainability leader, Norman Disney & Young
- Craig Roussac, general manager of sustainability, safety and environment, Investa Property Group
- Amanda Steele, national sustainability manager, commercial property, Stockland
- Rodney Timm, director, Property Beyond
- Siobhan Toohill, chair, Property Council National Sustainability Roundtable
The green journey so far
MORRISON: This is a journey the industry has been on for substantially over a decade, or depending how you measure it, close to 15 years. What is your perspective looking back?
TOOHILL: I think it is a sector that has come a long way, particularly the larger property owners over those 10 years. And when you look at a number of metrics, particularly when it comes to things like greenhouse gas emission reductions, in terms of our office we have cut our emissions per sqm by 38 percent in the last five years. We can actually point to stats like that and I know it is not just Stockland. I think it is fair to say that, across the board, we have all achieved those kinds of results. I think that is pretty powerful.
ROUSSAC: What has happened is the Australian property sector, and specifically the commercial property sector, has established a strong business case that other sectors of the Australian economy are struggling with. We have a clear alignment between environmental objectives and commercial objectives in the Australian commercial property sector. I think that is putting it in front of other sectors in Australia, but also internationally those questions do not feel resolved.
So that is why the sectors are really pointing [to] a direction for the rest of the world to be following. How do you make a business case stand up? And we have done so despite having amongst the lowest electricity prices in the world. Utilities, water, they are very cheap in this country, but there is still a business case, so it is kind of encouraging. To your question, I would say it is encouraging. If you can take that model and apply it elsewhere, you should be able to make money.
MORRISON: Rodney, what about from a user’s perspective?
TIMM: I think the government has a lot to do with where we have got to. The government has really driven the agenda from the accommodation and use point of view. If you just look at what is happening in Canberra at the moment and you see all those obsolete buildings sitting around, there is no obvious user and a solution is going to have to come to the table.
I think from the Australian user perspective ... particularly during the global financial crisis, we saw a syndrome of ‘save the company before we save the world’. So it is difficult to get it on the agenda. It is almost the new normal. Why aren’t we getting it? They expect it, but they probably are not going to pay more for it. It is the new world. So 20 years ago maybe air conditioning wasn’t the standard. Now it is. Five years ago green building wasn’t standard, now it should be.
Retail – finding the impetus for change
MORRISON: Where do we think retail is up to in this journey?
STEELE: I think we still have a long way to go in retail. We don’t have the same tenant drivers that we see in the commercial office space, so we are not getting that push for good green stock that we are getting in the office environment.
I think that there are a lot of very ordinary buildings on the market. I think that there are a lot of ordinary fitouts on the market and I think there is a long way for us to go in the retail space.
MORRISON: Andrew, what about the use of Green Star in retail – what is the speedometer looking like?
AITKEN: It looks like there has been a delay from offices. If you look at products you provide, you provide office space, buildings as well as office interiors. And we provide retail, big base building stuff, and we do not deal with small retail or interiors until now and we [GBCA] have seen significant change. Coles wants to build all their new supermarkets to the Green Star rating. McDonalds are building all of their restaurants to the Green Star rating. We’ve had contact with major banks in Australia and we are looking to do the same thing for all of the retail outlets and banks. They led the commercial office sector as well – the ANZ Bank has the largest Green Star rated building in Docklands.
KIRKBY: Where is that coming from? How much is coming from tenants themselves? How much from the general populous from which we draw our people? I am thinking of a whole sustainability literate generation that is coming through in our workplaces now. Do you see any of those things impacting [in retail]?
AITKEN: It is interesting. The business case stuff for retail happens behind closed doors. They do not need to talk publicly about the business case. Coles has been investing in highly efficient refrigeration development for years, which is going to help them get a Green Star rating. So they had a lot of the solutions already.
But what they didn’t have was the opportunity to tell their market about it. What they see in a competitive environment is more need to differentiate themselves from others. And so that is the key driver in retail. It is differentiation of products in the market. In a competitive market or a depressed market, there is more competition.
TOOHILL: I have just spent a week in the UK. It is quite extraordinary to see retailers compete against each other on the basis of their sustainability credentials. It is much, much more progressed from a retail perspective in the UK than it is in Australia. So you have Marks & Spencer with their Plan A. With Plan B you have Sainsbury’s, you have got Tescos, you have got Waitrose. They are all competing against each other. They appeal to the consumer [with] green product lines.
But … it is not just about the green product lines. It is actually how their businesses are run as well. They talk about it. They are incredibly open about it. They compete absolutely in the marketplace for those credentials. We have yet to see that in Australia. I think we are about to see that emerge.
NUNN: What Plan A did for Marks & Spencer was, it went in thinking we will make some efficiency savings and save a buck. We’ll attract some customers because it is popular with the public. But then they found they were able to sell green services at the checkout desk as well. You know phone plans are what they are selling at the moment, but they were selling discounted energy and energy cashback‑type systems. So they were recognising that there was a business opportunity for growing a core business at the same time as tinkering around the margins on energy saving and the corporate responsibility of appealing directly to the customer.
STEELE: Chris, it is interesting to me that in the UK – correct me if I am wrong – that social sustainability … is very strongly aligned with the environmental sustainability from the retail tenants. We are not seeing that as strongly in Australia yet. I think we will.
KIRKBY: We are starting to get questions from investors.
NUNN: Food miles, local sourcing, organic, fair trade are much higher up the agenda in the general public’s mind.
Residential – the biggest challenge
MORRISON: The biggest sector is residential. This is always challenging because of the question at the end of the day: does the end consumer care?
TOOHILL: They care. They care that they are spending less money on their power bills. I think that is the really important thing to understand.
It is not about selling sustainability. It is about selling a sense of community and place. It is also about communicating to them that actually moving into new housing is going to cost them less because new housing is much, much more energy efficient, and more efficient as well because of the payback they get with water. But certainly from an energy-efficiency perspective it is there and it is growing all the time. I don’t think we have communicated it that well, but I think we will get smarter at that.
MORRISON: Does that change at different price points? Or is that an across-the-board statement?
TOOHILL: I think it is fairly much across the board. I think the other thing about houses, which also speaks to sustainability, is that house sizes are coming down. People are accepting living in smaller homes on smaller pieces of land. But in response to that they expect a higher amenity, better quality parks. They expect to be able to walk to retail. They expect to have a cafe nearby. So they want a lifestyle and they want places to reflect that, but they are happy to do a trade-off around space.
NUNN: The [Government’s] Green Deal in the UK is a huge objective and tenants in fact do say they are not going to pay capital costs, but I am going to reboot the savings, the payback, through my energy bill.
So I think we need more creative incentives for the residential market. You cannot expect every tenant or home owner to have the outright cash to invest in better insulation, better windows.
MCLEAN: One of the problems is that so many young people cannot afford to get into the property market. The stakes are high these days. Having more of that … old-fashioned co‑op scheme, where finance companies come in and work with people so that they can rent to own, rather than having to come up with this huge deposit to get in and then they can have some ownership of the property, be part of the design from the very beginning. And community is not just a word. Actually you create more community with renewable sites within the city with those sites.
AITKEN: It is an interesting one in the residential sector, but the model that Green Star uses just isn’t going to work in that sector. So we can’t influence residential tenants the way we can commercial or retail tenants. We cannot influence individual purchases. We don’t do that in any sense. Green Star – Communities gives us an opportunity to engage in community development, so once you scale it up from the house to a community, we find that we can actually now do something.
Meeting the demands on property
MORRISON: There is a whole bunch of things you just talked about that you could perhaps do in quite a large master plan community where you have control over most of them, but not all of them. We run the risk that there is a whole lot of other obligations and factors from the rest of society that get loaded on to property. In fact, that is what governments do to property. How do we manage that?
TOOHILL: It is not just about the developer or the owner’s responsibility. How can we actually work better in collaboration or in partnership with our suppliers and our customers to achieve even bigger results?
AITKEN: When you are able to do an urban redevelopment in a space you may have a lot of those community attributes already. You do not have to provide it in your development. So the trick for us is making sure that we are not repeating stuff that is already there. If you are building some residential address into some existing commercial that is failing because there is not enough demand, you can demonstrate from a community perspective the boundary of the community is not your development. It is the community area.
MORRISON: So it is actually a positive sales tool to help get support for what is being proposed?
TOOHILL: A profound dimension to that is actually not seeing the developer as being the entity that provides all, but how do you build capability within that emerging community, not just within the boundary of that development but beyond? So there is some governance, there is that capability that they know to find funds to make things happen or to have a change or let their community evolve over time, but actually getting them off the scent that it is the developer that provides all. That over time they have the capacity to be able to shape and manage the place in which they live. I think that is a really important thing to mention that will bring to life Green Star – Communities.
KIRKBY: Again I think we have one challenge in these communities, but we have had quite a number of challenges in existing communities, like places where our retail centres are. I think what we are seeing there is the opportunity to work absolutely with the community, as we have done in Charlestown, in Newcastle, with a $470 million extension. The community are very involved there.
And when you think about the potential there for joining you in the governance of these places, then that takes on a whole other dimension. So many of these major retail centres are going to change, given where they are situated in rapidly growing and changing demographics. They are going to evolve into town centres, one way or another. That is the potential. But they are not going to do that without looking at them in terms of mixtures of development and in terms of the sort of partnerships that are going to be needed.
I agree that tenants and suppliers are the frontier in many respects, but so are the various levels of government, the community and the people who represent it in all sorts of ways.
MORRISON: So planning systems and the capacity of people within government, including non‑government, can they cope with this thinking?
NUNN: They should be driving it. In some of the experience I had in the UK it was local authorities setting passive house levels of thermal insulation … for residential buildings, which is world’s best practice, not just being content with minimum standards. But the Local London Borough of Merton introduced an open rule, which was all new developments within the borough would have 10 percent renewables as standard – commercial, resi, mixed use – and that got adopted in national policy.
MORRISON: Councils don’t always set reasonable targets. What is the balance between regulation and facilitation?
AITKEN: I think there is a significant risk with regulation. One of the observations that Kevin McCloud [presenter of UK’s Grand Designs] made last week was that it is very regulated in the UK and achievement in comparison to what happens here is much lower. So even though you are required to do all this stuff, fewer people do and, as such, their industry is not moving, whereas here it is voluntary. You set the market mechanisms to define value and we actually get a lot more movement.
From my perspective there are some people who really understand Green Star and do it because they understand it. And there’s other people who do it because Stockland do it or Lend Lease do it and they perceive risk if they don’t. So we are achieving in the eyes of other people coming and having a look at us, a lot more than other countries are achieving with regulation. I think the opportunities are much, much greater in a voluntary market to get things happening than in regulation.
ROUSSAC: I think we need to look at these things in combination, of how regulation relates to the market. An unregulated market is not a good thing. I think we would all agree on that.
I think it’s also important to think about product differentiation as a motivator. That is good at the pointy end for information, but where you get the advantage is product differentiation. But if product differentiation is occurring at the expense of some other community or part of community and yours is looking good relative to theirs, that’s where regulation has to come in.
You just can’t have that leadership being rewarded and looking better as a consequence of the gap. So the gap is what I think we need to be really careful of as an industry. We can’t broaden that gap, because who wants that ultimately?
MCLEAN: I think the line between government and private is merging a lot. For PPPs, the way we see it for a lot of projects, government’s got the land, but they don’t have the funds. Private enterprise is funding projects. So it is really a parallel sort of project where it’s a dual conversation to decide how you’re going to set the vision for the project and working out who is going to pay for which elements and how it is all going to work.
TOOHILL: I agree with Craig – you need a little bit of regulation ... I think we have to step back sometimes and say we need to apply the 80/20 rule.
ROUSSAC: Regulate for what? Not regulate for innovations, you cannot regulate for innovations.
TOOHILL: And let’s be clear about what we are trying to achieve when we are trying to regulate to reduce emissions – are we trying to regulate for some other reason? I would hope that we are trying to regulate to get sufficient activity without comprising innovation. But at the other end of spectrum, we have partnerships. I think that is the really exciting bit.
MORRISON: Let’s move on to social sustainability now. How high is this up the list of things to achieve?
KIRKBY: Very high. In fact we got a new board committee last year. One of the first things we had to do was write the charter for it. They defined social sustainability or their interests in social sustainability as being the engagement of employees, customers, tenants, suppliers and the wider community. But very importantly, it is about the reconfiguration of our business and renewal of our culture.
From the social sustainability point of view, the other main focus for us has been on these bigger communities because we in GPT touch about a third of all Australians, particularly through the retail centres. So it has been 18 months of deep investment and understanding those communities and being able to then generate skills and integrate them into the whole process of developmental operation. It has been about embedding and integrating the principles of social sustainability. That is where we are focused.
NUNN: I think it comes back to how we sell sustainability as well. When talking about sustainability, it’s going to become more about liveable cities, clean water, comfortable buildings, clean air, healthy children, reduced risk, energy independence, regional security.
These types of high-level issues become the touchstone, the drivers for environmental sustainability, which can be about managing the ecosystem so it’s staying within environmental limits, by limiting their CO2 emissions, by limiting other kinds of emissions and water consumption.
I think we come to the environmental metrics through the social, once we start to see it as selling this positive vision of the way that we want to teach people to live in a sustainable fashion. We want communities to rally around these ideas of pedestrianisation, density, better use of public transport. That concept of liveability in the community scale, and occupant comfort at the building scale, becomes a really important feedback for the environmental dimension.
TOOHILL: That is a really important point – the space around shared values. So actually understanding that it is not just about us becoming a more successful organisation, but understanding that we can help the communities in which we operate to become more resilient and more successful as well. Amanda, I think of the work that your team has been doing.
STEELE: The focus that we have around social sustainability is very much community development. I think that is a really interesting space in the retail area in particular.
One program that has worked very well for us has been as a result of a failed incident turned good up in Rockhampton. What we have done there is work with the local council, police, schools – groups that we had a light touch with previously and now have a very strong relationship with.
We ran a program they called Stock Motion, which was a short‑film project … where we had the kids come in with mentors from our centre as well as the other community groups and we trained them how to make films. That program has totally transformed the relationship that the centre has with the community.
MORRISON: How does Green Star pick this stuff up, Andrew?
AITKEN: What we have been talking about is change in the industry. If you look back 10 or 15 years, there were people talking about energy efficiency being an opportunity for business. You could have energy efficiency and better business outcomes.
What we are talking about now is you can have better social outcomes as well as better business outcomes. These things do not have to always cost. You do not have to invest in social outcomes at the expense of something else. You can gain a return on those investments just as you can a return on energy efficiency that might lead to better productivity or greater comfort and more comfortable tenants who don’t want to look for a different place, so you get greater retention.
All of these things are complementary, but it is complex. It doesn’t always play out. So it’s not always the case that greater energy efficiency is going to lead to greater comfort or greater tenant retention or greater satisfaction, but it can happen. So we are seeing in the social space there are opportunities to do it.
Carbon tax – the impact
MORRISON: Two questions. Carbon tax – a big issue or not for the industry? Is it going to be a big negative for the industry?
TIMM: Let me answer it differently. Should we be using energy that is not properly priced if we are talking about sustainability?
Should we be using brown coal in this industry and not pricing to get it back to the environment?
ROUSSAC: This whole discussion really has been an internalised thing, internal versus external benefits with incentives, the failures of markets and clearly when you have a massive pollution about our energy sources, there’s a question there. If it makes no difference where your electricity comes from in terms of the price you pay for it, there is fundamentally a problem there.
But as far as the carbon tax is concerned, it is not going to move the dial. The modelling shows that. Particularly in an operation‑ability sense and if you are a heavy manufacturer as well the price of electricity dropping as the efficiency in the economy increases because of the very clunky nature of the generational structure in this country. It remains to be seen whether the full impact is going to flow through. In our business in the next three years we will know if we are going to see electricity prices even reach what they were last year.
MORRISON: Same with Stockland?
TOOHILL: In principle we support the carbon price. We have done the analysis and we know that bottom line impact is going to be very, very small, certainly over the next three years. Certainly having incentives there that support renewable energy, that support things like feed-in tariffs from a commercial perspective, how can we support the shift in terms of the technology that we need to put in place? I think that that is really important as well.
So I guess we need both in terms of a carbon price, but we also need to have the right incentives to also take the shift. Really importantly, I think it is fair to say that the leaders, the large numbers at disparate trusts, have done a lot of the shifting already.
And how do we provide the right mechanisms to bring that long tail along with us? I think we often forget about them. How can we support them more effectively and help them on that journey as well? So we need the right tools or right mechanisms to deal with that.
NUNN: The feed-in tariff is a well‑established international policy for incentivising for something that must happen for a greater share of renewables. We currently are somewhere around 5 percent; good practice around the world is much higher – Denmark 20 percent, Spain 17 percent, the EU as a whole 12.5 percent, the US 10 percent, China 10 percent. So we are lagging on renewables and we need a proper national feed-in tariff that is coordinated nationally, not just patchy state programs ...
Five percent on 2000 levels by 2020 does not compare to the 34 percent by 2020, which is a legislative target in the UK. Germany has adopted 40 percent by 2020. Bearing in mind the big picture, we have to get to 80 percent by 2050. So we are all on this journey. That’s the end destination. We all have to peak and to climb to that scenario in the same time frame. We are starting a bit late. We should be seeing ourselves as playing a catch‑up game and just accept that carbon taxation and emissions trading will be a cost of doing business for everyone. The risk is getting left with a gas guzzling building as opposed to a big impact on our business model.
MORRISON: Where are the big gains going to come from? And what, in looking at the challenge ahead, do you find most exciting?
TIMM: I think from the occupier point of view, obviously the biggest saving on energy is using less space. Whether the landlords and developers like it or not, the supply should equal demand for future office accommodation ...
But there is no reason why we shouldn’t be reducing our footprint by 25 to 30 percent in office space. It is a challenge. It is not sophisticated. Accommodation is not their core business. That is the industry’s core business. They are the customers. We should be educating them and taking them on a journey.
STEELE: I think in the retail space in particular, I would say it is opportunity-rich as far as carbon reduction is concerned. I would like to see, and I think we will see, retail centres that are operating efficiently and driving good community outcomes by involving the community in those centres. There is a huge scale for renewable insulation in retail shopping centres. There’s huge scale for upgrade of existing stock to more efficient centres.
ROUSSAC: I am hopeful that we will see another attribute come to the asset class as well, and that is the attribute of performance. Be it houses, be it office, be it whatever. The challenge has always been that you can’t really see it. When you’re buying a house you can see these things that you are paying for and you are not paying for performance.
MCLEAN: I think in the design realm, the next 10 years will be exciting, working with clients and going on journeys with clients to reach new goals. We have been doing research and developing what we call a Zero E material emissions architectural, which is a design tool. It is getting trialled in China at a massive mixed‑use development, but the plan in the next couple of years is that every staff member will be able to use this tool.
KIRKBY: I see a very exciting future in the partnerships that are going to evolve with our people, our suppliers, our tenants in particular, and the wider community where we are so focused at the moment.
I think the other thing that will be interesting, given the industry we are in, is really understanding and improving the holistic performance of our buildings at each stage of construction, use and demolition.
I agree with the issue of managing performance and putting tools in the hands of people to do that and actually determining the appropriate metrics. We are further along in the environment than we are in the social sustainability space. That is going to be very exciting. Along with that, of course, is the whole issue of education.
TOOHILL: I am really excited about the fact that we are now looking beyond buildings to looking at communities and actually how groups of buildings perform and how people who live in those places engage with each other.
NUNN: I think it is worth remembering that the Department of Climate Change rates buildings as the most cost‑effective climate change mitigation opportunity – ahead of transport, ahead of mass energy, ahead of infrastructure investment.
Buildings still have a lot of low‑hanging fruit in terms of emissions reduction and performance improvement. There is an emerging consensus around the right way to approach building energy efficiency, our carbona‑cost hierarchy, if you will. Passive design, efficient building fabric, which starts with great architecture, exposed ceiling mass, exposed ceilings, high ceilings, good use of natural daylight, natural ventilation, et cetera. Secondly, efficient services, engineering as baked in rather than bolted on.
AITKEN: The exciting thing for the future for me is about mainstreaming. It is about taking the stuff that we have seen leaders in our industry employ for great outcomes both for the environment, for the community and for the bottom line and mainstreaming, making that available to everyone.
MORRISON: Let's move to another sector in our study, industrial, a very different perspective. They don't have that more challenged business planning that retail would have. So what are the drivers here?
TIMM: It is interesting because we have got a couple of clients where they have got huge production times to meet and we are busy negotiating offices with them as well. You start talking about a green agenda and doing a decent fit out and they say: To be honest, if is going to cost us X million dollars to do that we would rather spend the money on our production plant and save water. So that our throughput in terms of the water to create is reduced by 25 percent. It gives us a far better return.
So it is almost that the focus is not on the … built environment, it really is focused on what they do. Maybe that impacts the agenda.
MCLEAN: I think they have big power energy and what it costs to run the business and they are focusing on their product … as well as their people I guess.
TIMM: They can also make a better statement: In terms of our production process we have reduced it by about that percentage. That is part of their statement. If you say: We have moved to a new office building and we have reduced our carbon footprint by whatever it is it is not as big a statement.
ROUSSAC: To have a business case around using less stuff to make stuff, it is hard in retail to persuade retailers to sell their stuff.
TOOHILL: I think it is a shift from product to services. I think that's where we are hoping to see the shift.
MORRISON: Andrew, you are going for the Green Star speedometer. You are getting some people engaging in industrial tools. What is your experience there?
AITKEN: I think around the process Green Star drew a line and said: "We are not looking at your process" … So we talked to them about their process, but we do not deal with their process stuff. We deal with their people stuff and we deal with their building stuff that hangs outside their process, which is quite different. Some industrial organisations really should be focusing on their process. That is where they need to make improvements.
But others have done what they can in the process of running an efficient business. And they need start looking at the opportunities that they have not considered which might be between 100,000 square metres of process warehouse space and 10,000 square metres of office space. They need to focus on that because that is where all the people are and they need to start delivering outcomes that lead to business productivity improvements and healthier people and happier people and they are able to attract and retain better staff.
The international scene
MORRISON: Carolyn, you have just spent six years in the Middle East based out of Dubai. What are they doing that is interesting for Australians?
MCLEAN: I think the MASDAR project, which is a zero carbon community, [is] a pretty interesting initiative from the government of Abu Dhabi. We eventually managed to work with them on a project. That was really exciting, but it has taken about four years of working with them to get there. So I think the Middle East was a long away behind …
They actually over the last few years have developed a rating tool … There is now a Saudi group green council, an Egyptian green council, Jordan, Lebanon. The whole of the Middle East, it's a big change politically and also environmentally. So I think Australia, we are selling our green design services there pretty well.
MORRISON: Chris, your perspective from the UK?
NUNN: I think one of things that I got from the European perspective is that there is a real focus on metrics. There is something called the key performance indicators for the UK.
So we do need amongst the self-congratulation, that is an important part of progressing the green agenda, to bear in mind the hard reality of the statistics of per capita water consumption, still at 220 litres per person per day. UK average 150 litres per person per day, best practice target for the whole industry 130 litres. Best practicing code for sustainable homes getting five points in water credit, 80 litres per person per day. Three times. So it's an entire lot of waste. 2,000 kilograms of waste per person per year. Europe 600. So we do need to keep an eye on fundamental metrics that tell us how we're doing compared to other areas of the world. I think we've great tools. We've got some promising regulation coming through. The technology is getting cheaper. There's a learning curve in the industry. Conditions are right for the green buildings to go mainstream and become routine and become the new normal, but I think we do have a long way to go. We are starting from a position of energy intensity and water hungriness and we shouldn't forget that.
STEELE: Chris, it is interesting when we talk about green buildings we so often focus on energy efficiency, all we slip to carbon, we all slip to energy efficiency. We ignore things like biodiversity and water, which is so hard to stack as far as investments are concerned. You are right. We shouldn't be patting ourselves too hard on the back because there's a long way to go on those other measures that we haven't seen enough traction on.
TOOHILL: I think the other area where we still have a lot learn about is how to embed green infrastructure. Last week I was in the UK and went out to the London Olympic site. That is a site where you have got a co generation across a whole precinct that is being shared by the retail centre on the site, as well as the Olympic site you've got shared infrastructure around water, total water balance management across that whole site as well as telecommunications.
ROUSSAC: And Scandinavia. We are focused on the English-speaking world, but if you want to see the future you should look at Scandinavia.
MORRISON: Rodney, when you think about the challenges from a user’s perspective and you look internationally, what do you like internationally that you would like to see more of in Australia?
TIMM: This whole concept of carbon footprint per FTE, which is quite a compelling concept, and I think it was in the Royal Bank of Scotland, they were looking to eliminate that before the GFC in terms of analysing every person's carbon footprint when they come to work, so it is how much space are you using on an actual activity base of working and it is very calculable. How many meeting rooms? How many times do you hop on a plane and go down to Melbourne when you could share a teleconference? How do you get to work? Do you use public transport? How often do you press print? It is all retractable. There were some systems being developed about four or five years ago to try and monitor those and implement it within any person's performance as a valuation and in terms of what is your carbon footprint.
MORRISON: So are companies doing this?
TIMM: They started doing this. I think it was the Royal Bank of Scotland but I think they disappeared off the face of the earth.
NUNN: The bank is still pretty strong on it. I did a study of RBS, HSBC and Citibank. You can compare them all on tons per FTE, tons per metre squared.
TIMM: So they calculate it just for accommodation or for the whole behaviour of the employees?
NUNN: They do both. They generally report total tons of carbon, which they pro rata back to metre square of floor area to get tons per metre squared back to head count for per FTE and back to millions of pounds of revenue to talk about carbon intensity because CO2 per metres squared could be a false metric. If you have gone from a sizing exercise and you increase the density of your building you will have a higher tons of carbon per metre squared but that might equate to a lower tons of carbon per FTE and lower tons of carbon per millions of pounds of revenue. So they are using a suite of metrics to compare themselves against each other.
TOOHILL: I think for us it comes back to how is NABERS working for us? Because in a way NABERS should be reflecting not just about the emissions per square metre or the energy used per square metre but also the density of occupation of those assets well. Obviously a lot of work is going into refreshing the tool like NABERS. You can speak more to this than I can, but I think that's quite important that we communicate that more effectively.