Why it’s so important
The property industry relies heavily on natural resources to construct and manage buildings. These resources are finite and precious, and it’s increasingly clear that we need to find more sustainable solutions. Water is a particular concern. In the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report 2018, it was ranked as the world’s number one social risk, and according to a recent World Resources Industry report, Australia is one of the most water-stressed nations. We also have significant opportunities to consider waste within the circular economy, and to protect, enhance, and restore biodiversity, a key part of the world’s natural capital.
How we’re positioned to drive change
Mirvac’s integrated business model gives us great scope to make positive choices at all stages of the development process, from design and construction all the way through to completion. We’re in a position to use natural resources in increasingly efficient ways – whether it’s by driving innovations in water use, or integrating pockets of nature into the built environment. After all, we are often responsible to decide which resources are used in construction, and also how buildings we manage are used for many decades.
Our progress to date
Mirvac has reduced its water intensity by 22 per cent since 2014, however, hitting our non-potable water capture and reuse target of 15 per cent by 2018 remains a challenge, with technologies such as blackwater systems not delivering the savings we’d hoped for. End-of-trip facilities, meanwhile, have increased amenity for our tenants, as well as water consumption. In terms of waste, we’ve raised our construction recycling rates to 95 per cent, and we’re recycling 70 per cent of all waste in our office and industrial and retail operations. We’re working with social enterprise Mates on The Move to recycle coffee cups and paper towels, diverting waste from landfill and providing employment for former prison inmates at the same time. We‘re also continuing to invest in creating better and more sustainable buildings, which means our tenants and customers can use fewer natural resources too. Across our portfolio our average NABERS Water rating is 3.9 Stars and we’ve achieved a 6 Star NABERS Water rating at Sirius in the ACT.
We have made a commitment to achieve net positive water and zero waste to landfill by 2030, and we will share white papers that map our planned journey by 2020. We’ll also be tackling how we can take a holistic approach to reducing the waste we generate through smart design, embracing new technologies, and including our suppliers as key partners in this goal.