Environmental Performance and Resilience

Optimizing the environmental performance and resilience of our buildings.
Enriched Environment

Overview

Enriching the environment means maximising the resource productivity of Dexus's properties to limit the overall environmental impact from its operations and by creating adaptive, enduring and inspiring places.

Dexus understands its influence on the broader environment as well as the places it creates and the impact on health, well-being, and productivity.

Dexus owns, operates and develops high performing, sustainable buildings that exemplify environmental performance and resilience. Dexus adopts a holistic approach - from the boardroom to the plant room - in order to achieve the following outcomes:

  • Enhanced income through higher rental premiums for sustainable buildings
  • Reduced operations and maintenance costs
  • Improved customer well-being comfort and amenity
  • Improved employee health and productivity
  • Enhanced business reputation

Dexus's approach

Dexus applies an outward looking management approach to manage its environmental performance and risks. Actions to enrich the environment in which Dexus operates include:

  • Being an innovative, leading environmental performer
  • Optimising the environmental performance and resilience of our buildings
  • Being a sustainable developer
  • Being a low carbon energy producer
  • Creating tenant environmental partnerships
  • Adapting for environmental resilience

FY17 commitments

  • Deliver 1,000,000sqm of office property to a minimum 5 Star NABERS Energy rating and 4 star NABERS Water by 2020
  • Reduce energy consumption and emissions across the Group by a further 10% by 2020 using the FY15 baseline including exploring opportunities for renewables
  • Consistently demonstrate a resource recovery rate of 80% from de-fitting vacant space by 2020, actively identifying charities and markets for re-use and increasing waste diversion from landfill 
  • Expand the “Virtual Engineer” program by applying 24/7 computer analytics to predict and react to Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) events in real time
  • Review design briefs across all asset classes to develop an in-house suite of best practice sustainable development practices

Material issues

The following environmental issues are material to Dexus:

  • Energy efficiency: Optimising energy use positively impacts the environment while reducing operating costs and exposures to changing energy prices. High performing buildings attract and retain tenants, increasing occupancy. This reduces financial risk, maximises the return on investment and gives tenants an environmentally conscious space to occupy
  • Water use: Improving water efficiency, onsite water recycling and rainwater harvesting has a range of benefits. It preserves a precious natural resource and reduces utility costs which lead to reductions in outgoings and maintenance costs. These outcomes reduce operational financial risks, improve reputation, help to attract and retain customers and maintain each property's market competitiveness
  • Waste management: Waste minimisation, recycling and effective waste handling seeks to positively impact people's health by preventing the spread of diseases, reducing raw material use and avoiding environmental hazards associated with sending waste to landfill
  • Climate change impacts: Assessing climate change risks, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and implementing adaptation measures reduces operational and financial risks and assists in maintaining a property's long term resilience and competitiveness
  • Biodiversity: Ecosystems and their species perform important biological services. Protecting and enhancing biodiversity provides places for native flora and fauna to reside. Biodiversity contributes to protecting areas from soil erosion and floods, reducing climate change risks, recycling nutrients to boost farming productivity, capturing and retaining water, assisting with controlling pollution as well as providing aesthetic value

Resource management

Energy and water efficiency

Dexus targets continuous improvements in energy and water efficiency across its property portfolio. Dexus uses smart meters across its Australian portfolio to validate utility bills, identify consumption and report anomalies. Energy and water sub-metering has been installed in key office properties to deliver incremental efficiencies.

Dexus develops Strategic Improvement Plans (SIPs) to maximise operational performance and reduce resource consumption. Dexus's SIPs cover four elements:

  • Strategic building reviews
  • Resource consumption performance
  • Energy and water operational improvements
  • Plant and equipment upgrades

Assessing these elements provides a comprehensive view of building performance. This enables Dexus to plan and implement optimum plant and equipment upgrades to maximise energy efficiency and tenant comfort. The plans incorporate best practice maintenance and serviceability such as the Property Council of Australia's quality grade considerations and potential future building code compliance.

Dexus implements viable projects identified in the SIPs in conjunction with overall asset planning. Examples of energy efficiency initiatives include:

  • Chiller replacements
  • Upgrades to Building management control system
  • Mechanical works and retro-commissioning
  • Installation of meter and energy management systems
  • Lighting upgrades

Examples of water management initiatives at Dexus's head office and other developments include:

  • Treating wastewater through central blackwater treatment plants, which reduces potable water consumption via the provision of clean recycled water for the washroom flushing system
  • Use of recycled rainwater in toilet facilities to irrigate gardens and decorative plantings
  • Use of water efficient appliances including fitting water efficient cisterns and fixtures in bathrooms to enhance water efficiency

Dexus embeds sustainability practices within industrial estate masterplanning for new developments and through targeted technology and controls upgrades. Masterplanning initiatives aim to reduce water and energy including the use of solar hot water, rainwater for irrigation and toilets use and native landscaping.

Dexus participates in the NSW Energy Savings Scheme and generates Energy Savings Certificates (ESCs) based on demonstration of electricity reductions due to energy efficiency projects. These certificates can be sold at a future date to realise extra funds for use in further building works.

Dexus benchmarks its energy efficiency performance against the leading industry benchmarks, NABERS and Green Star. NABERS provides resource consumption profiles for each property and helps to identify improvements. NABERS Energy and Water ratings are regularly undertaken across its portfolio.

Waste management

Dexus includes CR&S criteria in its tender evaluation process for the provision of waste services, and as a result waste management and recycling practices are standardised across its portfolio. The tender process considers detailed sustainability capability which forms key performance indicators within the service contract. These enable Dexus to capture relevant data on waste management and recycling.

Comprehensive recycling streams are standardised and implemented as part of cleaning and waste services. Dexus also looks at other recycling opportunities on a property by property basis, for example recycling of materials removed from the site when it is under development; recycling of demolition material and providing re-usable materials during demolition to local community groups.

Dexus undertakes waste reporting and diverting waste from landfill across the office and retail portfolios. Across the Group, site teams collaborate with waste contractors to establish segregated waste collection. They also educate customers on recycling practices to maximise the amount of waste that can be diverted from landfill.

In the office portfolio, waste data is collected via two primary waste contractors which report monthly waste collection across several waste streams. Dexus's industrial tenants are diverse, with varied waste management streams. Dexus provides advice to tenants, where relevant, to assist them in managing their waste and recycling processes. Within the Dexus managed retail portfolio, waste management targets are set for each centre. Waste is collected and directly weighed and data is collated by site teams, which work with local waste contractors.

Climate change

Dexus assesses climate change risk at a property and portfolio level. Properties are assessed for their risk exposure against long term scenarios for changes in temperature and rainfall, increased frequency and severity of flooding, tropical storms, extreme winds and rising sea levels. The assessment looks at the physical risks, economic risks, potential safety risks as well as the building's resilience to cope with these scenarios. Properties are ranked according to their overall level of risk and higher risk properties undergo further assessment and adaptation planning.

Biodiversity

Dexus's focuses on protecting and enhancing biodiversity in and around the communities its properties are located in. This includes making buildings and their surrounds a place for native flora and fauna to reside, and a place for people to enjoy. Dexus works to create green spaces and enhance species diversity in its existing portfolio through retrofitting solutions.

On a corporate level, we support biodiversity cultivation on the ground by encouraging our employees to volunteer and contribute to national programs that involve land stabilisation, tree planting, water capture and habitat creation and preservation. Dexus recognises that its suppliers can have an impact on biodiversity. Dexus requires its suppliers to present Dexus with technological, architectural, or design products or solutions that enhance, protect and retain native biodiversity throughout their supply chain to assist Dexus achieve its biodiversity objectives.

Renewable energy

Dexus supports the development of renewable energy and distributed energy generation across its portfolio. Dexus purchases accredited Green Power which is electricity that is certified as renewable and 100% emissions free.

Dexus generates its own energy across several sites, including emission free solar hot water, solar photovoltaic (PV) and gas-fired cogeneration. Through these initiatives, Dexus seeks to harness natural resources and low carbon natural gas to offset grid purchases of high emissions intensity coal-fired electricity production.

Carbon neutrality

Dexus is a signatory to the Australian Carbon Neutral program and was the first real estate investment trust in Australia to achieve a carbon neutral certification for its head office in 2011 Dexus has continued to maintain a carbon neutral environment through the move to into new and additional space.

Dexus's work to achieve carbon neutral certification included assessing its energy usage and developing a sustainability and carbon management program focusing on reducing waste to landfill, increasing recycling, increasing the use of recycled products, reducing its use of consumables and paper and introducing new technologies to reduce energy consumption. In line with the National Carbon Offset Standard, Dexus offsets direct emissions from refrigeration and electricity usage and indirect emissions generated by waste to landfill, paper use, airline travel and car mileage for national employees, taxi travel, hire cars and employee commuting.

Governance

Dexus's Risk Committee oversees compliance, risk and sustainability initiatives and reports to the Board Risk Committee. This committee provides a direct link between business operations and corporate governance. It also assures the Board that major business risks have been identified and assessed, and effective plans are in place in line with the Risk Management Framework and Sustainability Approach.

The Executive Director Finance and Chief Operating Officer has overall operational responsibility for Dexus's energy use, water use, biodiversity policies, emissions effluents and waste, and transport use.

Additional information is available Dexus's Environmental Disclosures on Management Approach.