Introduction

As a responsible property investor, manager and developer, Dexus integrates Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability (CR&S) objectives across the property lifecycle to responsibly invest and create long term value for its stakeholders.

Sustainability Performance Green Wall

As a responsible property investor, manager and developer, Dexus integrates Corporate Sustainability & Sustainability (CR&S) objectives across the property lifecycle to responsibly invest and create long-term value for stakeholders.

The group adopts a holistic approach – from the boardroom to the plant room – to reduce operating costs, enhance property values and improve customer appeal, resulting in enhanced long term returns for investors together with lower environmental risks.

  • Adopting a sustainable approach to building operations contributes to the following outcomes:
  • Enhanced income through higher rental premiums for sustainable buildings 
  • Reduced operations and maintenance costs
  • Improved customer comfort and amenity
  • Enhanced business reputation
  • Improved employee productivity and well-being

The following environmental issues are material to Dexus:

  • Energy consumption: Optimising energy use positively impacts the environment while reducing operating costs and exposures to volatility in energy prices. High performing buildings attract customers and increase occupancy and customer retention. This reduces financial risk, maximises the return on investment and gives customers an environmentally conscious space to occupy
  • Water consumption: Improving water efficiency, onsite water recycling and rainwater harvesting preserves a precious natural resource and reduces utility costs which leads 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 
  • 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 
  • Waste management: Minimising waste, recycling, and effective waste handling reduces raw material use and avoids environmental and health related hazards associated with sending waste to landfill 
  • 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

The boundary for these issues encompasses all properties within the Dexus group portfolio, with impacts felt across occupants and visitors, as well as local communities and habitats.

Management objectives and goals

Dexus has established the following business goals to minimise the overall environmental impact of our operations and guide the development of environmental sustainability practices and initiatives:

  1. Achieve high environmental performance standards across Dexus’s property portfolio
  2. Develop properties that are sustainable and minimise resource consumption and environmental impacts
  3. Increase stakeholder awareness of the benefits of investing in sustainability and improved building performance
  4. Effectively manage environmental risks for community health and wellbeing and to preserve the environment

Management approach

Dexus applies the following governance structure and approach to manage environmental risks and performance:

 

1.     Environmental governance

Dexus’s Property Executive Committee oversees 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 Dexus’s Risk Management Framework and Sustainability Approach.

The Executive General Manager Customer and Marketing has overall operational responsibility for Dexus's energy consumption, water consumption, biodiversity policies, emissions effluents and waste, and transport use.

Dexus integrates our objectives across the property lifecycle as follows:

  • Investment decision making

Dexus evaluates key environmental metrics for acquisitions and divestments with reference to Dexus’s environmental targets and objectives. In some cases, this may present opportunities to reposition and add value to under-performing buildings through environmental initiatives. In other cases, when an investment fails to meet Dexus’s environmental principles, it may prevent an otherwise worthwhile transaction from proceeding.

  • New developments

Dexus’s Development team oversees sustainability input into new developments, major refurbishments and customer fit outs.

  • Building operations and facility management

Dexus’s sustainability team coordinates the delivery of Dexus’s Sustainability Approach which aims to minimise the overall environmental impact of Dexus operations and monitor environmental performance. The sustainability team collaborates with facilities management teams to:

  • Save energy and water
  • Maximise energy and water productivity
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • Reduce the amount of waste transported to landfill
  • Reduce utility costs and other operating costs for Dexus and our customers
  • Environmental risk management

Dexus’s Risk and Compliance team implements the group’s Environmental Management System which addresses environmental risks as part of Dexus’s overall risk management framework.

Management framework

2.     Sustainability Approach

Dexus's sustainability approach incorporates the UNPRI ‘six principles’ relating to responsible investment and active property management, and is aligned with our corporate strategy through its overarching goal “to create Sustained Value by adopting an approach that embraces connectivity, liveability and resilience, and is integrated across our value chain.”

This framework incorporates five objectives which describe the stakeholders for whom we implement sustainability initiatives, while the three themes are a frame of reference for initiatives and programs.

CRS approach

Key themes:

  • Connectivity - using technology to enable connectivity between people and places and smart operations of Dexus's business and buildings
  • Liveability - creating vibrant, inspiring and flexible work places which enhance productivity and foster the well-being of employees and customers
  • Resilience - increasing resilience so that buildings and spaces are adaptive and customers and Dexus can prosper long term

 

 

 

Together, the three key themes and five key objectives, form the basis from which sustainability commitments and targets are formed, and how achievement is measured.

Dexus integrates environmental sustainability throughout the group’s operations via the Enriched Environment key objective, which involves optimising the environmental performance and resilience of our buildings.

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.

Key ‘Enriched Environment’ objectives and related actions are:

Key objective Actions
Being an innovative, leading environmental performer
  • Set environmental performance targets for all investments
  • Maximise energy and water performance of properties rated under the NABERS
  • Outperform industry benchmarks for GHG emissions, waste, indoor environmental quality, transport and social performance
  • Comply with applicable legislation
Optimising building environmental performance and resilience
  • Identify opportunities to enhance both environmental and social performance
  • Prepare strategic improvement plans for properties that quantify the ratings enhancement and energy saved and the required investment
Being a sustainable developer
  • Incorporate sustainable design within new developments, leveraging best practices tools such as Green Star
  • Establish minimum energy performance benchmarks through NABERS Commitment Agreements
Being a low carbon energy producer
  • Collaborate with industrial customers to incorporate solar PV for new industrial developments
  • Reduce emissions by evaluating and pursuing opportunities to incorporate renewables across existing industrial and retail properties
Creating customer environmental partnerships
  • Engage with customers to collaborate to improve environmental performance of our properties and their tenancies through Green Lease clauses, customer and fitout guidelines, and support
Adapting for environmental resilience
  • Assess the impacts of climate change and extreme weather events and address appropriate mitigation and adaptation actions
  • Assess biodiversity risks and opportunities to create a net positive benefit

 

3.     Dexus's Environment Statement

Dexus’s Environment Statement outlines our commitment to minimising the overall environmental impact of our operations. The statement covers Dexus’s detailed environmental management system for the property portfolio, including:

  • Managing and monitoring potential risks and opportunities of climate change 
  • Identification and implementation of compliance requirements
  • Educating, training and communicating to stakeholders about environmental impacts and commitments
  • Actively developing and promoting initiatives to improve environmental performance
  • Providing transparent monitoring and reporting of environmental performance

Implementing our management approach

4.     Energy and emissions

Dexus consumes electricity, natural gas, diesel and solar energy for the operation of its property portfolio and aims to reduce its major emissions sources including electricity, natural gas, diesel, refrigerant leakage and waste to landfill. Refer to Dexus’s online Performance Pack for detailed disclosure on current environmental performance.

5.     Climate change risk and response

The risk to Dexus from the adverse effects of climate change are varied and new information continues to emerge regarding the scale, likelihood and areas that will be impacted. In addition to understanding the physical risks to properties and populations, Dexus, our customers and local communities are also faced with transitional risks including socio-economic effects, resource availability, and health and wellbeing issues.

Physical risks

Dexus assesses physical 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.

Dexus’s response involves understanding and mitigating physical risks through investment decision-making, asset planning, preventative maintenance and adaptation activities.

Transitional risks

As the nature and impact of transitional risks continues to evolve, Dexus leverages the following activities to gather data and insights to inform investment decision-making:

  • Dexus's in-house research team tracks economic conditions, correlates market risks and forecasts real estate market performance in all major commercial, retail and industrial property markets nationwide
  • Dexus collaborates with peers and with industry associations to undertake work and share knowledge on climate change risk and adaptation
  • Dexus engages with customers and conducts social demographic studies across retail properties
  • Dexus works with subject matter experts to maintain an up-to-date view of this emerging topic

Reducing our emissions footprint

Within our annual corporate commitments, Dexus sets continuous improvement targets to drive reductions in energy use, the major contributor to Dexus’s emissions footprint. We are looking beyond our current targets towards a net-zero future in line with current climate science which is advocating significant reductions in emissions to keep global warming under two degrees against a pre-industrial baseline.

6.     Emissions management

Dexus’s continuous improvement approach to addressing environmental issues includes a focus on reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. We aim to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by:

  • Tracking greenhouse gas emissions across the group portfolio and ongoing disclosure of performance
  • Setting continuous improvement targets
  • Conducting ongoing energy management processes and initiatives across operations
  • Implementing energy efficiency and fuel switching projects
  • Generating energy onsite from renewable sources
  • Purchasing accredited, emission-free GreenPower
  • Incorporating environmental performance into new developments and investment decision making 
  • Maintaining Carbon Neutral certification for its corporate operations under the National Carbon Offset Standard via participation in the Australian Carbon Neutrality program
  • Actively participating in industry collaborations such as the Global Real Estate Benchmark and Sydney-based Better Buildings Partnership

7.     Carbon neutrality

Dexus is a signatory to the Australian Carbon Neutral program and our corporate head office has been certified as carbon neutral since 2011.

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.

Carbon neutral certification is achieved through assessing our energy consumption and developing an emissions management plan. The plan focuses on reducing waste to landfill, increasing recycling, increasing the use of recycled products, reducing use of consumables and paper and introducing new technologies to reduce energy consumption.

Dexus continues to set targets against previous years as a part of our commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

8.     Resource efficiency

Dexus targets continuous improvements in energy and water efficiency, and emissions reduction across the group property portfolio. Dexus uses smart meters 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 customer 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 and control systems (BMCS)
  • Mechanical works and retro-commissioning
  • Installation of sub-meters and energy management systems
  • Lighting upgrades
  • ‘Virtual engineer’ building analytics

Examples of water management initiatives include:

  • Optimising or upgrading cooling towers
  • Use of water efficient appliances including fitting water efficient cisterns and fixtures in bathrooms to enhance water efficiency Treating wastewater through central black-water and greywater 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

Dexus embeds sustainability practices within industrial estate master-planning for new developments and through targeted technology and controls upgrades. Master-planning initiatives 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 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.

9.     Renewable energy

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

Dexus generates on-site energy across several properties, 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.

10.     Waste management

Dexus contributed to and adopts the Sydney-based Better Buildings Partnership (BBP) best practice guidelines for operational and strip-out waste management.

Operational waste

Dexus implements waste management plans for each property. 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 collaborates with customers and waste contractors to introduce recycling systems within their tenancies, and offers adhoc services such as electronic waste collection based on customer needs. Contractors also educate customers on recycling practices to maximise the amount of waste that can be diverted from landfill.

Dexus reports waste tonnage and recycling/diversion rates for office and retail properties in line with best practice guidelines.

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.

De-fit (strip out) waste

In 2015 Dexus in partnership with the BBP trialled enhanced materials recovery processes to improve the amount recovery rates from the current industry average of 20% to up to 80%. This trial highlighted key success factors including developing inventories, structured removal and sorting practices, and establishing downstream materials receivers.

Dexus has subsequently set a defit recovery target within our corporate commitments, and is embedding the guidance from the BBP’s strip out guidelines into defit operations. We are also expanding our network of receivers and we are engaging with customers on opportunities to recycle furniture.

11.     Biodiversity

Biodiversity risk exposure is reviewed during the due diligence process for new acquisitions and within periodic valuations. Given the location of Dexus’s developments primarily in urban and brownfield sites, there is limited exposure to biodiversity risks and opportunities for biodiversity enhancement. Risk exposure typically extends to Dexus’s industrial portfolio where sites may be greenfield or are situated close to waterways.

The decade 2011-2020 is the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity. Australia has set challenging targets under the National Biodiversity Conservation Strategy. Dexus recognises the importance of this national strategy and we have developed our own Biodiversity Policy and activities in support.

Dexus’s Biodiversity Policy focuses on protecting and enhancing biodiversity in and around Dexus properties. This includes making buildings and their surrounds a place for native flora and fauna to reside, and a place for people to enjoy.

Biodiversity is addressed in building design (under Green Star), to determine if spaces can be created or improved in developments and building upgrades.

For its existing properties, Dexus works to create green spaces and enhance species diversity through applicable retrofitting solutions. Dexus does not engage in mining, exploration activities, operate manufacturing sites, or conduct activities that that lead to the extinction of International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN) listed endangered species.

Dexus recognises that our suppliers can have an impact on biodiversity. Dexus’s Supplier Code of Conduct requires 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.

12.     Environmental risk management and hazardous materials

Dexus conducts a comprehensive risk audit program to identify, evaluate and mitigate risk in the following areas: 

  • Personal health and safety audits: compliance/spot audits, work health and safety risk profile, OHSAS 18001 audit/gap analysis, BSI certification, Principal Contractor audit, incident investigations
  • Building safety: confined space risk assessment, plant risk assessment, façade audits
  • Environmental: hazardous materials review, initial site audit, site re-inspections
  • Security: security risk assessment, external security review
  • Insurance risk: underwriting assessment

Dexus tracks the audit program via a proprietary online property risk management and auditing tool that enables systematic and rigorous property risk profiling. This provides a single point of access for tools and data and improves the disclosure of due diligence data.

13.     Environmental management system

Dexus maintains an environmental management system, which is certified against international standard ISO 14001:2004. This system and accompanying manual forms a key part of the Dexus Environmental Management (EM) Program. The EM program has been designed to identify, assess and manage environmental risks across the Dexus portfolio and to promote continual improvement.

The Environmental Management program involves the following environmental management approach:  

 

An Initial Status Audit (ISA) details site specific aspects and impacts and is undertaken for all new acquisitions.

An Initial Hazardous Materials Audit (HAZMAT) is undertaken if there is no previous information relating to Asbestos, Synthetic Mineral Fibres (SMF), Polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) and lead based paint.

 

 

 

 

The most common environmental aspects within the day-to-day activities at Dexus managed properties include:

  • Storage of environmentally hazardous materials - Environmentally hazardous materials can have a significant environmental impact if released to the environment
  • Waste generation - Management of solid and liquid waste materials requires safe handling and disposal
  • Stormwater discharge - Release of contaminants to stormwater may result in the degradation of stormwater quality, with potential subsequent impact on surface waterways
  • Trade waste and wastewater discharge - Discharge of wastewater to sewer requires a Trade Waste Agreement. Release of unlicensed discharges to sewer may lead to prosecution
  • Emissions to atmosphere - Emissions to atmosphere (such as the discharge from cooling towers and kitchen exhausts, etc.), are managed to meet regulatory standards. Dexus also recognises emissions of ozone depleting substances and refrigerants from air-conditioning and refrigeration
  • Noise emissions - Noise and vibration may cause a nuisance to neighbouring properties or customers and give rise to complaints and subsequent prosecution under environmental legislation
  • Site contamination - Site contamination can result from loss of materials to soil and groundwater (leakage from underground storage tanks is a common source of soil and groundwater contamination)

All properties operate under Dexus’s Environmental Policy and Facility Managers must operate in accordance with the requirements of this policy.

Key stakeholders

Dexus collaborates across our value chain and conducts ongoing activities to manage and improve environmental performance. Key stakeholders include customers, employees, facility management and suppliers, as follows:

Key stakeholder Engagement approach
Customers 

Dexus works closely with customers to improve their sustainability performance and awareness. This includes collaboration with City Switch, a national tenant energy efficiency program. Dexus is both a signatory and a landlord within the City Switch program.
Dexus aims to drive improvements in customers’ energy efficiency through green building committees and other programs. These programs include involvement in the annual Earth Hour campaign and the National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) Energy and Water ratings.

Dexus undertakes initiatives to provide regular, open feedback for customers. Customer feedback helps to determine the important sustainability issues that keep customer servicing and property performance on the right track.

Employees Dexus has established dedicated employee working groups with mechanisms in place to improve engagement on environmental sustainability and drive environmental performance. Dexus also encourages employees to pursue professional development in sustainability, with a number of Dexus’s development managers having achieved Green Star professional accreditation from the Green Building Council of Australia.
Facility managers

Dexus directly manages more than 90% of the properties within the group portfolio. The remaining co-owned properties which are managed either by the co-owners or properties in which Dexus has a part-interest which are managed by a jointly-appointed independent property manager.

Dexus engages regularly with co-owners and independent property managers to review their performance against the property management agreements to monitor alignment with Dexus’s policies, procedures and KPIs.

Dexus has a very close working relationship with its facility manager partner for directly managed sites which involves day-to-day interaction regarding operations to maximise building performance, deliver customer service and respond to customer needs.

Dexus employs dedicated retail management teams to operate directly managed retail centres on behalf of third party investors. These teams work closely with the corporate retail management team to maximise performance of each centre within its local community.

Suppliers

Dexus engages with like-minded suppliers on sustainability issues and practices. Dexus works with preferred building services providers and equipment vendors to select best-of-breed products to maximise environmental performance while meeting performance expectations.

Dexus communicates sustainability expectations to all suppliers through our Supplier Code of Conduct and Sustainable Procurement policy and suppliers contractually agree to support these policies. Further information on supplier engagement is located within the Supply Chain disclosure on Management Approach.

Evaluation and process improvement

Dexus’s environmental programs are subject to annual external audit. Improvement plans are monitored by corporate leadership teams and the Risk and Compliance team. The Board Risk Committee and the Board oversee health, safety and environment issues.

Dexus management reviews performance against its environment objectives at least on a quarterly basis. We report on key environment commitments every six months and report comprehensively on all commitments within our Annual Report. This is in line with requirements to transparently monitor and report performance outlined in our Environment Statement.

Dexus’s annual Performance Pack provides the most comprehensive review of current trends for key metrics, with historical comparison spanning the past five years. The Performance Pack is available on Dexus’s website.

Dexus benchmarks 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.

Dexus employs measures to assess ESG performance including: 

  • Monitoring consumption patterns
    • Billing data: Dexus records key energy and environmental data in a centralised environmental reporting system and facility managers receive regular reports that track performance. They are queried about trends that differ from expectations
    • Meter data: Facility managers use interval and sub-meter data for finer granularity. This data helps identify potential savings projects and confirms the effectiveness of implemented projects
  • SIPs for each asset list all feasible energy/water projects identified from audits and staff/customer suggestions. Facility managers update the SIPs, which then form a basis for future comparison to confirm that estimated savings are realised
  • Dexus conducts measurement and verification (M&V) on an as needs basis to confirm successful project implementation
  • Monitoring NABERS ratings for energy and water for all eligible properties. These ratings are heavily scrutinised as they form the basis for key internal KPIs
  • Participating in investor and industry benchmarking surveys

Environmental performance undergoes ongoing review through:

  • Live monitoring of building consumption by Facility Managers
  • Monthly sustainability team meetings involving stakeholders from Dexus and its managing agent
  • Monthly reporting of NABERS ratings activity and tracking of rolling portfolio targets
  • Monthly review of energy and water billing data and investigation into adverse consumption trends
  • Quarterly Board Risk Committee progress updates

Dexus measures its success in environmental performance in the following ways:

  • Completion of commitment milestones
  • Achievement of targets
  • Feedback from customers and employees
  • Awards and external recognition
  • Inclusion and rankings within sustainability and leadership indices
  • Benchmarking against leading industry standards such as NABERS and Green Star

Dexus uses the following key performance indicators to measure performance. Dexus sets annual targets for environmental performance to drive continuous improvement.

Material issue Objective KPI
Energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions Reduce like-for-like portfolio energy use and greenhouse gas emissions
  • Absolute Energy consumption
  • Absolute scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions
Energy efficiency Maximise portfolio energy efficiency accounting for portfolio changes
  • Energy intensity (MJ/sqm)
Climate change impacts Target Australian best practice in building energy and emissions performance
  • NABERS Energy portfolio star rating
  • Greenhouse gas emissions intensity (kgCO2-e/sqm)
Water consumption and efficiency Target Australian best practice in building water performance
  • NABERS Water portfolio star rating
  • Water consumption intensity (litres/sqm)
Waste management Maximise data collection coverage across office and retail portfolio
  • Waste data coverage = lettable area with waste data (sqm)/total lettable area (Office and Retail)
Increase recycling rate and reduce the percentage of waste sent to landfill across office and retail portfolio
  • Waste diversion (%) = total recycled waste/(total recycled waste + waste to landfill)