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

The Group adopts a holistic approach - from the boardroom to the plant room - in order to reduce operating costs, enhance property values and improve tenant 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 [Source: IPD Green Property Index]
  • Reduced operations and maintenance costs
  • Improved tenant 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 tenants and increase occupancy and tenant retention. This reduces financial risk, maximises the return on investment and gives tenants an environmentally conscious space to occupy
  • Water consumption: 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 leads to reductions in outgoings and maintenance costs. These outcomes reduce operational financial risks, improve reputation, help to attract and retain tenants 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: Waste minimisation, recycling and effective waste handling seeks to reduce raw material use and avoid 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

Management objectives and goals

DEXUS has established the following business goals to minimise the overall environmental impact of its operations:

  • Achieve high environmental performance standards across DEXUS's property portfolio
  • Develop properties that are sustainable and minimise resource consumption and environmental impacts
  • Increase stakeholder awareness of the benefits of investing in sustainability and improved building performance
  • Effectively manage environmental risks for community health and well-being and to preserve the environment

These objectives guide the development of DEXUS's environmental sustainability practices and initiatives.

Management approach

DEXUS applies the following management approach to manage its environmental risks and performance:

DEXUS's Environment approach

Enviromental Governance

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 the 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's Environment Statement

DEXUS's Environment Statement outlines the Group's commitment to minimising the overall environmental impact of its operations. The statement covers DEXUS's detailed environmental management system for its 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

DEXUS Sustainability/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 facility managers 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 its tenants

Environmental Management System

DEXUS's Compliance, Risk and Governance team implements DEXUS's Environmental Management System which addresses environmental risks as part of DEXUS's overall risk management framework.

DEXUS's Development team oversees sustainability input into new developments, major refurbishments and tenant fit outs.

Sustainability Approach

DEXUS's sustainability approach incorporates the UNPRI ‘six principles’ relating to responsible investment and active property management. This framework incorporates three key themes and five key objectives, and forms the basis from which sustainability commitments and targets are formed, and how achievement is measured.

DEXUS's sustainability approach is aligned with its corporate strategy through its overarching goal of creating “Sustained Value by adopting an approach that embraces connectivity, liveability and resilience, and is integrated across our value chain.”

This is achieved through the key themes of:

  • 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

This approach has five key objectives which retain their alignment with DEXUS's stakeholders: People, Community (incorporating suppliers), Environment, Customers, and Cities.

DEXUS’s Sustainability Approach integrates environmental sustainability throughout the Group’s operations via its 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.

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

DEXUS applies an outward looking management approach to manage its environmental performance and risks. DEXUS seeks to enrich the environment in which it operates by:

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

The Group uses this framework to systematically identify, quantify and respond to environmental issues within strategic decision-making and operations.

DEXUS's Sustainability Approach principles:

  • Taking a holistic view of every aspect of DEXUS's operations and incorporate CR&S initiatives throughout DEXUS
  • Aligning CR&S initiatives with stakeholder expectations, corporate objectives and values
  • Providing transparent reporting of CR&S activities and progress
  • Demonstrating leadership in CR&S by maintaining the highest standards of corporate governance, ethics, environmental and social responsibility

Key ‘Enriched Environment’ operational objectives of DEXUS’s Sustainability Approach are to:

  • Maximise energy and water performance of properties rated under the NABERS
  • Identify opportunities to enhance both environmental and social performance
  • Set environmental performance targets for all investments
  • Outperform industry benchmarks for GHG emissions, waste, indoor environmental quality, transport and social performance
  • Comply with applicable legislation
  • Assess biodiversity risks and opportunities to create a net positive benefit
  • Assess the impacts of climate change and extreme weather events and address appropriate mitigation and adaptation actions
  • Prepare strategic improvement plans for properties that quantify the ratings enhancement and energy saved and the required investment

Energy and emissions profile

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.

2016 DEXUS Energy consumption and emissions profile

Climate change response and emissions management

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.

Emissions management

DEXUS’s continuous improvement approach to addressing environmental issues includes a focus on reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. DEXUS aims to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by:

  • Tracking greenhouse gas emissions across its 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

Carbon neutrality

DEXUS is a signatory to the Australian Carbon Neutral program and its 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.

DEXUS has reported under the NCOS Carbon Neutral Program since 2011. It has carbon emission reductions as a part of the ongoing resource monitoring, management and reporting framework.

Carbon neutral certification is achieved through assessing its 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 its 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 its commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Resource efficiency

DEXUS targets continuous improvements in energy and water efficiency, and emissions reduction 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 and control systems (BMCS)
  • Mechanical works and retro-commissioning
  • Installation of sub-meters 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 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
  • 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.

Renewable energy

DEXUS supports the development of renewable energy and distributed energy generation across its portfolio. DEXUS purchases accredited GreenPower 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.

Biodiversity

Biodiversity risk exposure is also 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 greenfields or are situated close to waterways.

The decade 2011-2020 is the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity. As a member organisation, Australia has set challenging targets under the National Biodiversity Conservation Strategy. DEXUS recognises the importance of this national strategy and has developed its own Biodiversity Policy and activities in support.

DEXUS’s Biodiversity Policy focuses on protecting and enhancing biodiversity in and around DEXUS property sites. 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 its 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.

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 tenants 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.

Investment decision making

DEXUS evaluates key environmental metrics for new properties 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.

Environmental risk management and hazardous materials

DEXUS conducts a comprehensive risk audit program to identify and 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 its audit program via a proprietary online property risk management and auditing tool that enables systematic and rigorous property risk profiling. It is a single point of access for tools and data and improves the disclosure of due diligence data.

Environmental Management System

DEXUS maintains an environmental management system, which is certified against international standard ISO 14001. 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.

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.

DEXUS Environmental Management (EM) Program

DEXUS Environmental Management EM Program

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 tenants 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 the Facility Managers must operate in accordance with the requirements of this policy.

Key stakeholders

DEXUS collaborates across its value chain and conducts ongoing activities to manage and improve environmental performance. Key stakeholders include tenants, employees, facility management and suppliers.

Tenant engagement

DEXUS works closely with tenants 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 tenants’ 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 a number of initiatives to provide regular, open feedback for tenants. Tenant feedback helps to determine the important sustainability issues that keep tenant servicing and property performance on the right track.

Employee engagement

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 Management engagement

DEXUS directly manages more than 90% of the properties it owns or where it acts as an investment manager on behalf of third party investors. The remaining properties are co-owned properties which are managed by the co-owners or properties in which DEXUS has a part-interest which are managed by an independent property manager.

DEXUS engages on a regular basis 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 tenant 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.

Supplier engagement

DEXUS seeks to engage 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 its expectations relating to sustainability to all suppliers and requires them to abide by the Supplier Code of Conduct and Sustainable Procurement policy. 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 the Office & Industrial Leadership team and the Compliance, Risk and Governance 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. DEXUS reports on key environment commitments every six months and reports comprehensively on all commitments within its Annual Review. This is in line with requirements to transparently monitor and report performance outlined in DEXUS’s Environment Statement.

The Annual Review Performance Pack provides the most comprehensive review of current trends for key metrics, with historical comparison spanning the past five years. Reports are available in the CR&S section at www.dexus.com

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.

DEXUS employs a number of measures to assess its ESG performance including:

  • Monitoring consumption patterns
  • Billing data: DEXUS records key energy and environmental data in a centralised resource consumption database and property managers receive regular reports that track performance. They are questioned about trends that differ from expectations
  • Meter data: Property 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/tenant suggestions. Property managers continually update the SIPs, which then form a basis for future comparison to confirm that estimated savings are realised
  • DEXUS conducts formal 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 scrutinized 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
  • Weekly 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 and Sustainability progress updates

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

  • Completion of commitment milestones
  • Achievement of targets
  • Feedback from tenants, 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 its 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)

 

Voluntary reporting frameworks and industry benchmarks

DEXUS also participates in a number of voluntary reporting frameworks and initiatives which are outlined below. As the Group's sustainability approach has matured its performance in these rankings has improved. These voluntary frameworks drive sustainability performance improvement.
Reporting framework Description
Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) CDP is focused on preventing dangerous climate change impacts and protecting natural resources.
Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) GRESB is an industry-driven organization committed to assessing the sustainability performance of real estate portfolios around the globe.
Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) DJSI is maintained collaboratively by S&P Dow Jones Indices and RobecoSAM. Following a best-in-class approach, the index measures the performance of the world's sustainability leaders.
United Nations Principles of Responsible Investment (UNPRI) UNPRI is the leading global network for investors to publicly demonstrate their commitment to responsible investment and incorporate these factors into their investment decision making and ownership practices.

 

Audit and assurance

DEXUS ensures that all properties are audited under its Environmental Management program which is accredited annually against the international standard for Environmental Management Systems (ISO 14001:2004).

DEXUS gains limited assurance for its environmental dataset each year. Refer to DEXUS’s Assurance Criteria for further details including the list of consumption and emission sources, and references for factors that have been applied. Assurance Criteria can be found in the CR&S section at http://www.dexus.com