Energy may be at the frontline of environmental sustainability, but it’s also an invisible commodity. Waste, on the other hand, is a tangible touchpoint – and there is no clearer statement of a company’s stance on sustainability than a pile of plastic overflowing from a rubbish bin.
In some corners of our cities, the war on waste has begun in earnest. And when our nation sends an eye-watering 67 million tonnes of rubbish to landfill each year, it’s not a moment too soon.
“Waste is a concern to a lot of our people. Emissions are invisible, but waste is very visible,” says Saul Foster, Procurement and Sustainability Consultant at Clayton Utz.
The big-six law firm is one of the customers in Sydney’s 1 Bligh, an award-winning office tower that recently scored Australia’s highest NABERS Waste rating of 4.5 stars.
While not everyone who works in 1 Bligh understands what NABERS, or the National Australian Built Environment Rating Scheme, means, they are acutely aware of 1 Bligh’s sustainability credentials, Saul explains.
When it first opened its doors in 2011, 1 Bligh boasted a series of firsts – from its double-skin façade that delivered unparalleled energy efficiency for a building of its size to the blackwater recycling system that slashed water consumption well below business-as-usual.
Since then, the new NABERS Waste rating is an “impressive achievement,” Saul says, and “sends an important message to our people who work in 1 Bligh each day that our building owners are always looking for new ways to improve its sustainability.”
1 Bligh Street embodies Clayton Utz’s values, Saul adds. “We have fully offset our carbon emissions in line with the National Carbon Offset Standard, and we publicly report on our emissions through the Australian Legal Sector Alliance each year. Our building’s NABERS Waste rating is more evidence of our commitment to sustainability.”