With a growing portfolio of communities located across NSW, Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia, the environmental impact of our communities, environmental risks and opportunities to mitigate risks and reduce our footprint are a key focus of our ESG program.
The rapid growth of the portfolio and the diversity of age, location and community types combined with a lack of established benchmarks provides some challenges in generating relevant metrics and targets in relation to environmental impacts and performance. Over the next year we will further explore the issues, challenges and opportunities around this key area.
We consider the environmental impact and performance of our assets through the acquisition process, as part of the design and development process and in ongoing operations.
In reviewing our environmental performance and objectives we consider not only the impact of our own operations but the performance of the homes we create within our communities.
To date we have made progress on:
- Consolidating our waste, energy and water suppliers and working with suppliers to more easily access consistent data on performance
- Evolving the building methodology for new homes within our communities to provide more sustainable homes for incoming residents
- Reducing the environmental impact of our communities through investment in existing communities and planning and creation of new communities which harness new technologies and materials to generate greater environmental efficiencies
- Engaging with the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) to consider potential industry standards and ratings tools for lifestyle communities.
- In February 2021, a major milestone was reached with the announcement of a clear 5 year carbon reduction target and a commitment to strive to become a carbon neutral operation by 2035. A finance facility of $75 million was also secured from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC). Current and future initiatives and reporting will reference the Group’s commitment to a 30% reduction in carbon emissions (against a 2019 baseline) and ongoing reduction in Scope 1 and 2 emissions.
Over the next 12 months our focus will be:
- Undertaking a detailed assessment of climate risk across our portfolio. Phase 1 of this project was complete in March 2021, and Phase 2, which entails a more detailed assessment of key assets, is currently underway.
- Working with appropriate specialists and suppliers to understand the environmental impacts of the portfolio and to establish base line measurements, data collection protocols and performance targets.
- Continuing to invest in solar and LED lighting and working with consultants to help reduce the peek load consumptions of electricity from the networks across our established communities – this will contribute to the achievement of the Group’s emission reduction targets.
- Participating in the GBCA Green Star for Homes Early Access Program to innovate through the provision of more sustainable homes.
- Working with the GBCA to assess a future greenfield project under the community rating tool which will provide a benchmark for sustainability in the lifestyle portfolio
- Further refining our objectives to ensure we create more resilient and sustainable communities through future development and reduce the environmental impact of our existing operations.