Tuesday, 21 May 2024
    APS Procurement sets a new green standard for office spaces, buildings and hotels

    APS Procurement sets a new green standard for office spaces, buildings and hotels

    The Australian Government’s latest move in the procurement playbook for buildings could be a game-changer.  

    We’ve seen how the Commonwealth, state and territory governments can leverage their weight through the dollars they spend. An example of this is in 2005 when the government set the new standard for office space – all new office leases must be a minimum NABERS Energy rating of either 4 or 4.5 stars. In response to this, hundreds of large office buildings in Australia began reducing energy use and emissions at a scale never seen before. 

    Fast forward to recent times, according to the Department of Finance, in 2022-23 there were 83,625 procurement contracts with a combined value of $74.8 billion. For businesses eyeing a slice of that financial pie, they must comply with policy and meet compliance requirements.  

    As of November 2023, work on the Australian Public Service (APS) Net Zero 2030 has been updated. The APS Net Zero plan updates look at reducing greenhouse gas emissions through a combination of energy efficiency, renewable energy, and usage of offsets. 

     The updates lay out that from 2025, existing offices in capital cities must be graded a 5.5 star NABERS energy rating to get a lease with the Commonwealth government. And by 2026, new government office buildings must comply with meeting a 6-star rating, be all electric, and hold a 4-star rating.  

     They’re even broadening the scope for IT data centres, warehouses and hotel bookings, with IT data 5-star, warehouses 4-star, respectively.  

     Including hotels as part of the policy is a remarkable change. The Commonwealth, states and territories combined book millions of hotel nights of work travel, worth hundreds of millions of dollars to the sector, every year.  

    While this policy covers travel by the Commonwealth government and not the states, this is a step that jurisdictions could follow to support the decarbonisation efforts of the accommodation industry. 

     This isn’t just about greenwashing; it’s about practising what they preach. As the paradigm shifts towards conscious travel, our Hotel and Travel program stands as a testament to our commitment to provide great travel benefits for our members. Through this program, members gain access to exclusive rates at premier hotels worldwide, but also property types that adhere to stringent health and hygiene protocols. Take a closer look at the travel deals our business, education and not-for-profit members can benefit from by heading to our Travel & Hotel solutions page 

    Source: https://thefifthestate.com.au/columns/spinifex/the-net-zero-in-government-operations-strategy-is-a-big-deal-for-the-built-environment/