Low carbon smart assets

Our objective is to significantly reduce the long term carbon footprint of our asset portfolio by implementing innovative technologies that improve energy efficiency, increase our uptake of rooftop solar, and automate superior asset performance.

We have established a set of short, medium and long term environmental targets to guide our practices across centre management, new developments, capital upgrades and investments, ensuring alignment in our approach right across the business and setting ourselves up to succeed in achieving this objective.

Resource efficiency improvements

Driving efficiency improvements across our energy, water and waste management practices, which all have a direct or indirect impact on our overall carbon and environmental footprint, is a key focus for our centre operations.   

Vicinity’s Environmental Improvement Program drives continuous improvements in operational energy, water and waste performance throughout our portfolio. Its implementation is supported through centre level management plans, which identify specific environmental initiatives to help us achieve our annual resource efficiency targets. These plans are updated every year through our Strategic Asset Planning process, and take account of evolving best practices in building environmental management.

To monitor our performance and maintain accountability we undertake quarterly reporting to our Board and the Sustainability Committee, as well as our strategic partners to keep them informed on our progress.

The table below provides an overview of our group-wide environmental performance. To view asset level data, download our FY18 Performance Pack here.

 

Vicinity Centres environmental performance1,2

Metric

Unit

FY15

FY16

FY175

FY185

Gross Lettable Area

sqm

2,986,877

2,971,964

2,850,039

2,751,687

Total energy use

GJ

1,017,136

963,524

869,043

 825,908

Energy intensity

MJ/sqm3

341

324

305

300

Scope 1 emissions

tCO2-e4

9,931

7,695

6,272

4,516

Scope 2 emissions

tCO2-e4

236,640

220,021

195,879

185,660

Scope 1+2 emissions

tCO2-e4

246,571

227,716

202,151

190,176

Emissions intensity (Scope 1 + 2)

kg CO2-e/sqm3

83

77

71

69

Scope 3 emissions

tCO2-e4

33,003

77,409

67,251

62,205

Total water use

mL

2,939

3,098

2,933

2,803

Water intensity

kL CO2-e/sqm3

0.98

1.04

1.03

1.02

Recycling rate

% of total waste

-

35%

36%

43%

Notes: 

  1. Reporting scope is for assets under management. Download our FY18 Performance Pack for further details. For more information on reporting scope and criteria, see our FY18 Sustainability Reporting Criteria here.
  2. Third party assurance has been undertaken for this dataset. Download our assurance statement here.
  3. Square meters (sqm) refers to retail footprint – square metres of gross lettable area (GLA).
  4. Tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent.
  5. Data has been restated from the figures previously reported publicly, based on receipt of invoices.

 

During FY18, we reduced our absolute energy use by 5% and our energy intensity by 2% from the previous year, resulting in a reduction in our scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions intensity by 16% from our base year (FY15).

This is the direct result of our environment improvement program, and the successful implementation of centre level plans that focus our capital expenditure on initiatives to reduce building energy consumption and ensure all operational equipment such as air conditioning, lighting, vertical transport and building management systems are running as efficiently as possible.   

Integrated energy strategy

We use a lot of energy to operate our shopping centres - energy is one of Vicinity’s largest outgoings at a centre level - and the carbon emissions generated through our energy use is our most material direct environmental impact.

In 2018, we developed an integrated energy strategy to reduce our carbon footprint and our exposure to volatile energy prices through the electricity grid. Our integrated energy strategy includes four key pillars - renewable generation, storage, efficiency and management – and is designed to deliver long term outcomes such as energy-smart destinations, reduced consumption of electricity generated from the national grid and significant reductions in our carbon emissions, the latter being a key objective of the Group’s sustainability strategy. A number of key initiatives within the energy efficiency and management pillars already form important parts of our business processes.

We have committed $73 million to Australia’s largest shopping centre solar program across two stages creating a fully integrated energy system incorporating the latest renewable technology innovations.

In May 2018, we announced the first stage of our solar investment project, comprising solar installation at five centres in South Australia and Western Australia. The 11.2MW project will see approximately 39,000 solar panels installed on rooftops and carpark shades at our centres, along with a large scale commercial battery, and will generate upwards of 17.4 gigawatt hours of clean energy each year. Creating the largest carpark solar installation in Australia with more than 2,400 covered bays, will provide additional comfort, enhancing the customer and retailer experience. The renewable energy generated will be used at our centres, reducing reliance on the grid and providing a benefit to our retailers and our business as a buffer from the volatile energy market. This stage is expected to deliver an average year one yield of ~15% and an average IRR of ~12%.

Stage two of the solar investment project will commence in FY19 with a similar level of returns as stage one.

Australia continues to be faced with an environment of rising energy costs and uncertainty surrounding a clear national policy framework to contain electricity generation costs.

 

$73m


investment in onsite solar to help us achieve
• reductions in our carbon emissions, and
• strong returns on investment

 

Our solar program will reduce Vicinity’s reliance on the grid and exposure to volatile energy pricing, delivering strong investment returns while reducing carbon emissions from our asset portfolio.

Phases one and two of the solar program combined represent the largest investment and property solar array installation announced to date in Australia, cementing Vicinity’s sustainability leadership position and creating shared value for our customers, retailers, investors and the communities where we operate. Recent media releases relating to this program can be found through our Media Centre

 

Waste and recycling

As a retail property owner and manager, waste is one of our largest indirect environmental impacts.

Our retailers generate large quantities of waste, largely though packaging materials and food waste. It is our responsibility to provide the right infrastructure, guidance and support to our retailers and consumers to ensure as much waste as possible can be recycled.

Our approach to waste management is directed by the waste hierarchy – essentially an order of preference for action to reduce and manage waste - and focuses on firstly encouraging waste avoidance and minimisation, and then on separating and recovering waste that is generated at the source to enable as much reuse and recycling as possible. All of our centres have waste management plans and annual recycling and resource recovery targets to increase recycling rates and minimise waste sent to landfill.

During FY18, we achieved an average waste diversion from landfill rate of 43% (36% in FY17) through improved source separation and recycling practices.

Some individual centres achieved diversion from landfill rates well above average, with Altona Gate achieving 72%, DFO South Wharf 69%, Chatswood Chase 67%, and Keilor 62%. Access our FY18 Performance Pack for asset level reporting.

Our waste management approach is achieving great results through its focus on supporting retailers and consumers to separate waste at the time it is generated and via targeting the most prevalent waste streams for recycling. During FY18, we increased the volume of recycled material by 22% compared to FY17. Our efforts primarily focused on diverting organic waste such as food scraps, leftovers and used coffee grounds from landfill, with a program that targeted food court and fresh food retailers. The program resulted in an increase in our organics recycling by over 3300 tonnes, equivalent of diverting approximately 370 truckloads of waste from landfill.

 

Waste disposal method (tonnes)

Water

Across much of Australia, water is a scarce resource that must be managed responsibly.

Our Environment Improvement Program includes projects to improve our water efficiency, targeting the most water intensive elements of our centres, such as centre amenities, cleaning, air conditioning plants and food retailer usage.

We implemented a number of water efficiency measures during FY18, including the installation of high efficiency and waterless fixtures during amenity upgrades, individual metering of water intensive retailers, monitoring of water leaks and encouraging more efficient behaviours.

During FY18, our total water consumption was 2,803 megalitres, a 4% reduction from the previous year. This equates to an overall water intensity of 1.02kL/sqm across the portfolio.

For asset level reporting, see our FY18 Performance Pack.