Carbon and Finance News — 19 November 2012

South African commercial property group Growthpoint Properties is replacing all its light fittings in its office portfolio using the latest energy-saving technology. This R43 million project means all 134 office buildings in its portfolio, spanning over a million square metres of office space, will get new, energy efficient light fittings, designed specifically for Growthpoint.

The savings on occupants’ utility bills will be split equally between Growthpoint and the leaseholder, in accordance with a new green addendum forming the basis of this partnership between Growthpoint and its leaseholders with the common objective to reduce energy and water consumption. Growthpoint’s 50% share of savings will go to funding and continuing future green initiatives.

These savings should be substantial. Already, over the past year, Growthpoint invested R20 million on sustainability projects within its portfolio of buildings, resulting in a reduction of over 14million kilowatts. This translates to a saving of nearly R12 million in annual utility costs.

Growthpoint has earned two as built 4-Star Green Star energy ratings for different office developments in KwaZulu-Natal. “We felt it was time we extended that hard-earned green building expertise across our entire portfolio of office buildings,” Rudolf Pienaar, Growthpoint Properties offices divisional director, says.

In the last five years municipal water and electricity costs have soared. Some Growthpoint clients have seen their energy consumption increasing from R8.66/square metre to R30.46/square metre.

Growthpoint Properties is the largest South African listed property company and is included in the JSE ALSI Top 40 companies index. It has a market capitalisation of R44.5 billion at 30 June 2012 and property assets exceeding R53 billion. The company leads carbon disclosure for the real estate sector in Africa and is a platinum founding member of the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA), the country’s official green building authority. It funds the GBCSA’s energy and water benchmarking tool, which allows property owners to measure their energy and water consumption against industry benchmarks. It is anticipated that this benchmark will soon result in a ratings system for existing buildings, similar to that already in place for new buildings.

Source: ESI-Africa

Image: Light Bulb

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