Media releases

Which bank takes green offices mainstream

Published 28 November 2017

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) has slashed its carbon footprint in half, earning them signatory of the year at the CitySwitch National Awards held in Sydney overnight.

The bank’s national energy reduction strategy helped them achieve a five star NABERS energy rating across all their commercial office spaces, resulting in a 48.5 per cent reduction of their carbon footprint.

CitySwitch Green Office is a national high-value no-cost service, which supports commercial office tenants to improve office energy and waste efficiency. It started in Sydney in 2005 and the City of Sydney continues to be a proud supporter of the program.

Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the results showed Australian businesses get the economic sense of running a clean green business and take the fight against climate change seriously.

“In the early days it was small city firms taking out the CitySwitch awards – to see a national icon like the Commonwealth Bank win shows just how far we’ve come,” the Lord Mayor said.

“By rolling out solar across 38 CBA branches, the bank has saved more than $11.5 million annually. Across their portfolio, measures like these have cut more than 80,000 tonnes of CO2 and halved the bank’s emissions.

“We’re increasingly accustomed to seeing big businesses take climate change seriously, but this effort from the Commonwealth Bank is truly impressive and has raised the bar for the financial sector.

“It’s inspiring to see businesses of all shapes and sizes stepping up and taking on this challenge together.”

CBA’s energy and sustainability manager Sanjeet Singh said the bank recognised the role it could play in limiting climate change by making operations more efficient.

“We’ve been measuring, reducing and reporting on our environmental footprint since 2001. Throughout the year we have continued to implement initiatives as part of our sustainable property strategy,” Mr Singh said.

“We’re tracking well towards meeting our 2020 targets. This month we reached a 50 per cent emissions reduction from our 2009 baseline.”

CBA was one of three clean green businesses based in the City of Sydney to be recognised with CitySwitch awards for dramatically reducing their waste and emissions.

[caption id="attachment_18499" align="alignnone" width="620"] Lord Mayor Clover Moore with CBA Sustainability Energy and Sustainability Manager Sanjeet Singh[/caption]


Architectural firm Steensen Varming won NSW partnership of the year after working with building manager Charter Hall and ground floor café The Naked Duck to introduce organic waste collection in the building.

Organics are now part of Steensen Varming’s expanded waste collection streams including mixed recycling, Nespresso capsules, cardboard, food packaging and soft plastics.

“Steensen Varming were already a six star tenant, but they’ve seriously stepped upped their commitment to the war on waste,” the Lord Mayor said.

Steensen Varming sustainability consultant Diksha Vijapur said the company aimed to lead by example.

“We don’t just promote environmental responsibility in our design solutions, but in everything we do. We strive to deliver positive outcomes, for our clients, our staff, our community and the wider environment,” Ms Vijapur said.

“We are very proud to be recognised for our efforts and will use this as a platform to set an example and encourage others to follow suit so that collectively we can make a difference.”

Kernel Property won NSW new signatory of the year after transforming a diesel generator room into a fully functional office space, using almost entirely recycled fittings while retaining the site’s original industrial features.

This year CitySwitch members across the country have offset more than 586,000 tonnes of carbon, avoided more than 60,000 tonnes of carbon emissions through energy efficiency and saved $15 million in energy costs.

For media inquiries or images, contact Senior Media Advisor Alex Cauchi.

Phone 0467 803 815 or email

For interviews with Lord Mayor Clover Moore, please contact Matthew Levinson on 0499 319 385 or