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Investa Property Group Switches to Quarterly CSR

Australia’s Investa Property Group has cut energy use by 10 percent between April and June 2012 at 120 Collins St. in Melbourne (see chart), saving AU$15,000 (US$ 15,656), by using information from its new quarterly sustainability reporting system.

Investa, which owns and manages more than AU$8.4 billion in commercial, industrial and residential buildings, has shifted to continuous reporting on the environmental performance of all buildings in its office portfolio. The group now publishes quarterly data on electricity, gas and water use per square meter of its building portfolio online.

The reports also provide quarterly scorecards for Investa’s office buildings and a window into the day-to-day tuning of buildings for research purposes and to improve building performance.

Investa says its continuous reporting is a first in the Australian property sector and can help commercial tenants achieve cost savings and operational efficiencies.

At the group’s Collins Street property, the facilities management team used Investa’s Pulse building insight tool, electric duct heater strategies, supply air pressure settings and temperature set point adjustments to cut energy use.

Invest says it switched to continuous reporting to overcome two limitations of annual sustainability reporting: the delays in action from annual feedback and aggregation of results, which makes it harder to pinpoint specific areas that require attention.

According to Investa, the IPD Australian Green Property Index, which tracks the environmental performance of more than AU$50 billion of Australian office buildings, found investment returns of buildings refurbished within the last five years with higher National Australian Built Environment Rating System Energy ratings provide significantly stronger annualized returns (11.8 percent) over assets with low NABERS Energy ratings (8.7 percent).

In June, energy efficiency and demand response software company BuildingIQ — which has Investa as a customer — signed an exclusive agreement with NV Energy to trial a new energy efficiency program concept for commercial customers. The BuildingIQ system forecasts energy demand and automatically adjusts a building’s HVAC settings to continuously optimize energy use and peak loads.

NV Energy and BuildingIQ said they expect the program to provide NV Energy customers 12.1 GWh of annualized energy savings.

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