Water

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GPT is committed to employing leading practice approaches to the sustainable use and management of water resources.

The Group has achieved:

  • 45% reduction in water intensity since 2005

In 2016 this meant:

  • $6 million of avoided costs*; and
  • 1.5 million kilolitres of water saved*.

*compared to 2005 baseline

For full water performance details, see the GPT Environment Data Pack.

Background and Policy

GPT aims to ue,s source, re-use and discharge water efficiently. The Group recognises that water is a constrained but essential resource to the sustainability of the business and more broadly to society and the environment. GPT’s Water Management Policy contains the complete policy background and commitments.

GPT’s commitments and intended approach to managing water are guided by the Integrated Water Cycle Management framework.

*Integrated Water Cycle Management Framework

water cycle diagram

*Adapted from Hoban and Wong 2006

This framework is an approach to water management that acknowledges the interdependencies between potable water, waste water and stormwater that seeks to optimise water use on each site, whilst being mindful of the site specific constraints and opportunities and the needs of the local environment.

Targets

To use and manage water sustainably at each of the sites owned and managed by GPT.

Target Performance and progress
2017 target of 859 L/sq m Achieved 866 L/sq m with integration of new amenities across the portfolio impacting results.

The ongoing target is continually improving  environmental performance above the average rate of the Global Real Estate Benchmark - Green Stars in relevant environmental categories while striving to meet the aspirational targets as fast as commercially viable.

Performance

GPT has reduced water used per square metre of lettable space by 45% since 2005, from 1,561 litres per square metre in 2005 to 890 litres in 2016. 

Water intensity reductions have been achieved across all portfolios, with 

  • Office has achieved a 46% improvement (2005 baseline);
  • Retail has achieved a 35% improvement (2005 baseline); and
  • Logistics has achieved a 35% improvement (2007 baseline).

Download our Environment Data Pack for more information.

Water Intensity 2017

GPT's Methods for Achieving Reductions 

Savings have been achieved through a range of initiatives informed by diligent metering and monitoring of water use that enables us to make informed decisions on the most effective and efficient means of reducing consumption. Key initiatives include:

Targets and monitoring

  • Site targets are set annually, taking account of improvement plans and performance is closely monitored through the year via management reporting
  • Management KPIs and incentives align with environmental performance targets
  • Site teams are provided with training to micro-monitor performance and calibrate systems for optimal efficiency

Metering

  • Metering systems are installed and systems continuously commissioned to ensure systems maintain efficiency
  • Sub-metering enables allocation of consumption costs on a user-pays basis at an increasing number of sites.

Water saving devices

  • Low flush toilets installed in new developments
  • Waterless or low water urinals installed in all new developments and retrofitted to existing assets.
  • Use of cooling towers avoided where a viable alternative is available. For example, at workplace6 there is heat exchange through Sydney Harbour.

Alternative Sources

  • Rainwater tanks have been installed at several sites for irrigation and other non-potable water use
  • Precinct supplied recycled water is used where available for suitable purposes. For example, the Quad buildings use recycled water available through Sydney Olympic Park.

Recycling

  • Water recycling where viable. At workplace6 the black water treatment plant can be viewed from outside the building and is used as a public educational tool. Excess recycled water is used to irrigate the site’s surrounding parkland.

Discharge management

  • Sites are cleaned to minimise contamination of stormwater run-off
  • House Rules / Fitout Guides specify the need to avoid sewerage contamination, especially relating to fitouts and other building works.

 Tenant guidelines and awareness

  • Retail fitouts have minimum standards on the adoption of water efficient fittings and fixtures
  • Use of waterless woks for food facilities
  • Fit Out Guides and Building User Guides are provided to assist tenants in the use of low water consumption devices in Office tenancies.

Base building consumption is reported to Office tenants during Building Management Committee meetings.

Challenges and Outlook

Addressing the following challenges will support improved management of water resources and allow water to be used more sustainably.

Understanding where water is consumed

  • GPT continues to implement water metering to closely measure and monitor base building water consumption. This strategy is being extended to include metering to monitor consumption by tenants that are currently high users.

Non-potable water use and infrastructure suitability 

  • To increase the volume of non-potable water used in our new developments and building renewal program, GPT seeks to specify the use of non-potable water at the design phase of projects. This helps to ensure the appropriate plant and equipment selections are made, or the required water treatment processes are embedded into the initial stages of design.
  • GPT actively participates in industry bodies engaging with government and water authorities to support and encourage the continued evolution of planning and regulatory controls. 

Cost of water

  • While GPT can take a long term view, the relatively low cost of water can make the commercial viability of some water saving initiatives difficult to achieve. 
  • Discharge flows
  • Rainwater harvesting is an appealing source of water but local hydrology needs must be met. At Rouse Hill Town Centre, for example, rainwater harvesting was limited so that sufficient flows remained for Caddies Creek to be rehabilitated. 

Precinct solutions

  • GPT is a leader in black water recycling with a pilot installation at workplace6. The technology required for sewer mining is expected to continue to improve flowing on to  enhanced economic viability and the broader community impact requiring management of sewer flows. Economies of scale and resolution of these issues mean that precinct based solutions to alternative water supplies may be preferable for many sites.
  • GPT is actively engaged in initiatives such as Sydney’s Better Buildings Program which, in partnership with City of Sydney, is exploring the feasibility of reticulating non potable water in the Sydney CBD.