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PROPERTY: Growthpoint to Shine a Green Light in Its Office Buildings

 





Recent Gauteng Business News

Growthpoint Properties Limited is taking another bold green step by replacing all of its light fittings in its office portfolio using the latest energy-saving technology. This pioneering 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.

Besides the positive effects for the environment, this project will directly profit businesses occupying Growthpoint’s office buildings.

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 then 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 an impressive reduction of over 14-million kilowatts in energy. This translates to a saving of nearly R12 million in annual utility costs.

Already an innovator in environmentally-friendly and energy-efficient construction, Growthpoint has earned two coveted ‘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,” says Rudolf Pienaar, Growthpoint Properties Offices Divisional Director.

He adds: “Last year Growthpoint spent R20-million on our portfolio in our drive to offer our clients sustainable space. This year we are all amplifying this with a full portfolio lighting upgrade. The significant investment actively helps occupants reduce their environmental impact, coupled with impressive savings on their utility bills.”

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

“Reducing clients’ energy consumption, and therefore their costs, while improving the working environment makes sense both ecologically and economically. The unique Green Addendum 50:50 agreement makes sustainability sustainable,” says Pienaar.

Essop Basha, head of Growthpoint’s dedicated utilities division, says: “The lighting retrofit for the office portfolio reflects the sustainability policy that is at the core of Growthpoint’s ethos.”

Upgrading all the light fittings in Growthpoint's office portfolio is only the start.

“We are proactive in all our environmental initiatives,” says Basha. “Growthpoint carries the cost of research, testing, procuring and implementation of green technology. Our clients will see very real benefits when they get their bills.”

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.

Growthpoint Properties’ commitment to sustainability is well-known. 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 proudly 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.

“We hope that by introducing initiatives such as the Green Addendum, with the first phase replacing office lighting, we will be able to continue providing office space that business can thrive in at very competitive rentals,” says Pienaar.

It is important to keep the ultimate objective in mind, adds Pienaar, and that is not just to offer energy efficient buildings, but buildings that are sustainable and vibrant offering perfect accommodation for people to achieve their full potential and businesses to thrive.

Adopting the lighting retrofit initiative takes immediate effect and all Growthpoint’s office buildings will be upgraded as the project rolls out.


 
 
 
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