MarketPlace Leichhardt, owned by Local Government Super, has achieved a 6 Star NABERS Energy rating (the Centre uses 100% GreenPower - a 4.5 Star rating without GreenPower) and a 3.5 Star NABERS rating for water consumption.
MarketPlace Leichhardt began its quest to attain NABERS accreditation in 2007, systematically introducing energy and water saving initiatives - of which have cumulatively reduced energy consumption by 50%.
NABERS ratings are based on 12 months of operational water and energy usage. Although application for a NABERS Rating is voluntary, Local Government Super viewed this as a vital step to properly measure and benchmark the Centre's environmental achievements, and to continually strive for improvements. NABERS is a national initiative for the Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments and is managed by the Office of Environment and Heritage, NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet.
The star rating is indicative of better energy and water performance and lower emission of greenhouse gases, with 6 stars being the highest achievement:
- 6 Stars: Industry Leader - best practice
- 5 Stars: Excellent performance
- 4 Stars: Strong performance
- 3 Stars: Above average performance
- 2 Stars: Below average performance
- 1 Star: Poor performance
So how did MarketPlace Leichhardt reach this achievement? Being a shopping centre that is almost 40 years old meant that we didn't have the energy or water saving features that a new shopping centre would take for granted. To reduce our energy and water consumption an extensive Centre retrofit program was executed, and from this point continual developments and best practices have since been implemented, such as:
- Installing energy efficient lights through the common malls, and fitting all plant and equipment with energy efficient motors and drives.
- Solar panels on the Centre's rooftop supply energy to our community amenities and parents' rooms.
- Electrical and water metre tracking has influenced a reduction in retailer usage, as well as encouraging high-consuming retailers to invest in sustainable appliance alternatives such as waterless woks.
- Efficiently sorting all Centre waste to ensure that recyclable materials are actually recycled, preventing unnecessary landfill.
- Recycling the cooking oil from food retailers for reuse in products such as soaps, spay adjuvants and lubricants (almost 90% of MarketPlace Leichhardt's discarded oil is able to be reused).
- Purchasing 100% GreenPower since 2007.
- Implementing 'Green Leases' to regulate new and renewing retailers to purchase 100% GreenPower and ensure fitouts comply with best practice standards for recycling, lighting, power, water and waste management.
- Engaging and educating our community on new green ideas and 'at home' practices through our annual Enviro Expos.
- Rewarding shoppers for recycling by trading re-usable calico shopping bags for 10 plastic grocery bags (to be recycled).
Local Government Super believes its investments, like MarketPlace Leichhardt, should show a commitment to our community and the environment. Through investing in 'green buildings', renewable energy and alternative investments based on clean technology, Local Government Super is helping to offset the risk of its carbon footprint.