The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) and Investa Office Management (Investa) have joined forces to push the boundaries of energy efficiency in commercial property, reinforced by Investa’s market-leading commitment to Science Based Targets.

CEFC Investment Funds lead Rory Lonergan said the CEFC is investing $110 million in equity as part of a $600 million capital raising for the $4.1 billion Investa Commercial Property Fund (ICPF).

“This CEFC commitment – our largest new commercial property commitment to date – will help Investa finance the development of the $900 million 33-storey energy efficient office tower at 60 Martin Place in Sydney. The building is being designed to achieve both a National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) rating of in excess of 5.5. stars, and a 6-Star Green Star rating,” Lonergan said.

“Importantly, through this transaction we will also establish a landmark co-operation agreement that will promote the increased uptake of energy efficiency design principles and technologies in the built environment.”

Investa is the first Australian property company to commit to a Science Based Target of net zero emissions by 2040, supported by a work plan of carbon reduction programs.

Lonergan said that Investa’s commitment to carbon reduction was a key factor in the CEFC’s agreement to work with Investa.

“The CEFC recognises the importance of setting these targets to support Australia’s transition to a clean energy economy, by accelerating the adoption of integrated energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies,” he said.

Investa general manager, corporate sustainability Nina James said: “Sustainability is embedded in every part of Investa’s business and building management operations. We have a clear mandate to constantly innovate, leveraging research and data to inform and deliver market-leading management practices and results.”

Even without technological breakthroughs, modelling by the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council indicates that cost effective energy efficiency and fuel switching can reduce Australia’s projected 2050 emissions from buildings by more than half – with potential savings of almost $20 billion by 2030.

Lonergan said that through the agreement an online resource developed with Investa will be made available to the wider property community. The resource will outline Investa’s approaches and the economics behind the development of energy efficiency in buildings.

“We see this agreement as being of immense value to the property sector generally, through its potential for collaboration with the early stage development of technology solutions,” he said.

Assets that operate at lower emissions levels are more competitive in a global economy, where evidence of sustainable practices is increasingly important.

“It’s where smart Australian operators will want to be. For the property sector, where assets often have long lifespans, practices and technologies that result in lower base building energy consumption provide ongoing cost benefits.”