The Better Buildings Partnership (BBP) program, a collaboration between Sydney's commercial landlords and the City of Sydney, was named ‘Innovator of the Year’ at the 2014 Banksia Awards for environmental leadership and innovation.

As part of the program, the City of Sydney works with owners of more than half the commercial office space in the city centre on climate-related initiatives. Members of the BBP program had already reduced their emissions by 31 per cent since 2005 and slashed their energy bills by more than $25 million.

Members of the partnership include AMP Capital, Brookfield, Charter Hall, DEXUS Property Group, Frasers Property, The GPT Group, Investa Property Group, Lend Lease, Mirvac, Stockland, The University of SYdney, University of Technology Sydney, Colliers International, Savills, CBRE, JLL, Knight Frank, Green Building Council of Australia, Property Council of Australia, NSW Office of Environment and Heritage.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore explains that it’s important for governments and businesses to work together to reduce their environmental impact, given that over half of Sydney’s greenhouse gas emissions come from commercial buildings. The Better Buildings Partnership is a great example of how this objective can be achieved in a way that saves businesses money.

The Banksia Awards, which have been running for 26 years, recognise leading organisations from across Australia that make a positive difference to the environment for a more sustainable future. The 2014 Banksia Award recognised BBP’s work encouraging building owners to include energy efficiency and other sustainability measures in tenancy agreements.

“The project has thus far led to over 100 senior industry stakeholders directly involved in the co-creation of model lease clauses, factsheets on choosing and specifying better buildings and future works on communicating the value of better leasing frameworks to tenants in situ,” reads a statement from Banksia.

“The work thus far has engaged over 30,000 in Australia's property sector and is planting the seed for embedding green leasing as standard practice in years to come.”

The BBP has developed a range of tools and resources to help building owners prepare green leases so commercial owners and tenants can work together to reduce environmental impact. Research by the BBP indicates a significant increase in the number of green leases in the Sydney city centre since the program began.