In a recent address to German businesses at an Austrade seminar in Munich, Sustainable Melbourne Fund Chief Executive Scott Bocskay spoke about the commercial opportunities in Melbourne’s green building market created by the environmental upgrade finance.
Mr Bocskay said that the availability of environmental upgrade agreements under the City of Melbourne’s 1200 Buildings program has resulted in mutual benefits for Melbourne building owners and German companies offering sustainable technologies.
He explained that environmental upgrade finance was a world-leading financial mechanism that overcame a key barrier - access to finance - to making energy efficiency improvements in commercial buildings.
According to Mr Bocskay, key factors including availability of finance, a new legislative amendment before the Victorian Government to broaden the scope of applicable buildings, expansion of the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target to include the business sector and full disclosure required under the Federal Government’s Commercial Buildings Disclosure program are enabling building owners in the municipality of Melbourne to capture the full value of energy efficiency.
Three Melbourne buildings have already undertaken retrofits with a total project value of $4.9 million using environmental upgrade finance.
The Munich seminar followed a presentation by Mr Bocskay on the finance mechanism last week at the Global Energy Basel summit in Switzerland, attended by more than 150 finance industry, government and business leaders from around the world.
The summit focused on financing sustainable urban infrastructure, particularly energy-efficient buildings and transportation as well as renewable energy supplies.
Mr Bocskay also presented on environmental upgrade finance at a meeting in London attended by the Better Buildings Partnership, Low Carbon Workplace, City of London, British Property Federation and the Urban Land Institute.
Mr Bocskay said that there was significant interest in the Victorian model, particularly from the United States and the United Kingdom with the mechanism further cementing Victoria’s position as a global leader in sustainable energy solutions and policies.
He added that Melbourne’s experience provided useful lessons for other cities as policymakers considered options for green economic transformation. The Melbourne approach is in fact helping other cities around the world to develop policy to mobilise finance and accelerate the transition to an energy efficient commercial building sector.
Mr Bocskay also showcased the significant opportunity in Melbourne, which is expected to attract foreign interest and direct investment, bringing new and innovative technologies to the city’s building owners.
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