Barangaroo is a 22-hectare urban renewal project on the western waterfront of Sydney’s CBD. The $6+ billion development aims to transform Sydney’s harbour docklands into a 'sprawling public, residential and commercial precinct’.
Infrastructure NSW was established in July 2011 to assist the NSW Government in identifying and prioritising the delivery of critical public infrastructure for NSW. Infrastructure NSW is the NSW Government agency responsible for the development of Barangaroo and management of its public spaces.
Lendlease is a leading international property and infrastructure group with operations in Australia, Asia, Europe and the Americas. Their vision is to create the best places; places that inspire and enrich the lives of people around the world.
“The certification also demonstrates that carbon abatement and carbon neutrality is possible in large scale urban renewal projects.”
Type of certification
How long have you been certified carbon neutral?
Certification by Climate Active was first achieved in December 2019. This certification covers all excess operational greenhouse gas emissions generated since the commencement of the first lease at Barangaroo on 23 June 2015.
Why are you carbon neutral?
The NSW Government and Lendlease have been working together since 2009 to deliver on a longstanding shared commitment for Barangaroo to be a Climate Positive Development. This commitment is embedded in the contract between both parties, and involves initiatives to being carbon neutral, water positive, towards zero waste in operation, and providing community wellbeing now and in the long term.
The key to achieving this milestone has been the partnership between the NSW Government and Lendlease, and is a result that could not have been achieved without the tenant and investor customers of Barangaroo, who from day one, have shared the sustainability vision and ambition.
The process for achieving carbon neutrality at Barangaroo has spanned 10 years and can be broadly articulated in three key steps:
- Avoid: Designing out Carbon through delivering the most energy efficient buildings and reducing carbon content in the top 20 materials on site.
- Reduce: Providing onsite renewable energy and sustainable water management to reduce carbon emissions.
- Mitigate: Purchasing offsets to address the remaining carbon greenhouse gas emissions.
The final process of procuring offsets, and securing the appropriate regulatory certification, ensures that the completed areas of the Barangaroo South precinct achieve carbon neutrality.
What are the benefits of your carbon neutral certification?
Carbon neutrality marks the point in delivery where the bold ambitions and commitments of the NSW Government and Lendlease have moved from intent to outcomes. Certification provides a robust third party verification that the project aims and commitments have been delivered, and validates the efforts of the numerous individuals and organisations who have all contributed to this significant milestone over the last 10 years.
This achievement is important to those who have chosen to invest in Barangaroo, to move their businesses to the precinct, and is an example of how the public and private sector can successfully partner with each other to take action on climate change. The certification also demonstrates that carbon abatement and carbon neutrality is possible in large scale urban renewal projects. Carbon neutrality at Barangaroo South can now be considered a model for other urban renewal projects across Australia.
What offset projects do you support?
To date we have supported Renewable Energy generation in NSW and various local regeneration projects, most of which are based in NSW.
Why did you choose these projects?
The carbon offset projects we have invested in avoids carbon emissions caused by land clearing, improves biodiversity, helps with water conservation, provides revenue for farmers and creates employment for indigenous communities.
Indigenous ‘cool fire’ projects reduce fuel on the ground, preventing hotter, uncontrolled wildfires late in the season. Reinstating traditional burning practices has demonstrated significant reduction in carbon emissions along with highly valued social, cultural, environmental and economic benefits for Indigenous landowners.
Working with landholders to regenerate and protect native vegetation establishes vital habitat and food sources for native wildlife. By erecting fencing and actively managing invasive species, the projects avoid emissions caused by clearing and achieve key environmental and biodiversity benefits as well as helping to improve soil and address water table issues.
How can the community support you?
Come and visit Barangaroo and see carbon neutrality in action.
What else are you doing to reduce emissions?
Lendlease and the NSW Government have been working collaboratively under the contractual framework of the development agreements, and the various agreements Lendlease has with its building tenants, to ensure the delivery of the climate positive and carbon neutral commitments.
Barangaroo is doing its bit for the climate and taking responsibility for its emissions. The first stage of the development of Barangaroo South is substantially complete, with buildings designed and significant infrastructure already delivered that contributes to meeting climate positive targets, carbon neutrality and achieving world class benchmarks in energy efficiency and sustainability. Some key initiatives include:
- On-site renewable energy in the form of photovoltaics has been maximised, with around 6,000 square metres of solar panels installed on roofs of all buildings to date. The energy generated by these solar panels equates to the energy needed to power the public domain lighting of Barangaroo South and recycled water treatment plant in the basement.
- Cost effective and energy efficient air conditioning is delivered to all the buildings in Barangaroo South through a District Cooling Plant, which uses Sydney Harbour water for heat rejection. This saves on energy consumption by operating one centralised cooling system rather than separate systems for each building. This systems saves approximately 1m L per day.
- International Towers Sydney, the three commercial towers at Barangaroo, have achieved the highest level of green building certification from the Green Building Council of Australia.
- All residential and commercial tenants in Barangaroo have to follow an extensive recycling system which aims to divert 80% of operational waste from landfill with 20 different waste streams.
- More than 50% of Barangaroo (excluding roads, laneways and footpaths) will be dedicated public space.
- Barangaroo is connected to transport to the city and other parts of Sydney via the new Barangaroo Wharf, Wynyard Walk tunnel and two new pedestrian bridges over Hickson Road, and will be a feature on the new Chatswood to Bankstown Metro line, making it easily accessible by public transport, walking and cycling.
- There are 75,000 trees and shrubs planted at Barangaroo Reserve and 84 native species. The shoreline of the Reserve has been recreated using around 10,000 sandstone blocks excavated from the site, contributing to achieving a 97% reduction in waste to landfill during construction.
Sustainability and climate positive commitments are embedded in all Project Development Agreements with the developers of Barangaroo, including Lendlease, Crown and the Central Consortium. The commitment to being climate positive and carbon neutral applies across the whole precinct and for the life of the Developers’ lease on the land.
What has been the impact of your action?
The key on-site initiative has been a collaborative working relationship between the NSW Government and Lendlease, and other stakeholders to achieve a 75% reduction in building energy demand through efficient building design and efficient infrastructure provision.
What advice would you give to a business considering certification?
It is important to first consider how you can avoid and reduce emissions prior to offsetting. The types of projects chosen was very important, with a focus on maximising procurement of NSW-based renewable energy and Australian offset units to ensure our investment had a meaningful impact on local businesses and communities.
Businesses should also consider the importance of partnerships that facilitate funding, and cross-industry collaboration to promote, support and elevate the journey towards carbon neutrality. As the Climate Active standard is increasingly recognised, there is great potential to increase knowledge sharing across the industry and to promote carbon neutrality to become business-as-usual.