Why it’s so important
The property industry relies heavily on natural resources to construct and manage buildings. These resources are finite and precious, and it’s increasingly clear that we need to find more sustainable solutions.
Water is a particular concern. It’s been ranked as the world’s number one social risk, and according to a recent World Resources Industry report, Australia is one of the most water-stressed nations.
Climate change is altering the distribution of water on earth. As global temperatures rise and rainfall becomes less reliable, there may be less freshwater available in the future which will make it harder to manage supply and keep it safe to use.
Mirvac is a significant user of water with over 900 Megalitres (ML), or 360 Olympic sized swimming pools, consumed in FY20 across our office and retail portfolios and an additional 830ML, or 332 Olympic sized swimming pools at our development sites.
In 2014, in an industry first, Mirvac announced its commitment to be net positive in water by 2030. This was and remains a leadership position.
We also have significant opportunities to consider waste within the circular economy, and to protect, enhance, and restore biodiversity, a key part of the world’s natural capital.
How we’re positioned to drive change
Mirvac’s integrated business model gives us great scope to make positive choices at all stages of the development process, from design and construction all the way through to completion. We’re in a position to use natural resources in increasingly efficient ways – whether it’s by driving innovations in water use, or integrating pockets of nature into the built environment. After all, we are often responsible to decide which resources are used in construction, and also how buildings we manage are used for many decades.
Our progress to dateWATER
Having successfully reached our net positive carbon milestone nine years early, we have now released our latest environmental plan – Planet Positive Water – which sets out how we will reduce and reuse water, as well as influence consumption behaviour, to achieve a net positive water target well ahead of our initial 2030 target.
This plan is a core component of Mirvac’s environmental framework for the company’s sustainability strategy, This Changes Everything and is focused on three areas:
1. Efficiency – improving water efficiency at our assets (where we have operational control), using the recognised National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERs)Water ratings.
2. Offsets – using captured and recycled water at our masterplanned communities’ projects where drinking water can be replaced (for example, toilet flushing and irrigation) to offset drinking water demand.
3. Influence – leveraging our materials and electricity procurement volumes and choices to influence/achieve water savings.
We’ve already released our plan to send ZERO WASTE TO LANDFILL by 2030 which sees Mirvac embrace principles of the circular economy. Our plan sees us take a holistic approach to reducing the waste we generate through smart design, embracing new technologies, and including our suppliers as key partners in this goal. Our net positive water plan is due to be released this year.
In terms of waste, we’ve raised our construction recycling rates to 96 per cent, and we’re recycling 69 per cent of all waste in our office and industrial and retail operations. We’re working with social enterprise Mates on The Move to recycle coffee cups and paper towels, diverting waste from landfill and providing employment for former prison inmates at the same time. We‘re also continuing to invest in creating better and more sustainable buildings, which means our tenants and customers can use fewer natural resources too.
Latest Sustainability News
Mirvac has successfully piloted a waste reduction project resulting in approximately 900 cubic metres of furniture and fit-out materials diverting fro...
Mirvac acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Owners of the lands and waters of Australia, and we offer our respect to their Elders past and present.
Artwork: ‘Reimagining Country’, created by Riki Salam (Mualgal, Kaurareg, Kuku Yalanji) of We are 27 Creative.