The firm was this week awarded honours for office energy efficiency, after making major reductions in energy use in its Sydney office through technology-based improvements.
NORTON Rose Australia won the CitySwitch NSW Signatory of the Year Award, for offices over 2,000 square metres. The firm reduced carbon pollution and energy bills, while sustaining a 4 star NABERS energy efficiency rating.
The award was announced at the CitySwitch Progress Report briefing at Town Hall, by Sydney Lord Mayor, Clover Moore MP.
The firm’s Grosvenor Place tenancy in Sydney accommodates approximately 400 staff over 8,900 square metres and five levels.
Norton Rose made the energy savings through the installation of sensor and zoned lighting, improvements to desktop computer power controls and increased virtualisation of computer server hardware. Hardware virtualisation allows multipleoperating systems to simultaneously share processor resources saving energy and improving processing speed.
As part of raising staff awareness, the firm made available an in-house sustainability guide that provides direction in procurement, energy efficiency in the office and at home, car pooling and riding a bike to work.
At 135 on King, with property managers Knight Frank which shares the award with the law firm, energy reductions were made with time controls and lighting upgrades, reducing personal computer sleep modes from 20 minutes to five minutes and fitting the kitchen sink hot water unit and chilled water bubbler with timers to halve operating time.
As part of a staff awareness campaign, the tenancy used CitySwitch Power-Mates (digital power meters) to demonstrate that energy savings of 10 per cent could be made by turning off CCTV monitors, desktop monitors and computers when not in use.
The CitySwitch program began in Sydney in 2005 and was launched nationally in June 2008. It operates in every mainland State and the ACT. The program covers 330 signatories and 371 tenancies, occupying more than 1.6 million square metres of office space.
Tim Shacklock, chief operating officer, Norton Rose Australia, said the firm is pleased to be recognised for its work. "We’ve worked hard to reduce our carbon footprint and have been able to achieve real progress by committing to energy targets.”