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Green Guide to Government Policy

2. Leadership by example

Thu 5 Sep, 2013 Victoria

2.1 Greener Government Buildings Program

The Greener Government Buildings Program will upgrade government office buildings, schools, hospitals and other key government facilities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, energy costs and water use.

Victorian Government buildings achieved a 15% improvement in energy efficiency between 2000 and 2006, with an additional 5% efficiency improvement expected to be achieved by the end of 2011. The Government will now seek to improve energy efficiency by a further 20% across all government buildings and facilities including hospitals, schools and offices by 2018.

The Department of Treasury and Finance (DTF) is leading the program and works closely with other departments to establish projects and meet program outcomes. DTF has developed standard contracts and implementation guidelines to assist departments to run their projects successfully.

Greener Government Buildings projects will be delivered using a market based approach known as Energy Performance Contracting (EPC). This approach requires service providers to guarantee annual cost savings, which are used to repay the capital costs over the life of the investment.

The Government will invest $60 million in eight priority projects that are forecast to save over 130,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases and $7 million in operational costs each year. By 2018, sites accounting for 90% of the Government's total energy consumption will undertake Greener Government Buildings projects.

As of June 2011, 13 Greener Government Buildings projects were under implementation. Early results indicate the potential to deliver savings (energy, greenhouse gas and water) of over 30 per cent, with some as high as 60 per cent, whilst still delivering a cost-effective return on investment of at least 12 per cent (IRR).

Over the longer term, the Greener Government Buildings program is projected to reduce Government's greenhouse gas emissions by at least 20 per cent by 2020 and deliver over $1 billion in accumulated cost savings.

2.2 Government Office Accommodation Guidelines

The Victorian Government seeks to demonstrate leadership in the way it is building and operating its own buildings.

All new and renovated Government office accommodation must achieve minimum sustainability standards, as set out in the Victorian Government Office Accommodation Guidelines and Victorian Government Office Building Standards.The Guidelines specify eight key accommodation principles for selecting office accommodation, which are consistent with government and business expectations for quality, value and sustainability.

The following Green Star ratings apply to all new office accommodation built for Victorian government tenancies:

  • Green Star - Office Design 5 stars (Australian Excellence) for the base building;
  • Green Star - Office As Built 5 stars (Australian Best Practice) for the base building; and
  • Green Star - Office Interiors 5 stars (Australian Excellence) for the fit-out.

The following NABERS Energy ratings are required for government office accommodation:

  • 4.5 stars for base building of new office buildings built for government accommodation;
  • 4 stars for base building of existing office buildings; and
  • 5 stars for tenancies of new offices.

2.2 Environmental Procurement Policy

The Victorian Government's Environmental Procurement Policy provides guidance for government departments on how to embed environmental considerations into procurement decisions for goods and services.

The key principle in the policy is that government agencies must purchase goods and services that have reduced impacts on the environment compared with competing products and services that achieve the same function and value for money outcomes.

Last updated Wed 5 Oct 2011