The City of Sydney has committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 70% by 2030 (on 2006 levels) and reaching net zero emissions by 2050, as stated in its Sustainable Sydney 2030 strategy.

The Better Buildings Partnership (BBP) is a key initiative of Sustainable Sydney 2030. The BBP recognises that the buildings sector has an important role to play in reducing Sydney’s GHG emissions and is now focused on accelerating the net zero emissions agenda through various initiatives, including the development of guidelines and tools to inform building owners and tenants about the pathways that can be taken to achieve net zero buildings by 2050 or earlier.

In 2017, the BBP engaged Point Advisory to develop the Pathways to Net Zero Buildings Tool. This tool (which can be downloaded here) is designed to enable building owners to plan potential pathways to net zero emissions at both the asset and portfolio levels. These net zero pathways are a combination of energy efficiency, on-site and off-site renewables (including GreenPower and power purchase agreements) and carbon offsets.

In 2018, the BBP asked its members to implement the Pathways to Net Zero Buildings Tool to understand the potential pathways to net zero emissions for their buildings within the City of Sydney. Point Advisory was engaged to manage this implementation process and calculate the members’ aggregated pathway if net zero emissions were to be achieved in 2030.

Twelve out of thirteen BBP members implemented the tool as part of this project, comprising a total of 100 office buildings in the City of Sydney. The collected individual tools were aggregated and extrapolated into a combined pathway (a potential pathway rather than an optimal pathway) to net zero emissions for the whole of BBP’s City of Sydney portfolio.

Amongst other key insights, this pathway showed us that the members’ expected emissions reductions from energy efficiency, electrification and renewable energy (with no offsetting) would reduce the partnership’s emissions by 82% (on 2006 levels) by 2030, exceeding its target of reducing emissions by 70% by 2030, which is in line with the Sustainable Sydney 2030 goals.