Publicly listed property developer Mirvac has become the latest Australian signatory of RE100 in a year which has seen the global corporate clean energy initiative grow at an unprecedented pace. On the back of its earlier carbon neutrality commitment, the company has pledged to power its buildings solely by renewable electricity before 2030.
The developer has joined a growing pool of Australian businesses to sign up to RE100, which has been dominated by the banking sector. The list currently includes all big Australian banks: ANZ, Bank Australia, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Macquarie Group, NAB, Westpack, as well as QBE Insurance Group and tech company Atlassian.
For Mirvac, joining RE100 is a way to reinforce its commitment to being “a force for good” and reduce its impact on the planet. “As a leading Australian property group, we know that we can have a significant and meaningful impact by eliminating our carbon emissions and transitioning to all-electric buildings that run on 100 per cent renewable energy, and we intend to do this before 2030,” Mirvac’s Group General Manager, Sustainability and Reputation, Sarah Clarke, said.
The Group says it has already reduced its carbon intensity by 26% and made a major step in June when it released its Planet Positive, defining its pathway to net positive carbon by 2030. In some of its previous initiatives, Mirvac announced a $90 million partnership with the Clean Energy Finance Corporation to provide solar and storage systems across 300 free-standing homes.
The home builder has also partnered with Melbourne-based startup Allume Energy to deploy Allume’s solar sharing technology nationally and allow its commercial and residential apartment tenants to consume solar installed on multi-tenant buildings. Meanwhile, in the Melbourne suburb of Altona North, Mirvac is building a net-zero energy community of townhouses with the financial support of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to the tune of $784,000.
“Mirvac recognises that renewable electricity can help to lower costs, reduce risk and contribute to a cleaner future. It’s a win/win for both business and the environment,” said Jon Dee, the Australian Coordinator for RE100, adding that the group is helping to lead the way in the Australian property sector.
“We’re confident that Mirvac will help to inspire even more Australian companies to step up and make the switch to 100 per cent renewable electricity, sending a bold market signal that business wants access to clean and affordable energy, and fast,” Global Head of RE100, Sam Kimmins, said.
Indeed, this year businesses were more eager than ever to make bold clean energy promises. In its annual report released this week, the Climate Group announced that RE100 experienced a banner year in 2019, growing by over a third, with 40% of that growth coming from Asia and the South Pacific. One in three RE100 members are now more than 75% renewably powered and more than 30 have reached their 100% goals, roughly 14% of member companies, according to the report.