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How turning off for Earth Hour sparked a new mindset
Corporate responsibility |Author Tom Treffry
23 March 2018

Since 2007, Earth Hour has grown from a lights-out night in Sydney into a global event – and it’s also served as a springboard for year-round energy saving in the workplace, including at AMP.   

by Tom Treffry 

AMP is again proudly joining the global movement to combat climate change by participating in Earth Hour 2018.

How is AMP contributing?

AMP has made our commitment to reducing our environmental impact clear and we reiterated this earlier this week in our Sustainability Report. We have been carbon neutral in our operations since 2013 – a year ahead of plan – and continue to reduce our carbon emission every year.  

"By 2021, we aim are aiming for a 40% reduction from our base year."

In 2017, we made a 5% year-on-year reduction of Scope 1 and 2 emissions (mostly office electricity usage) – recording a 33% reduction since 2013 (our base year). By 2021, we aim are aiming for a 40% reduction from our base year.

Central to our carbon-reduction success is our activity-based working model – an approach we started rolling out to AMP offices across Australia from 2013. By rethinking how we us our space and technology to deliver a flexible and efficient workplace, activity-based working has transformed our offices.

Our activity-based working model includes a suite of energy-efficient technologies, such as smart LED lighting systems with occupancy sensors and daylight harvesting, as well as more efficient equipment and appliances.  

We are also saving other resources. Our waste-management strategy includes e-waste streams and furniture recycling, and we have challenged our employees to rethink processes to reduce our paper use. This has led to a 60% reduction in purchased paper Australia-wide since 2013.

AMP is also continuing to build our virtual collaboration capability through upgrades to video conferencing and Skype for business, and we’re piloting new visual management technology to reduce reliance on travel.  

The results

Since the introduction of our activity-based working project, AMP has raised its NABERS (National Australian Built Environment Rating System) Energy Tenancy ratings of our buildings. The average weighted rate for AMP’s 10 largest Australian offices in 2017 now sits at 4.71 - up from 4.19 in 2014.   

Our flagship Circular Quay headquarters achieved a 5-star NABERS Energy Tenancy rating in 2017, rising from a 3.5-star rating prior to adopting the activity-based working model. On top of this, our new Adelaide office was awarded 2017 South Australian City Switch Signatory of the Year Award for sustainability excellence.

More on our approach to climate change and environmental management can be found in the AMP 2017 towards sustainability report, which was released this week.   

What is Earth Hour?

Between 8.30pm and 9.30pm on Saturday, AMP will join millions of people around the globe by switching off the lights in our offices and facilities.  

Earth Hour was famously started as a lights-off event in Sydney back in 2007. It has since become a worldwide phenomenon, with 172 countries and territories worldwide joining together in darkness to demonstrate their commitment to a more sustainable future.

Earth Hour has also evolved into something much more than a symbolic action. It’s is a continuous movement, driving real actions - big and small - that are helping to change the world we live in.

Tom Treffry is Senior Workplace Sustainability Manager at AMP.