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‘Greener’ buildings the key to city’s prosperity

17 October 2006

‘Greener’ buildings the key to city’s prosperity

Wellington’s successes in the annual government awards for environmentally friendly buildings signpost a wonderful opportunity for the city, The Wellington Company managing director, Ian Cassels, said today.

“Sustainability is the key to our city’s future,” Mr Cassels said.

“By regenerating and ‘greening’ our city buildings we are not only offering safer, healthier, more efficient and more enjoyable workplaces for our people. We are also better able to market ourselves as a great place to come and live and do business.”

Two of The Wellington Company’s buildings are winners in the second round of Govt3 awards, which encourage government agencies to opt for more sustainable buildings and practices, such as energy efficiency and waste reduction programmes.

The ‘3’ in the programme’s name stands for the three pillars of sustainability: environmental, social and economic.

Mr Cassels congratulated the Department of Conservation and the Ministry of Fisheries, who lease properties from The Wellington Company, for featuring in the 2006 awards, announced last week by Environment Minister David Benson-Pope.

The Department of Conservation’s is soon to occupy new premises in the former Hoyts movie complex in Manners St. These won it the Sustainable Buildings Award.

The Ministry of Fisheries, based in ASB House, The Terrace, was a joint winner of the Leadership Award, which recognises agencies which implement a number of the programme’s sustainability objectives.

Mr Cassels said the commitment of state agencies to more environmentally sustainable buildings in the CBD would enable the government and the city to be partners in ensuring green practices were part of Wellington’s future.

“Wellington is a brilliant, compact city with vibrancy and character. We have to build on what we’ve got, not put it at risk through neglect and ill-considered developments.

“By committing to green buildings and a green city, we make ourselves a more attractive proposition for companies - from Australia as well as elsewhere in New Zealand - that are looking to relocate.

“In a world that is becoming increasingly concerned about the impact that human activity is having on the environment, a focus on “greening” existing buildings will be a great advertisement for our city.

“It gives the best small city in the world, a city they say is impossible to spoil, yet another point of difference from our rivals.

“I am thrilled that government departments are showing leadership and making their CBD buildings, and their practices, more environmentally friendly.

“It means that we save taxpayers’ money, we use less energy, we produce less waste, we protect our health, and that benefits us as a country.

“Wellington has a huge amount of redevelopable central city office space and the city needs to take its lead from DOC and the Ministry of Fisheries and get into sustainable regeneration mode, rather than opt for erecting office blocks in comparatively remote sites outside of the CBD,” Mr Cassels said.

ENDS

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