Driving sustainability in the workplace at RAC’s head office


About RAC WA
As the state’s leading member organisation, with more than 750,000 members, the Royal Automobile Club of WA (RAC) takes its environmental responsibilities seriously. Alongside safety and accessibility, sustainability is one of the organisation’s core principles. As well as helping to reduce its members’ impact on the environment with initiatives like the Less Emissions Mission, the RAC is also committed to leading by example by improving sustainability in the workplace at its head office.

RAC Head OfficeHead Office
Completed in 2005, and developed following environmentally sustainable design principles, the RAC’s head office was recently awarded a 4.5 star NABERS rating (base building and whole building). This represents a better than average showing based on more than 100 office buildings in Perth with published NABERS ratings and better than the designed rating of the building. Not resting on its laurels, the RAC recognised there’s more to operating an efficient building, and providing a great workplace, than a star rating.

Identifying opportunities to improve sustainability in the workplace

Regina Flugge, Senior Manager Environmental Sustainability at the RAC, said, “About two years ago, we undertook a resource efficiency audit to see where the opportunities were to improve the efficiency of our infrastructure and prioritise projects accordingly. One of the projects was to use building data more effectively to better understand the sources of our emissions and how to control them.”

Regina added, “We could also see the opportunity to use this data to build awareness internally and create cultural change among the more than 700 staff that use the head office building every day.”

Implementing Greensense View® and Greensense Posterboard®

The RAC selected Greensense View® energy monitoring system to help identify opportunities for infrastructure enhancements and Greensense Posterboard® to communicate sustainability performance in real-time to staff and customers.

Collecting & Analysing Data
There was an existing network of more than 30 meters feeding data into a Johnson Controls Metasys building management system — so the challenge was to leverage what was already available and present this information in a simple, actionable and relevant way for the building users. Greensense View® provided the RAC’s sustainability and facilities management staff, and their ESD consulting engineers, with web-based access to online reporting and the ability to download and analyse historical meter data.

Regina said, “We invested in Greensense View® for real-time monitoring and the ability to fully interrogate the data relating to our facilities – from this, we were able to identify opportunities for efficiencies. The next stage was to engage employees in the process.”

Dashboard Displays with Greensense Posterboard®
To communicate the RAC’s real-time sustainability performance to staff and other stakeholders, the RAC’s Greensense Posterboard® solution is displayed on the organisation’s intranet and on large format screens in the staff café and retail areas.

Engaging employees in sustainability programs

Energy saving competition
Run over five weeks, the RAC ran an energy saving competition between its five floors at head office. An internal communications campaign – including tips for reducing energy and weekly prizes for winners – helped build engagement and awareness around how employees’ everyday choices impact sustainability in the workplace.

Regina said, “Over the duration of the competition, we could see the behaviour change. Awareness had been raised and employees were actively looking for information on how to improve energy efficiency. Greensense View provided the platform we needed to educate staff and show the comparative floor-vs-floor results.”

Take the Stairs
As part of the Global Corporation Challenge the RAC’s Environmental Sustainability team collaborated with the Health and Wellness team to encourage staff to use the stairs instead of lifts on a Friday – reducing energy consumption and improving employee wellness. To support this, Greensense installed traffic-tracking sensors in stairwells and displayed the data on the RAC’s Greensense Posterboard® display for everyone to see.

Winner of national energy efficiency award
Initiatives such as these saw the RAC win the 2012 National CitySwitch Signatory of the year award for office energy efficiency by a tenant.

RacGreenTip21City of Perth Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi praised the RAC for winning Australia’s flagship tenant energy efficiency program by saying, “RACWA are an inspiration and fine example of how companies can significantly reduce their carbon emissions and become more energy efficient, through a combination of smart investment in technology and actively engaging with their employees.”

Regina added, “The Lord Mayor’s reference to smart technology investment directly refers to the Greensense energy monitoring system, which has underpinned our programs. Throughout our projects, the Greensense team have been a delight to work with – very flexible and encouraging, just fabulous.”

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