Media Release: SAF’s Better Building Finance service recognised for outstanding achievements in 2018

The Sustainable Australia Fund’s Better Building Finance service has been announced as a finalist in the 2019 Victorian Premier’s Sustainability Awards (Innovative Products or Services category), and the National Economic Development Awards for Excellence (Partnerships category).

Better Building Finance informs local councils about the opportunity for increased economic, employment and environmental outcomes afforded by Environmental Upgrade Finance (EUF).

The program then helps manage EUF within councils, supporting both their sustainability objectives and helping local businesses access the affordable capital they need to become low carbon.

In 2018 the initiative facilitated the financing of 26 environmental upgrade projects at an investment of $10.5 million, generating 2.4MW of solar power, which will lead to the abatement of 178k tonnes of emissions over the life of the projects.

Shay Singh, the Executive Manager of Better Building Finance, said that this recognition comes after years of hard work:

“It’s fantastic to see the amazing economic and environmental outcomes in 2018, after the very first Environmental Upgrade Finance project was completed in the City of Melbourne in 2010. This finance offers a win for all parties – huge savings on energy bills for business, economic development and sustainable buildings for councils, and better building and workplaces for the community.

“Better Building Finance is proud to work with 34 Victorian councils to help them offer better finance to businesses in their municipality.”

Premier’s Sustainability Awards

The Premier’s Sustainability Awards is one of Victoria’s major sustainability programs, celebrating people working to reduce the impact of climate change and to create a better future for us all.

The interim CEO of Sustainability Victoria, Carl Muller, congratulated finalists for their innovative work, building a more sustainable environment for current and future generations.

Delivering these Awards means we continue to discover and celebrate the talent and enthusiasm Victorians have for thinking creatively about new models of sustainability,” he said.

The Awards, now in their 17th year, acknowledge leadership, innovation and achievement. Each finalist is commended for improving sustainable outcomes across business, government, education, health and within the community.

Winners will be announced at the Awards ceremony on Thursday 10 October at Forum Melbourne.

National Economic Development Awards for Excellence

Economic Development Australia is the peak national body for economic development practitioners. The National Economic Development Awards for Excellence includes 12 categories which honour organisations and individuals for their efforts in driving economic growth, facilitating powerful partnerships, implementing innovative solutions to challenges and improving local communities.

Better Building Finance was recognised for its outstanding achievements through highly effective and productive partnerships, including with the 34 councils who have signed BBF to be the third party administrator of their Environmental Upgrade Finance programs; with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) who have funded BBF to expand this finance across Victoria

“We had a record number of entries this year so to be named a finalist amongst such fierce competition is a considerable achievement,” said Jacqueline Brinkman, EDA Chief Executive Officer.

“The National Economic Development Awards for Excellence are a wonderful opportunity to recognise those teams and individuals around Australia implementing innovative tactics to drive economic prosperity within their communities,” said Ms Brinkman.

Winners in the 2019 Awards will be announced at the gala ceremony during the National Economic Development Conference on 24 October 2019.

Background

Sustainable Australia Fund is Australia’s leading provider of Environmental Upgrade Finance – loans for building upgrades, repaid through council rates. Originally established by the City of Melbourne in 2002, in 2019 the Fund was significantly recapitalised and scaled, through a partnership with Bank Australia, to drive environmental upgrades across Australia.

The Better Building Finance (BBF) program was established to work with all Victorian Councils to adopt the EUF program and administer it with them. In early 2018 the BBF website was launched, to inform the public of what EUF is, how they can benefit businesses and councils, which municipalities are part of the program, how much business owners can save compared to regular finance, and how to begin an application.

BBF works between councils, lenders and businesses to demonstrate the value of EUF and grow the marketplace in Victoria. As an open market platform, BBF can support projects funded by all lenders participating on the program.

Media enquiries

Sustainable Australia Fund: Charlie Syme, 0438 723 099

Premier’s Sustainability Awards: Cath Newell, 0423 587 478

Economic Development Australia: Jacqueline Brinkman, 0419 130 699