South Bank Corporation is continually working to develop, implement and maintain exceptional sustainability initiatives and practices at South Bank.
One of our main achievements to date is our participation in EarthCheck, an international certification program for the travel and tourism industries. In 2012 we became the first community in Australia and one of only four communities in the world to achieve their Silver Certification Status for our exceptional sustainability practices.
We have also been awarded T-Qual Accreditation from Tourism Australia in recognition of our quality sustainable tourism practices. More information about these practices is below.
To achieve our Silver Certification Status from EarthCheck, South Bank’s sustainability practices were measured and benchmarked against more than 1000 other communities, businesses and governments from 70 countries across the world. The audit found that our water savings rating, cleaning products rating, pesticide products rating and provision of green spaces all exceed best practice levels, while our energy consumption, potable water consumption and green house gas emissions levels are all close to exceeding best practice levels. Our waste recycling and disposal methods were rated as above the baseline level.
The Corporation’s most exciting water achievement to date has been the installation of Rain Bank, our innovative stormwater harvesting and reuse centre. Rain Bank was built in 2011 and can recycle up to 77 megalitres of stormwater each year - that’s enough to provide 85 per cent of the Parkland’s irrigation and non-potable water requirements. Rain Bank has been an exemplar project in the water industry and has received a range of prestigious awards including the Premier's Sustainability Award in 2012, and the Healthy Waterways Awards Water Sensitive Urban Design Award in 2011.
South Bank also has a dedicated Water Efficiency Management Plan, which has been the driving force behind the following water-saving initiatives:
Since introducing these measures, water consumption in the Parklands has reduced by 65 per cent. The Corporation has also started using a scrubber machine instead of a hose to clean South Bank’s café area, saving 50,000 litres of water per week.
The Corporation is constantly working to reduce the amount of waste we produce and its impact on the environment. Some of the measures we have in place to manage waste sustainably include:
South Bank’s sustainable energy management initiatives include using air-conditioning timers in our offices to reduce energy use, installing energy-saving fluorescent and LED lights throughout the precinct, and using a heat exchange system at Rain Bank to cool the treatment plant without electricity.
South Bank’s lush, green landscape has been cleverly designed with sustainability in mind. For example, the new gardens at River Quay were made using locally sourced stones and recycled timbers, and most plants in the precinct are native to Queensland, which means that they thrive in the local climate and are drought resistant, requiring minimal watering to maintain.
The Corporation uses the Green Star system to guide sustainable development in the precinct- recent developments such as the ABC building and the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre Expansion have both received a five star rating.
Some of our other new developments were not eligible to be rated under the Green Star system, but they also feature state of the art, environmentally friendly designs. Rain Bank was built with mostly recycled materials, and River Quay’s fit-out included recycled building materials, glazing selection to minimise heat loads, water efficient fittings such as a rain tank and bi-fold doors to maximise natural ventilation.
With over 10 million visitors coming to the precinct each year, South Bank is truly one of the world’s great community spaces. Our dedicated Community Sustainability Strategy is available for download on the right hand side of this page and outlines how we are working with the community to promote sustainable living.
In addition to this strategy, we have several other community-minded sustainability initiatives in place such as CityCycle stations, bike racks and walking and cycling tracks in the Parklands to encourage active transport, a viewing deck and educational animations at Rain Bank to teach the community about water recycling, and Regional Flavours, an annual, free community event that educates Brisbane locals about regional produce and sustainable living.
The Corporation manages over 70 retail and hospitality tenants at South Bank. As part of our commitment to sustainability, we are always actively educating them about sustainable practices and how their businesses can be more efficient in this regard.
For example, all new leases issued by the Corporation have substantial green obligations including strict requirements for energy, water and waste use at South Bank, and we’ve also issued all tenants with a Sustainable Tenancy Guide - a specially designed document that outlines case studies and easy ways for them to be more sustainable.
We also participate in the Green Table scheme, which is run by the Restaurant and Catering Association of Australia and aims to improve the environmental and economic performance of food retailers by improving energy, water and waste efficiency.
The Corporation also promotes sustainability on an internal level. We have a dedicated Green Team that is made up of representatives from across the organisation, and who meet regularly to discuss new ideas and initiatives for improving sustainability efforts among staff.
Some of the Green Team’s achievements so far have included introducing recycled office paper and toilet tissue to staff offices and organising staff participation in sustainability events like Clean Up Australia Day and a Recycled Fashion Morning Tea.
For more information please contact our Coordinator, Communications.