Michael O'Brien, Managing Director QIC Global Real Estate:
This year, I am immensely pleased to have announced a commitment to achieving net zero carbon emissions for our core Australian retail assets by 2028.
This ambitious target, which makes QICGRE the first Australian signatory to the World Green Building Council’s Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment for a retail portfolio, is a demonstration of our strategy and philosophy in action – a recognition that environmental performance is critical to the sustainability and long-term performance of our assets, and also to our investors, retail partners and the communities in which we operate.
In a year where disruption has become the new normal, I have been extremely proud of the team’s uninterrupted focus on delivering not only the range of carbon-reduction projects under this target, including LED lighting, automated operations monitoring, and rollout of one of Australia’s largest rooftop solar projects, but also to our ongoing commitment to initiatives which support the social issues which are important to our communities.
As central hubs for their local communities, our centres have played an integral role in navigating the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic as they played out across Australia, remaining open throughout to provide ongoing access to critical goods and services. For QICGRE, our focus has been on active management with an agile, consultative approach, ensuring the safety and wellbeing of the customers, retailers, tenants and staff at our retail and commercial assets remains our overriding priority.
We have worked very closely with our retail partners since the outbreak of the pandemic, developing new technology to provide information and support tailored to their specific needs, as well as hosting a series of interactive online workshops for retailers in our Victorian shopping centres to provide practical information and advice on business planning, finance, and managing health and wellbeing.
Supporting our communities has also been integral to our approach, ranging from hosting drive-through COVID-19 testing sites, to our ‘A Little Thanks Goes a Long Way’ initiative which takes opportunities to bring joy to those affected by COVID-19 and show their appreciation for essential workers who have continued to provide important services for the community throughout lockdowns.
Importantly, we have also maintained delivery of our other socially-focused programs, ranging from the support that QICGRE staff and centres provided during the devastating bushfires of early 2020, to the significant social initiatives we deliver through our assets for their local communities including Castle Towers’ Women’s Shelter ‘The Sanctuary’, Robina Town Centre’s ‘Collective Minds’ mental health collaboration, and Eastland’s ‘Winter Shelter’ homeless support services.
My team and I are pleased to present our 2020 ESG Report.