Behaviour change

Human-powered businesses are driven by their corporate culture. If you align your staff around your sustainability vision and empower them to take action, they can become a positive force for change inside your business. Staff engagement can include some behaviour changes, that can quickly make a measurable difference to sustainability metrics like energy, water and waste reductions. The rewards are both financial and cultural. Some ways to work on new behaviours include campaigns, competitions and green champions - all can make a difference and be tailored to the unique values and culture of the workplace.

Key elements

  • Overview sustainable workplace behaviours

    Creating a corporate culture where staff feel empowered to take action is an essential part of any sustainability strategy. Engaging staff can take many forms. The term 'behaviour change' refers to all the workplace sustainability measures that rely on staff changing their habits, from switching off to recycling right.


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  • Green office champions, campaigns & competitions

    Green champions, switch-off campaigns and competitions are all ways to encourage green behaviour at work. They are all opportunities to communicate corporate values and create positive social outcomes.


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  • Introduction to vertical communities

    A vertical community is formed when a whole commercial building, with different tenants on different floors, work together to achieve common sustainability goals that improve the occupants’ overall experience of the building.


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  • Staff Engagement training webinars

    Two training webinars designed for CitySwitch signatories to help improve your understanding of the key influences of human behaviour and provide you with practical tips for implementing successful staff engagement programs are now available to view.



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Related resources

  • CitySwitch Energy Audit Toolkits

    This Energy Audit Toolkit set has been developed to assist non-technical or semi-technical energy managers in small to medium organisations identify actions to improve energy efficiency through the use of a simple but detailed audit checklist and develop plans for implementing energy efficiency actions.


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  • Toolkit: Fostering vertical communities

    This CitySwitch toolkit shows how to set up a vertical community in commercial building, where tenants work together on shared sustainability goals. The kit includes step-by-step advice, plus a template agreement between parties, meeting agendas and KPIs.


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  • Toolkit: Running workplace competitions

    Competitions can be a low-cost way to achieve measurable sustainability gains at work. CitySwitch has compiled a step-by-step guide to rolling out a sustainability competition in your organisation.


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  • Toolkit: Running a workplace 'switch-off' campaign

    CitySwitch has developed this toolkit to provide a simple set of steps to an effective campaign to get everyone to switch off equipment and appliances in the office when not in use.


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  • Toolkit: Fostering green champions at work

    This toolkit has been developed by CitySwitch to provide detailed advice, tips and guidance on setting up a champions network to enable your behaviour change initiatives.


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  • Computer Audit Tool

    A simple Computer Energy Management tool, developed by CitySwitch. Click to download a Microsoft Office Excel spreadsheet that makes it easy to calculate the greenhouse and financial impact of computers left on overnight.


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  • Ten ways to be a green champion

    Green Champions help enable behaviour change for energy efficiency across the organisation. This top ten list of actions for staff was created by City of Sydney.


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Case studies

  • Case Study: Psaros

    Case Study: Psaros
    Psaros is the first mid-tier property developer in Western Australia to operate a carbon neutral head office. The tenancy consumes less than 50 per cent of the energy used by a typical 2.5 star NABERS Energy-rated tenancy and due to their Carbon Neutral certification, they have off set a total of 221 tonnes of CO2-e over two years.



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  • Case study: Exergy

    Case study: Exergy
    Exergy are the first CitySwitch signatory to achieve a 6 Star NABERS rating without Green Power. Exergy  focussed on getting the simple things right, including laptops for staff and greater use of the cloud, zoned lighting and occupancy sensors, and energy monitoring that sends an alert when usage is higher than usual.


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  • Case Study: ACORPP

    Case Study: ACORPP
    ACORPP involved staff in selecting a new office and save over a thousand dollars a year in electricity by choosing a space with  natural light, providing laptops, and timers on boardroom air conditioning. ACORPP also chose furniture and fitout materials for certified low environmental impact, recycled content and recyclability.


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  • Case Study: Viridis

    Case Study: Viridis
    Viridis, a small design agency closely involved their team in choosing a new office to match their sustainability principles, and closely monitored electricity loads. By giving staff more control over equipment and using daylight and fresh air they cut thousands off energy bills and enhanced staff well-being.


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  • Case Study: WT Sustainability

    Case Study: WT Sustainability
    WTS took the opportunity, when fitting out their new office in North Sydney, to use in-house expertise and knowledge in integrating sustainable design and construction practice and initiatives. They successfully achieved their goal of a 6 Star NABERS Energy tenancy rating and now have an energy consumption level of 78 per cent less than a typical office.


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  • Case Study: Steensen Varming

    Case Study: Steensen Varming
    Steensen Varming used their office move to select a green building with strong credentials and enter into a green lease with their new landlord. Selecting a suitable building, plus an approach that maximized daylight, used zoned air-conditioning and recycled office furniture resulted in savings from day one. Staff were engaged in all stages of the move.


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  • Case study: AMP Capital

    Case study: AMP Capital

    AMP Capital's behaviour change competition saw staff across seven floors of their Sydney office battle it out to reduce energy and increase recycling. The 'Floor Wars' campaign resulted in energy savings of 15 per cent and supported the roll-out of lighting upgrades.




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  • Case Study: Goodman Group

    Case Study: Goodman Group
    Goodman Group have increased staff collaboration, job satisfaction and achieved energy savings of 46 per cent as a result of transitioning to an activity-based workplace. The CitySwitch award-winner cites an innovative staff change management program and technology upgrades as the key to the fitout's success.


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  • Case study: Climate Friendly

    Case study: Climate Friendly
    Climate Friendly are striving for energy efficiency excellence by applying the simple philosophy of 'measure, offset, reduce and review'. The consultancy is ensuring effective ongoing measurement using technology such as PowerMate and FutureSwich, and has successfully created a switch-off culture at their Sydney office to meet a target 6 star NABERS Energy rating.


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Search resources

CitySwitch Signatory of the Year and New Signatory Awards - category judging criteria

  • Delivering outcomes as demonstrated by an improved or maintained current NABERS Energy rating and achieved energy savings* (up to 28 points)
  • Implementing one or more energy saving initiatives (up to 10 points)
  • Demonstrating leadership by undertaking innovative, creative or progressive office energy efficiency activities (up to 10 points)
  • Engagement of staff/ customers/suppliers and/or stakeholders to educate and create market transformation (up to 10 points)
  • Participation in CitySwitch local program activities (up to 10 points).
Note, new Signatories submitting for New Signatory of the Year Award need only complete an indicative rating – all other submissions must be accredited.

CitySwitch Partnership of the Year Award - category judging criteria

Eligibility Criteria

Submitted projects should:

  • Involve more than one registered company 
  • Demonstrate that they are  innovative and over and above “business as usual”
  • Demonstrate that they catalyse “market transformation” and or “address a market barrier”
  • Deliver a reduction in energy consumption and carbon emissions within the built environment 

Judging Criteria

  • Delivering outcomes as demonstrated by an improved or maintained current NABERS Energy rating and achieved energy savings* (up to 14 points)
  • Implementing one or more energy saving initiatives (up to 10 points)
  • Demonstrating leadership by undertaking innovative, creative or progressive office energy efficiency activities (up to 17 points)
  • Engagement of staff/ customers/suppliers and/or stakeholders to educate and create market transformation (up to 17 points)
  • Participation in CitySwitch local program activities (up to 10 points)
  • The submitting entity MUST be a CitySwitch Signatory
Note, Signatories submitting for the Partnership of the Year Award may submit an accredited NABERS tenancy, whole building or base building rating.

It’s easy and free to join the program. Your good-will commitment to the program is an acknowledgement of the business sector’s role in
contributing to environmental sustainability and your intention to reduce your own energy consumption and associated carbon emissions.

As part of this, Signatories to the program commit to achieve an accredited NABERS Energy tenancy rating (between 4 and 6 stars) and
work with CitySwitch to improve their tenancy’s environmental performance.

Find out more about how obtaining a NABERS Energy rating ensures you can benchmark your performance, better manage your progress
over time and promote your star rating achievement.