In an Australian retail property first, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) has invested $200 million into the QIC Shopping Centre Fund (QSCF) to undertake improvements in energy performance across the QSCF shopping centre portfolio.
The senior debt facility is the CEFC's largest property investment commitment to date and will support improvements in its Australian shopping centres located in Queensland, Victoria, New South Wales and the ACT.
QSCF's retail footprint encompasses over 1 million square metres of floor space and, each year, accommodates more than 130 million visitations, generating more than $5 billion in retail transactions.
The CEFC's agreement with QSCF will provide a pathway to reducing energy consumption and QICGRE will undertake customer engagement activities that inform shoppers of the initiatives being carried out.
The partnership with CEFC presents a unique opportunity to align QSCF's capital management strategy, that seeks to diversify its sources of funding, with QICGRE's broader ESG ambitions to drive sustainability initiatives and manage energy risk across our retail portfolio. The CEFC facility is also QSCF's first 'green debt' facility and the first major investment CEFC has committed to the Australian retail sector, for which we are extremely proud.
The work with the CEFC builds on QICGRE's previously announced target of generating 30% of all base load power for retail asset common areas from renewable energy by 2025.
While the energy efficiency targets will be achieved through strategies specific to each building, environment initiatives identified may include:
- onsite rooftop solar PV
- LED lighting
- heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system upgrades
- sub-metering and energy data monitoring systems to provide date to optimise energy management processes.
A series of energy efficiency and clean energy initiatives are being rolled out across the portfolio in the short and medium term. Although the shopping centres involved are of different ages and are at different levels of sustainability, QICGRE is targeting a minimum of 4-star NABERS (excluding GreenPower) rating for all our assets in its portfolio within 5 years, which will translate to energy savings of between 30 and 40 per cent.