Bank Australia to support sustainable infrastructure upgrades across three states

Bank Australia to support sustainable infrastructure upgrades across three states
Bank Australia to support sustainable infrastructure upgrades across three states

Bank Australia is due to assist in delivering the Sustainable Australia Fund, which will expand an original Melbourne-centric finance model to a national scale, to include NSW and South Australia. The fund provides businesses with upfront capital to make environmentally conscious upgrades to their buildings.

Bank Australia to support sustainable infrastructure upgrades across three states

The original Sustainable Melbourne Fund was established by Deputy Lord Mayor Arron Wood 17 years ago with a goal to drive business innovation, reduce emissions and mitigate climate change impacts by the private sector. The City of Melbourne has agreed to divest from the scheme to allow it to grow to a national scale.

“Our seed funding and support for the fund has unlocked more than $30 million in environmental infrastructure upgrades for Victorian businesses. This has enabled the abatement of more than 300,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions… We could not be prouder of the success of Sustainable Melbourne Fund and the outcomes it has achieved in supporting Victorian businesses create savings and environmental upgrades through access to loans, which are repaid through council rates.”

- Deputy Lord Mayor Arron Wood

In 2010, the City of Melbourne created Australia’s first Environmental Upgrade Agreement with support from the Victorian State government. The loans have enabled Victorian businesses to offset of more than 300,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions as well as reduce energy costs due to upgraded operation infrastructure.

“From the first environmental upgrade agreement signed in 2011 at 460 Collins Street, solar PV projects in a number of municipalities, to a multi-million dollar water treatment plant in regional Victoria, it’s exciting to know we’ve delivered some great results in saving money, reducing environmental impact and driving new business."

- City of Melbourne Deputy Lord Mayor Arron Wood

The new national initiative will provide access to an Environmental Upgrade Finance loan of up to $200 million. Businesses can apply for funding to cover a number of environmental projects, including energy, water or waste performance. The loan will then be paid back via the quarterly council rates. 


“We’re proud to support the launch of the Sustainable Australia Fund to enable it to expand its impact across Australia which aligns with our purpose of creating positive impact for people and the planet.”

Darren Dawson, Head of Impact Finance at Bank Australia

“It’s truly a testament to the success of the original goals of Sustainable Melbourne Fund that it can now expand its reach beyond the borders of Victoria.”

City of Melbourne Deputy Lord Mayor Arron Wood

“The City of Melbourne has demonstrated tremendous leadership since 2002 in facilitating environmental infrastructure upgrades for Victorian businesses. It has supported industry and commercial properties, and more recently, agricultural businesses and farmers to upgrade their facilities through accessible loans.”

Scott Bocskay, CEO of Sustainable Australia Fund


460 Collins Street

Bank Australia to support sustainable infrastructure upgrades across three states
460 Collins Street. Credit: Sustainable Melbourne Fund

460 Collins Street in Melbourne was originally constructed in 1939, so in order to reach a higher level of sustainability, the building was retrofit with a highly efficient PowerPax chiller, as well as a new control system. Controllers were also fitted into the existing VAV boxes and air-handling units. This significantly reduced energy consumption from the air conditioning system resulting in an energy bill saving of $11,000 per annum, and 170 tonnes of CO2-e.


Building Upgrades       

Building fabric insulation upgrade

Cool roof coating

External solar shading

Green roof installation

High-performance windows

Reduce building infiltration/exfiltration

Energy source

Domestic Hot Water sustainability via technology  upgrade

Reduced carbon on-site energy source

Grid-connected renewable energy, with or without battery storage.

Solar thermal hot water

Power factor correction


Lighting control upgrades

Lighting technology upgrade

Plant Upgrades

Drive and fan efficiency upgrades

Duct testing and sealing

Ducting and piping insulation

HVAC efficiency via control upgrade

HVAC technology upgrade

Permanent high-efficiency commercial appliances

Permanent refrigeration upgrades

Pool efficiency upgrades


Blackwater system

Greywater system

Rainwater system

Water efficiency measures


(*Environmental Upgrade Agreement)


Baw Baw Shire Council

Brimbank City Council

Campaspe Shire Council

Cardinia Shire Council

Central Goldfields Shire

City of Greater Bendigo Council

City of Greater Geelong Council

City of Melbourne

City of Kingston

City of Monash Council

Darebin City Council

Greater Dandenong Council

Greater Shepparton Council

Hobsons Bay City Council

Horsham Rural City Council

Knox City Council

Macedon Ranges Shire Council

Maribyrnong City Council

Mildura Rural City Council

Mitchell Shire Council

Moira Shire Council

Moonee Valley Council

Moreland City Council

Mornington Peninsula Shire

Mount Alexander Shire Council

South Gippsland Shire Council

Warrnambool City Council

Wellington Shire Council

Wyndam City Shire Council

Yarra Ranges Council

New South Wales 

Blacktown City Council

Parramatta City Council

City of North Sydney

City of Sydney

South Australia 

City of Adelaide (CoA)

City of Salisbury

City of Marion

City of Onkaparinga

Olivia Round

Olivia Round

Olivia Round is the Features Editor of Olivia specialises in news reporting, in-depth editorial content and video + podcast interviews with industry experts.

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