Lowy Packer Building

Lowy Packer Building recognised in Sustainability Awards

Moving towards a more sustainable future at the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute

2 March 2021, updated 5 March 2021

Going green is good! The Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, in collaboration with St Vincent’s Centre for Applied Medical Research, has been awarded the Highly Commended prize for the National Partnership of the Year at the CitySwitch National Awards. The awards honour excellence in business sustainability and highlights the success of our joint project which has significantly reduced the environmental footprint of the Lowy Packer Building in Darlinghurst, Sydney.

Colin McRobbie, Facilities Manager of the building said, “At the beginning of 2020 we conducted a review and discovered we could be operating more efficiently and subsequently reduce the impact the Institute has on the environment. Changes were implemented in May and astonishing results were recorded soon after. We are very proud of the work we have done.”

The project involved making changes to the mechanism for managing the building’s air conditioning, to reduce energy waste. The team also removed many of the older style light globes and replaced them with low power usage LED lights. In addition, timers were added to the natural gas steam boilers, which are used to process biological waste created from the Physical Containment Laboratories that operate in the building.

The work resulted in savings in operational costs also:

“That’s the equivalent of taking 80 cars off the road per year or saving the energy of running 42 homes,” said Mr McRobbie.

Sustainability Award

Chief Operating Officer from St Vincent’s Centre for Applied Medical Research, Philip Cunningham echoed Mr McRobbie’s enthusiasm, “Typically medical research buildings with laboratories are very inefficient, they use a lot of water, a lot of energy and a lot of gas. This exercise and the reduction we have seen has been a revolution.”

Professor Jason Kovacic, Executive Director of the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute expressed his commitment to the ongoing fight against climate change. “The world has been so focussed on COVID this year, but we must not lose focus of the other real issue the world has to address- global warming.”

He added, “Our children and grandchildren depend on the actions we take now, we must do everything we can to reduce our emissions, as individuals but as organisations as well. I am delighted we have been shortlisted as a finalist for the CitySwitch Awards. These results are impressive but are also just the beginning of the Institute’s commitment to reduce our energy use and emissions, and to do everything we can to help tackle climate change.”

“I encourage other organisations to consider what changes they can also make to their operations. Not only are these results crucial for the environment but ultimately they will allow us to spend less on operations and focus much-needed funds on research into heart disease.”

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Acknowledgement of Country

The Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute acknowledges Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures; and to Elders past and present.

Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute - The Home of Heart Research for 30 Years