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13 Jan 2020

Behaviour change drives energy savings at Westfield Knox #Environment

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“I loved being involved in this project. It’s great to save the business money, but it feels even better to reduce our impact on the environment.”
 - Naman Gupta, Facilities Manager, Westfield Knox

As Facilities Manager at Westfield Knox and a passionate advocate for all things sustainability, Naman Gupta takes his energy, waste and water targets seriously. At the beginning of 2019, in an effort to reduce the centre’s energy consumption he took a look at the figures and realised some changes would need to be made.

“At the rate we were tracking, it looked like we would actually exceed our 2018 consumption. I’m very proud to report that by the end of 2019 we had actually turned things around and reduced our energy consumption by upwards of 10%,” he says.

So, without implementing any major structural changes, how were they able to make such significant savings? The first job was to delve into the data and brainstorm ideas. Naman says that far from being complex and expensive, many of their most impressive solutions resulted from simple, high-impact behaviour changes.

“One quick, easy fix was to liaise with the security and cleaning teams to make sure escalators and lights were switched off when they were not needed,” he says.

L-R: Jesse Kot - Scentre Group, Andrew Simon - Secure Corp and Xernan Tan - Scentre Group

“Another was to partner with the service providers managing lighting as well as heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems for our retail partners. We were able to achieve significant energy savings by encouraging our retail partners to turn these systems off after their store was closed.”

Another small action that resulted in big savings was to tweak the temperatures of their chilled water loop and HVAC system. “Just changing set point temperatures by between 0.5 and 1.5 degrees made a huge difference in terms of overall energy use,” Naman continues.

While there are plenty of smart solutions aimed at better management of water, energy and waste systems, Naman says that in the short term this wasn’t an option for Knox.

“We are investigating some major project works in the near future. But, frankly, our results this year show just how effective and impactful simple changes in behaviour can be,” he says.

“I am incredibly happy with the results. It made me realise that you cannot take anything for granted and it is vital to stay curious,” he says.

“To see such simple changes having such big impacts was motivating for not just my team, but the security and cleaning teams too. As soon as the results started coming in, I couldn’t stop thinking, ‘What can I improve next?’”

L-R: Naman Gupta - Scentre Group, Nicholas Giannoulakis - Scentre Group, Asanka Gulavita -Secure Clean