Hotel ownership and management firm Pro-invest has initialised a new equity investment fund in an effort to incorporate energy-saving and sustainable technologies as part of its minimum criteria for all new and under-construction hotels.
To launch the fund, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation has invested $50 million, monies which will be directed towards sustainability initiatives at two Holiday Inn Express hotels in Parramatta and the Sunshine Coast. Its purpose is to see all new Pro-invest developments and properties under construction set a minimum 25% energy saving requirement and a significant reduction in energy costs and emission levels of another 15 in various stages of construction across Australia.
Properties drawing on the funds must be aiming for a five-star rating under the National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS), Pro-invest said.
Further qualifying criteria for the new CEFC funds include dedicated clean energy plans on all hotels and the latest in green initiatives including low-carbon construction materials and techniques such as cross-laminated timber, efficient heating and cooling equipment and energy-efficient building management protocols.
As the name of the fund suggests, the fund is the second time Pro-invest has initiated a clean energy fund, with the first drawing on debt finance from CEFC to incorporate low-emission technologies into the Holiday Inn Express Melbourne Southbank, which is on track to open in December 2019. This investment has seen high-performance window glazing, air-cooled chillers, condensing boilers, rooftop solar and regenerative lift drives installed in the newbuild.
Along with the second fund, Pro-invest says it will purchase green power as well as implement carbon offset schemes as part of its Carbon Neutral 2030 strategy.
Around 15 forthcoming Holiday Inn Express properties will benefit from the funds, including Holiday Inn Express Maroochydore on the Sunshine Coast and Holiday Inn Express Parramatta.
Pro-invest CEO, Ronald Barrott, said the lessons learned from the first fund would be applied into the second and will show investors that sizeable returns are possible from investing in energy-efficient initiatives.
“There is a misconception that energy efficiency is not economical. But as we have seen through our first Fund, investing in sustainability measures is value accretive and will drive investor returns.
“Walking the extra mile today on energy efficiency, by designing and developing our assets in the most environmentally friendly manner, means additional rewards later, including lower costs and higher guest satisfaction and employee engagement,” Barrott added.