Collaboration and engagement

Fiona Stanley Hospital. Photo courtesy of Brookfield Multiplex

There are many business benefits associated with collaboration and engagement and so too are there many opportunities to engage. Corporate social responsibility (CSR), cross-sector engagement through best practice sharing, public debate and policy development, and the development of future leaders are only some of the areas through which a firm can develop a strong network of support.

Brookfield Multiplex: Using sustainability as a value driver for clients

As a contractor, the role of Brookfield Multiplex at a basic level is to deliver projects on time and on budget—but the firm aims to have a much broader impact than that.

One of the ways Brookfield Multiplex adds value for clients is through its sustainability strategy which is to use sustainable initiatives to achieve the clients’ broader organisational goals—be they environmental, social or financial.

Brookfield Multiplex sees sustainability as a way to drive value for clients. They know value means different things to different people so they collaborate in the early stages of projects with all of the players that go to making it successful, including consultants, subcontractors and the supply chain.

Brookfield Multiplex seeks to understand their clients’ unique requirements, think about the longer-term and then unpack their buildings to come up with innovative ways of generating as much value as possible.

A key example is that if Brookfield Multiplex were building a hospital, they wouldn’t just build it; they’d collaborate with the project team to apply leading research and best-practice design principles to work out how the building could heal people faster, increase doctor and nurse communication, reduce staff stress and increase retention. At their $2 billion Fiona Stanley Hospital project Brookfield Multiplex held meetings with more than 200 user groups in the early stages of the project to help optimise value for all involved.

By taking a broader approach to sustainability and positioning it as a value driver, sustainability is made to be an imperative for clients. In doing so, sustainability becomes an important business tool.

And of course this applies to the Brookfield Multiplex business too. As a business a core ambition is to leave a positive legacy in every community in which they operate. Leaving a legacy is about having a long-term impact on communities and also ensuring the ongoing success of the business. They use a sustainability strategy to help achieve this.

Their LINC (Linking Industry with the Needs of the Community) program is the framework used to develop and guide social initiatives. Using LINC as the basis, social strategies are developed in response to the specific needs of the communities in which they operate and they look for ways to use projects as a vehicle to deliver those strategies.

The Connectivity Centre at the Stockland Shellharbour Shopping Centre project in NSW is one example of an employment initiative developed as part of the LINC program. Youth unemployment in Shellharbour is one of the highest in NSW. In response, Brookfield Multiplex worked with The Salvation Army Employment Plus (TSAEP) and Stockland to develop the Connectivity Centre, a place where local people could go for candidate screening, training and job-matching. The program placed more than 340 local people in employment including 50 on-site construction jobs and a further 50 in retail roles at Stockland Shellharbour once the building phase was complete.

An important part of maximising sustainability gains for Brookfield Multiplex as well as its clients is research, and the company invests heavily in developing and understanding a strong evidence base.

They are, for example, playing a leading role in the Co-operative Research Centre for Low Carbon Living alongside other industry representatives including Consult Australia. Brookfield Multiplex is also helping to roll out BOSSA (Building Occupant Survey System Australia), Australia’s first standardized post-occupancy evaluation system for offices. They have established ‘Living Labs’ in some projects to facilitate learning in the community and provide on-site educational experiences for students.

Sustainability at Brookfield Multiplex is driven by value—for clients and building users as well as the company and its communities.

By taking a ‘shared value’ approach Brookfield Multiplex makes sustainability about more than just being ‘green’—it is a key business strategy that is integral to its longevity.

Provided by Brookfield Multiplex Australasian Sustainability Manager, Lauren Haas