ESG improvements key to Cromwell Direct Property Fund longevity - Cromwell Funds Management
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May 1, 2024

ESG improvements key to Cromwell Direct Property Fund longevity

Cromwell Property Group is continuously looking at ways to increase the value of our properties – and generate long-term income – while progressing our own environmental, sustainability, and governance (ESG) ambitions and meeting the ESG expectations of investors, tenants, and regulatory bodies.

Efforts to conduct decarbonisation assessments for assets in the Cromwell Direct Property Fund (DPF) portfolio are currently underway ­– and, when complete, will help to establish  strategy for each building to optimise energy efficiency, with any remaining emissions offset to achieve net zero. It is expected that this round of assessments are due to be completed by late 2024.

Six buildings in the DPF portfolio have had their base building electricity requirements powered by 100% renewable electricity – via the Australian Government’s certified GreenPower program – since January 2024. These are:

  • 100 Creek Street, Brisbane
  • 420 Flinders Street, Townsville
  • 433 Boundary Street, Brisbane
  • Altitude Corporate Centre, Mascot
  • Energex House, Newstead*
  • 19 George Street, Dandenong *

Cromwell Group Head of ESG Lara Young said that the progress being made on ESG targets within the Cromwell Direct Property Fund portfolio – and the business more broadly – was a sign that Cromwell is finding ways to generate long-term, sustainable growth.

“To ensure that we maintain optimal returns over the longest possible duration – that the assets we provide generate the returns expected – we need to ensure that ESG is genuinely integrated and brought to life across all the activities we undertake, across all our investments,” said Ms. Young.

“We want to continue to be able to have best-in-class assets and attract the types of blue-chip tenants that we’ve made a name for ourselves doing.”

“By undertaking these types of activities, we’re creating a way to deliver financial returns, while reducing environmental impacts.”

By undertaking these types of activities, we’re creating a way to deliver financial returns, while reducing environmental impacts.
Lara Young, Group Head of ESG

Stage 2 solar installation completed

Cromwell has completed Stage 2 of our programme of works to install solar panels on buildings at locations across the country, as part of the business’s commitment to meet our long-term ESG targets.

The months-long project stage saw approximately 930 individual solar panels installed across the roofs of six different assets, including four buildings in the Cromwell Direct Property Fund:

  • Energex House, Newstead – 100Kw system
  • 163 O’Riordan Street, Mascot – 100Kw system
  • 19 George Street, Dandenong – 100Kw system
  • 420 Flinders Street, Townsville – 39.9Kw system

Cromwell Project Manager Tarek Ayoubi said each installation process presented different challenges, though the initial approach remained largely the same.

“We followed a similar methodology at most locations, then made allowances for different spaces and installation requirements,” said Mr. Ayoubi.

“This involved the head contractor working with other local contractors to develop a roll-out plan; establishing the position of the panels for the best sun exposure, while maintaining safe access to the roof; and engaging a structural engineer to advise on the proposed installation method and location.”

“It was important to manage power connections, while maintaining minimum impact on tenants – and then coordinate with the local grid supplier for approval, before commissioning and energising the system.”

“All works were completed in coordination with Cromwell’s facility managers, to ensure the projects were delivered to a high standard and with no interruption to tenants.”

“The Flinders Street building in Townsville was arguably the most challenging installation, due to unpredictable weather and structural conditions, which meant we had less flexibility than at other sites; however, we were able to make the most of the space available to us.”

The Stage 2 solar installation is part of Cromwell’s broader commitment to transition to a Portfolio Net Zero target for operational control buildings by 2035.

Cromwell’s solar programme had generated 737 megawatt-hours for FY23 and was accounting for $165,000 in estimated savings per annum (with an average ROI of three years). This is the equivalent of reducing 538 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent – or approximately the emissions generated by 95 average households.


*The Fund holds an indirect interest in the property via an investment in the underlying managed investment scheme, of which CFM is the responsible entity. The underlying scheme is closed to investment.