Barangaroo aims to be sustainable today and for future generations. Its commitment is to be carbon neutral and water positive, to create zero waste emissions and contribute to community well-being.

Barangaroo is one of the most exciting urban renewal projects in the world today. When completed, Barangaroo aims be the first precinct globally to be carbon neutral. The development team and its partners work with sustainability leaders from around the world to help Barangaroo achieve its sustainability goals.

In 2009, before construction of the precinct had begun, the NSW Government committed Barangaroo to the Climate Positive Development Program. Established under the Clinton Climate Initiative, the program later became part of C40 Cities. Barangaroo is one of only 19 projects around the world participating in the C40 Cities Climate Positive Development Program.

Being climate positive under the C40 program has four key requirements:

  1. Reducing and then offsetting all the energy used on the site
  2. Recycling and exporting more water than the drinking water that is imported
  3. Responsible waste management, diversion from landfill and zero waste emissions
  4. Delivering community wellbeing.

To become Australia’s first large-scale carbon neutral precinct, Barangaroo includes centralised infrastructure such as Sydney Harbour water cooling, embedded electricity networks, recycled water treatment plants and on-site renewable energy generation.

To facilitate the outcomes identified in the C40 commitment, the robust contractual mechanisms are included in all Project Development Agreements. The development team works collaboratively with developers to ensure sustainability targets are implemented and achieved, both during construction and throughout operations over all 99-year building leases.

What makes sustainability at Barangaroo different?

Development agreements ensure the entire precinct remains in public ownership, with the buildings and infrastructure on 99-year leaseholds.

An Estate Levy in every lease and other governance arrangements ensure long-term sustainability, with cascading obligations in place from the NSW Government through to development partners, building owners, tenants and sub-tenants.

To maximise on-site efficiencies, large-scale centralised infrastructure, such as Sydney Harbour water cooling, embedded electricity networks, recycled water treatment plants and on-site renewable energy generation will be delivered.

External agencies, contractors and organisations at Barangaroo are required to manage their activities with a view to achieving these sustainability goals. Typically, this will include:

  • Every building has contracted annual targets for operational greenhouse gas emissions
  • Reducing construction waste going into landfill by 97%, by sorting and separating waste and recycling or reusing
  • Planting 100% native plants in Barangaroo Reserve
  • Using recycled water for flushing toilets through to irrigation and fire sprinklers
  • Encouraging retailers and suppliers to avoid packaging, reduce waste and offer healthy food choices from locally and sustainably produced food
  • Providing and promoting access to and facilities for walking, cycling and passive and active recreation through design for active living and healthy lifestyles.

100% native plants

More than 75,000 native trees and shrubs have been planted at Barangaroo Reserve

1. Carbon neutral

All buildings at Barangaroo, regardless of how large or small, contribute to carbon neutrality through annual greenhouse gas reporting and financial contribution towards off-site renewable energy and carbon offsets.

The energy used in the public domain and for waste water recycling is offset by the solar energy which is generated on site. The solar power station is spread across the rooftops of the various buildings.

International Towers Sydney, the three commercial towers at Barangaroo, have achieved the highest level of green building certification from the Green Building Council of Australia.

The towers are oriented to reduce heat gain on the western façade and they include vertical shading panels aligned to the sun’s path. The panels provide shading and reduce cooling needs.

Cost effective and energy efficient air conditioning is delivered to all the buildings in the southern precinct through a District Cooling Plant, which also uses Sydney Harbour water for heat rejection.  This saves on energy consumption by operating one centralised cooling system rather than separate systems for each building. The system also avoids the use of drinking water drawn from Sydney's dams to reject heat from the buildings. The sea water passes through a series of screens, filters and strainers to protect and filter out marine life, is pumped through electric chillers where it absorbs waste heat, and then returned to the harbour.

Barangaroo is a proud Climate Active Network Member. For more information, please visit the Climate Active website.

The towers include vertical shading panels aligned to the sun’s path.

The panels provide shading and reduce cooling needs.

2 .Water positive

Barangaroo is a ‘water wise’ precinct. When completed, the whole precinct will be capable of exporting more recycled water than the amount of drinking water it uses.

The use of water efficient appliances, using captured rainwater and treated water for toilet flushing, irrigation, wash down and fire suppression are major features of the entire Barangaroo development.

In the southern commercial and retail district waste water is treated and recycled water produced from a central plant. The wastewater recycling system is capable of processing one million litres of wastewater each day.

Beneath Barangaroo Reserve is the Cutaway cultural space and two levels of car park. And beneath all of this is a leading-edge water re-use system. It provides for the capture, storage and re-use of rainwater for the irrigation of the Reserve.

The two tanks beneath the re-created headland - an enormous 1,200m3 rainwater tank and 180m3 seepage tank - are up to 17 metres below sea level.

3. Zero waste emissions

Barangaroo aspires to deliver zero net greenhouse gas emissions generated through the transport and treatment of waste from the precinct. At Barangaroo, all food, office, commercial and industrial waste is treated and managed using methods that are climate neutral.

By using innovative waste minimisation, collection and recycling processes, Barangaroo aims to divert more than 80% of operational waste from residential and commercial buildings from landfill. All emissions from processing and transporting waste from the precinct will be offset to zero.

4. Community well-being

Barangaroo is a 'city within a city'. It is a place for people to work, live, socialise or connect with Sydney’s Aboriginal and maritime history as well as contemporary Aboriginal culture.

It is opening in stages and by mid-2017 there were already 16,000 people working in Barangaroo’s office towers. When the entire project is complete, Barangaroo will accommodate 23,000 office workers and some 3,000 residents as well as shoppers, diners and visitors.

More than 50% of Barangaroo will be dedicated public space - and this does not include its roads, laneways and footpaths.

A key feature of Barangaroo is its connectedness to the rest of Sydney’s central business district via the new Barangaroo Wharf, Wynyard Walk tunnel and two new pedestrian bridges over Hickson Road.

Barangaroo will also feature on the new Chatswood to Bankstown Metro line, with the station at Nawi Cove expected to open in 2024.

It is anticipated that most people coming to Barangaroo will use public transport, walk or cycle.

Download Barangaroo Sustainability in Practice (PDF)


Barangaroo and the C40

Barangaroo’s sustainability commitment - carbon neutral, water positive, zero waste, community wellbeing.

Design excellence

Exceptional and award-winning design is creating a landmark destination in Sydney.


Barangaroo has been designed with an integrated transport plan.