2020 PFI Awards – Sustainability And Innovation Winners

A smarter, greener luxury sector is here.

By Robb Report Staff 18/11/2020

A very real need to engage environmentally conscious practices is notably (rightly) ascendent across areas of property, finance, investment and luxury more broadly. Elsewhere, the ability to innovate and pen a unique future not only drives wider progression but also consumer engagement.

Here, the cutting-edge leaders and Top 5 winners of Robb Report’s inaugural Property, Finance and Investment Awards in the categories of sustainability and innovation.


Australian Unity – Green Bond Fund

The Green Bond Fund from asset managers Australian Unity is something of a rarity in Australian finance and was the first managed fund on the Australian market dedicated almost exclusively to ‘green’ bonds.

The Green Bond Fund invests in green, sustainable and social bonds with a view to align with investments that will lower carbon emissions. While in its nascent stages, the fund is limited to wholesale investors or those with more than $2.5m in net assets, with a minimum buy-in of $100,000.

The fund offers institutional investors access to around 30 corporate and government bonds, the proceeds of which head towards projects aimed at further reducing carbon emissions.


Mirvac – ‘This Changes Everything’ Initiative

Australian property group Mirvac has launched ambitious plans to be zero waste by 2030.

The initiative sees Mirvac make steps towards a greener future by designing waste removal within the development process – focusing on environmentally harmful materials such as concrete, increasing the use of recycled materials – and utilising innovative construction practices that generate less waste and which both extend the life of materials and repurpose the materials in operation.

The group is serious enough to have set firm targets of procuring 25 per cent recycled content, halving development waste, zero waste to landfill, and pursuing a net gain in the natural habitat by 2030.


Frasers Property – Burwood Brickworks

Late last year Burwood Brickworks, in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs, was unveiled as the world’s most sustainable commercial building, taking part in the Living Building Challenge which aims to achieve construction and operation of a building that nets a positive output on all metrics including energy, water and waste.

Frasers Property committed to building the world’s first completely sustainable retail centre after being approached by the Living Futures Institute Australia, however accreditation is not as simple as cutting a ribbon, with the building set to be accredited following 12 months of operation, with the 45 tenants also informing the completed puzzle and required to engage.


Aria Property Group  – Urban Forest

Causing a global stir this year, Aria Property Group’s plans to build a 30-storey tower adorned with 1003 trees at South Bank, Brisbane, brings new meaning to ‘green build’.

Designed by Koichi Takada Architects, the building is being marketed as the ‘greenest residential building in the world’. While the design and plantation are impressive, the benefits of planting a vertical garden gives ‘The Urban Forest’ a green plot ratio (the average land area of greenery on site) of 292 per cent of the site area – the equivalent of taking 150 cars off the road each year.

Works are to commence in 2021.


Tiffany & Co. – Diamond Traceability

In October, Tiffany & Co. took unprecedented steps in its diamond traceability by sharing the full craftsmanship journey of its individually registered diamonds (0.18 carats or larger). The initiative discloses the country where each stone is panned, prepared, cut, polished and set.

It follows from the group’s efforts in 2019, which provided the provenance of its diamonds. The information – available to the consumer – ensures the jeweller’s high standards of craftsmanship, safe and healthy working environments, community development and supply chain traceability.

The end result is responsible sourcing and better planning that ensures the supply of diamonds remains both ethical and sustainable.





Valor ’K – Jet Ownership Services

Acting as the connecting agent between owners of a new jet and the logistics associated with obtaining and using private aviation, Valor ‘K’s fractional jet ownership is for a new generation of private jet owners – those more comfortable with a sharing economy.

The process of ownership and operation is simplified further by Valor ’K’s mobile app which promises a ‘turn key’ solution to flying. All is left for clients is to select the app and specify their requirements. Elsewhere, scheduling software collates the passenger’s preferences, allergies, preferred transfer arrangements and hotels on booking for a seamless experience.


Vonto App by X15 Ventures (for The Commonwealth Bank) 

Vonto delivers immediate insight to any business owner, penning an insightful analytical sketch of the business’ positioning by utilising data from various apps (centralised to this one platform) including Shopify, Google Analytics, Xero, Instagram, Facebook, Vend).

It’s also free and holds the backing of the Commonwealth Bank’s firm security protocols.


Archie Rose Distilling Co. – Hunter Valley Shiraz Spirit

Earlier in the year, global award-winning Archie Rose Distilling Co. launched an initiative designed to support eight small grape growers in the Hunter Valley of NSW and who lost large portions of crop due to smoke taint from thew 2019 bushfires.

Taking the sauvignon and shiraz grapes that could be salvaged from the affected vineyards, Archie Rose created an eau de vie (colourless brandy) which is the first in the world to use smoke affected grapes.  Named the Hunter Valley Shiraz Spirit, the 1000 bottles that were produced sold out in four days.


Burberry – Real-World Social Media Store

Burberry this year opened a new store in Shenzhen, China, with a savvy focus on social media and its central importance to the future of luxury fashion.

Here, people can ‘like’, ‘share’, ‘scan’, ‘book’ and spend their way to shopping experiences via WeChat. Operating much like a loyalty card, the app is synced to the brick-and-mortar offering, giving in-store shop assistants instant access to a customer’s preferences, bookings and other data while keeping track spending and interaction.

The game-like app sees a client start as an egg avatar icon, evolving into different animals that grants greater privileges, such as different menus at the in-store café and unique products exclusively available to certain members.


Moet Hennessy – Dom Perignon Proxima (iceless ‘bucket’)

A bottle of Dom is best consumed between 8-10 degrees. But you knew that. The issue is that an ice bucket – a necessity in this country and especially during summer champagne season – drives the temperature down, ruining the complexity of whats offered.

Proxima – designed specifically for Dom Perignon by Nakatomi – uses a chilled aluminium core and ‘temperature regulated laminar airflow technology’, to monitor a bottles’ optimal drinking temp. And we certainly raise a glass to this.



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