Mirvac: World’s most innovative property companies revealed

Fast Company business magazine has revealed the top 10 most innovative property companies in the world. The entire list (entitled Most Innovative Companies in the World) looks at a number of companies in a wide range of industries — over 400 of them, in 40 countries — and includes a number of sub-categories, like urban development and real estate. In this sub-category, the list was overwhelmingly filled with US-based groups — except for one lone standout, the Australian owned-and-run Mirvac.

Sustainability is a growing priority for high-growth businesses, with more leading mid-market firms committing to ensuring they build positive legacies in the communities and environments in which they operate. Topping the category was US robotics company Icon, which uses a massive 3D-printer, called the Vulcan II, to print full houses out of concrete. Urban design firm SiteLab Urban Studio, currently working with Google to remove car culture from its 6 million square metre new development in San Jose, placed third. Environmental sensor start-up Aclima, which maps air pollutants and greenhouse gases block-by-block throughout San Francisco, also made the top five.

The most innovative urban development companies of 2020

3Sitelab Urban StudioUS
6Hello AlfredUS
9Better Place ForestsUS

Coming in at Number 7, ASX-listed Mirvac beat out dozens of other property companies around the world to make the top 10. The 48-year-old company, which employs over 1,000 people, was recognised for its continued commitment to delivering innovative solutions for its commercial, residential and retail customers. Currently led by Susan Lloyd-Hurwitz, Mirvac has a number of unique projects in the pipeline ensuring that they meet their goals and strive toward a sustainable future.

“Over the last few years we have been working towards a culture of innovation where everybody believes it is part of their job to challenge the status quo and reimagine what we do,” Lloyd-Hurwitz said. “This transition has been championed by our innovation team Hatch, who have up-skilled our people and helped to establish a fail-safe environment where we are not afraid to experiment.”

 ▲ Through Mirvac's Cultivate program, urbanites get to learn about sustainability, nutrition and urban farming.
Through Mirvac’s Cultivate program, urbanites get to learn about sustainability, nutrition and urban farming.

Cultivate, Mirvac’s business that converts under-used spaces, including car parks, basements and vacant retail or office spaces, into urban farms was the company’s stand out initiative. The innovative approach to inner-city farming is a collaborative venture between Mirvac and Melbourne start-up Farmwall, using sustainable low-waste methods to transform “dead spaces” into food-producing ecosystems. “Smart farming”, as the technique is being called, is being used to drive more sustainable outcomes among agribusinesses and to help urban dwellers gain an understanding of sustainability, nutrition and farming.

Mirvac has also been on the forefront of sustainable energy initiatives partnering with Tesla and solar-battery software company Evergen to attempt to produce a mass-market “no bills” energy-smart home. Last year, the company partnered with Melbourne-based start-up Allume Energy in order to install solar panels on the roof of its 102-apartment development in Doncaster in Melbourne’s north-east.

Mirvac has led the way in the fledgling build-to-rent sector with three existing build-to-rent projects in Sydney and Melbourne.

The company has also set itself a target to be net positive in energy and water by 2030.

Our congratulations to Mirvac and their team for this achievement.

Written: 3 April 2020

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