BHP Billiton officially opened the doors to its global head office at 171 Collins Street last night, having recently taken up residence in the new Melbourne landmark building. The global head office of the Company has always been in Melbourne since the original BHP headquarters was established a few blocks away at 121 Collins Street West in 1885.
BHP Billiton Chairman, Jac Nasser, and Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Mackenzie, welcomed guests including leaders from Australian business, think tanks, civil society and community organisations into BHP Billiton’s new home.
“On behalf of the Board and all at BHP Billiton a warm welcome to the official opening of our global head office,” Nasser said.
Nasser noted the opening coincided with the 130th anniversary of the discovery of lead, zinc and silver at Broken Hill in 1883 that led to the creation of BHP.
“We have progressed in many ways since then. One specific area is our focus on the environment and this building is a good example,” he said.
“It has a range of environmental targets – including water usage, power consumption and waste generation – which will ensure it operates sustainably for the long term.”
Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Mackenzie, said the new premises were a reflection of the Company’s strong roots in Australia.
“The history of our Company shows that we have been on a remarkable journey that has taken us to many locations around the world. Yet it is here in Australia where we have maintained our roots to become one of this country’s great success stories,” Mackenzie said.
“Our new head office is a distinctive architectural statement, in the heart of the Australian business community. It is designed to help us collaborate and share ideas in an open and enjoyable way. This means we can work together to solve problems and generate the best ideas and best thinking.”
Mackenzie also commented on the importance of the resources industry to national and global economic development.
“Australia’s resources industry is one of Australia’s true competitive advantages and is a unique enabler of our broader relationship with Asia. That is why I cannot think of a better opportunity than right now to run a global resources company based in Australia – an Australia growing closer to Asia.”
Also in attendance at the event was Professor Geoffrey Blainey, an eminent Australian historian, academic, philanthropist and commentator, who advised BHP Billiton on the interactive historical material at 171 Collins Street.
The building also contains an extensive art collection of predominantly contemporary Australian pieces with 120 artworks on the eight floors occupied by BHP Billiton. Many of the pieces are Melbourne-centric, focusing on the architecture and culture of the city.
The new building, developed by Charter Hall and Cbus Property, has achieved Green Building Council of Australia’s Green Star 6 Star Office Design and targets 5 Star NABERS Energy (National Australian Built Environment Rating System).
Press Release, November 19, 2013