Global Cooksafe Coalition

Television personality Melissa Leong joins $127 billion in property assets and funds pledging off gas for cooking

Media Release

Wednesday, 19 July 2023

Today, television personality Melissa Leong will stand alongside Frasers Property Australia, Cbus Property, Barangaroo’s International Towers and the Powerhouse Museum group as they pledge to exit gas in favour of safe, sustainable electric cooking. With existing commitments from property giants Lendlease and GPT, this takes the combined assets and funds under management of property companies pledging off gas for cooking to at least $127 billion.

The announcement will be made from the induction kitchen at Icebergs Dining Room and Bar in Sydney, and include a panel discussion with Melissa Leong, Icebergs head chef Alex Prichard and Asthma Australia CEO, Michele Goldman.

The organisations featured have signed on as partners of the Global Cooksafe Coalition (GCC), making a commitment in OECD countries to phase gas out of kitchens in new developments by 2030 and all-electric retrofits of existing properties by 2040.

Food culture leaders get behind electric cooking

Television personality Melissa Leong is joining a prestigious list of food culture leaders, including Neil Perry and Palisa Anderson, in supporting the work of the GCC, inspired by the superior performance of induction cooktops and the health and sustainability benefits of electric cooking.

“The way we’re cooking both in the home and commercially is rapidly changing. Induction cooking provides spectacular control as well as being a clear winner when it comes to health and environmental considerations,” said television personality Melissa Leong.

Renowned chef Peter Gilmore also joins the list of GCC supporters voicing their support for an electric cooking future today. “I personally believe that cooking with electricity through the use of induction technology is the future for both commercial and domestic kitchens. It just makes sense environmentally and performance-wise,” says Gilmore.

Icebergs Restaurant - Alex Prichard and Melissa Leong
Head chef at Icebergs Restaurant, Alex Prichard, talks with TV personality Melissa Leong

Property groups commit to kitchen electrification

Felicity Armstrong, General Manager Assets, Frasers Property Australia said: “We’re proud to commit to the transition away from gas as part of the Global Cooksafe Coalition as it’s a partnership which naturally aligns with our own ESG strategy. It means working collaboratively with the retailers in our centres, while ensuring the homes we create in the future integrate the best quality, sustainable all-electric solutions. We know our retail and residential customers want to reduce their footprints and this is another way for us to take the journey together.”

Cbus Property’s Chief Executive Officer, Adrian Pozzo, said: “The Global Cooksafe Coalition is actively demonstrating how our industry is changing. We are proud to support our partners and customers in the transition to a net zero carbon future by ensuring we are delivering office buildings, retail centres and residences that are healthy, safe, efficient and sustainable. Our future-ready developments are designed with next-generation technology in response to dynamic and evolving customer requirements, showcasing the enduring certainty of the Cbus Property brand and creating sustainable returns for Cbus Super members.”

Powerhouse Museum Chief Executive Lisa Havilah said: “Powerhouse Parramatta is currently under construction and is the largest cultural project being undertaken in Australia. When it opens in 2025, it will be net-zero from day one of operations with gas-free cooking.”

Steve Ford, Head of Sustainability at The GPT Group said: “Having been the first property company to partner with the Global Cooksafe Coalition at its inception, GPT is committed to the electrification of kitchens in our assets to help reduce the use of fossil fuels by our tenants which plays a role in bringing us all closer to a 100 per cent renewable energy future. This aligns with GPT’s commitment to the reduction of energy consumption and emissions in our portfolio, as part of our target to operate a carbon neutral portfolio of assets within our ownership control by 2024.”

Ann Austin, Head of Sustainability, Lendlease Australia said: “As a founding partner of the Global Cooksafe Coalition, we’re calling for universal access to safe, sustainable cooking that is free from gas as we work with our partners to drive and accelerate industry change. We’ve already committed new apartment developments to include induction cooking, and we’re seeing a real shift in interest among food and beverage retailers for electric kitchens – at our recently opened Sydney Place precinct, five of our retail tenants have elected to fit all-electric kitchens as the industry starts to embrace the move away from gas.”

“Historically, this marks a defining moment in Australia’s electric cooking future,” said Davina Rooney, CEO of the Green Building Council of Australia. “With property players standing next to top chefs saying electric technology is safer, cleaner and offers a superior cooking experience, it’s clear that market leaders have called time on gas in our kitchens.”

Evidence shows risks of gas cooking

Evidence about the negative health impacts of gas cooking is mounting. Last month, a new Stanford study found that a single gas burner can raise indoor levels of the carcinogen benzene above those in secondhand tobacco smoke.

Asthma Australia CEO, Michele Goldman said: “The science is really clear that cooking with gas is harmful to health. It produces pollutants that can both trigger asthma symptoms but also contribute to the development of the disease. We know that it contributes to 12% of the asthma childhood burden. And this is a really big concern. Australia already has one of the highest incidences of asthma in the world. It’s one of the eighth leading causes of disease burden in Australia, and it’s moving in the wrong direction.”