Toyota Australia will start work this weekend on a A$1.5m (US$1.3m) plan to install energy saving technology at its corporate headquarters in Port Melbourne.

The installation of the 'tri-gen plant' is the next stage of Toyota Australia's plan to reduce energy use at its headquarters by 40% from 2007/08 levels. 

The technology uses a gas-powered turbine to generate electricity for the building, while also using the waste heat from the turbine to help heat and cool the building. 

Toyota Australia's environment policy manager Jon Ward said the company began planning for a tri-gen plant in 2008 to enhance the building's sustainability features. 

"In addition to concentrating on the environmental performance of our vehicles and manufacturing activities, Toyota Australia applies environmental sustainability practices to all areas of the company, including the design of our buildings," Ward said. 

The company expects to recoup its investment within five years.

Opened in 2004, Toyota Australia's corporate headquarters has been recognised for its eco-friendly design, which features external solar shades, stormwater recycling, a 90 metre glazed atrium and an air reticulation system designed to reduce energy usage.