New green building CEO prioritises zero carbon


Thursday, 13 June, 2019


New green building CEO prioritises zero carbon

The Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) has a new CEO — Davina Rooney — whose top priority is decarbonisation. Rooney will focus on realising a zero carbon future, progressing the legacy of predecessor Romilly Madew AO.

“The net zero benchmark has been set,” Rooney said. Now we’re navigating the path to achieving it. And we’re doing it in partnership with industry.

The GBCA’s Carbon Positive Roadmap outlines the policies and actions required to achieve decarbonisation in the built environment and meet Australia’s international carbon-reduction commitments. One of the key steps is creating sustainable buildings through government-led procurement.

“I look forward to engaging with the Morrison government, and Emissions Reductions Minister Angus Taylor in particular, to work through the steps Australia needs to take to achieve decarbonisation in the built environment and realise the huge opportunity it offers to reduce carbon emissions,” she said.

“We will continue to put forward solutions, like increasing minimum standards so that Australia’s entire construction sector is playing its part in reducing emissions. With the residential sector accounting for 57% of our built environment emissions we need a clear standard for housing, and I look forward to continuing the work with GBCA’s Future Homes Champions to develop and deliver that standard.”

The GBCA is currently in the process of evolving and adapting Green Star, a national, voluntary rating system that assesses the sustainable design, construction and operation of buildings and communities. The organisation is consulting industry, using feedback to shape and optimise the rating system to provide effective delivery from the sustainable built environment, ensuring that it responds to global trends and emerging challenges. The GBCA is currently seeking feedback on the first rating tool under development — Green Star for New Buildings.

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to take forward the transformational work [that] Romilly, the entire GBCA team and its members commenced, with the evolution of the Green Star rating tools that we call Future Focus,” Rooney said.

Describing the positive uptake of the initiative, Rooney commented that almost 600 participants had taken part in the consultations to date. “Since 2003 we’ve seen more than 2250 projects registered under Green Star — an absolutely phenomenal achievement and one we are determined to build on even further. What is clear in the proposals for Green Star’s evolution that we’ve put to industry is that we have listened and taken on board their feedback,” she said.

“That’s why when 100% of respondents agreed that Green Star buildings should meet the Paris Agreement target of 1.5°C, we have proposed that all 6 Star Green Star buildings be mandated net zero carbon.”

Rooney paid tribute to the GBCA Board and Interim Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Cartledge for their support during the transition period and looked forward to starting her tenure with a program of in-depth engagement with members.

Submissions on the most recent consultation paper, Green Star for New Buildings, will remain open until the end of this week.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/ponsulak

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