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Charting a course towards carbon neutral portfolios

What does a carbon neutral building or precinct look like? For years, we had no definitive answer. But now we do.

Just last week, the Australian Government launched the National Carbon Offset Standard for Buildings and the National Carbon Offset Standard for Precincts.

These national standards are the result of many months of close collaboration between the property industry, represented by the GBCA, the federal government and NABERS.

We now have clear definitions, making it simple for asset owners to meet these standards. In fact, it couldn’t be easier – building owners can use either Green Star or NABERS to demonstrate compliance.

A big shout out to the team at Pangolin Associates for their help calculating the carbon offset for the launch of the Standards.

Having just returned from the World Green Building Council’s Congress in Jaipur, I have seen how other nations are looking to Australia’s example of leadership. We are just the fourth country in the world to set carbon neutral standards for our built environment, behind France, Canada and Brazil.

This leadership is critical if we are to transform our economy for the next generation, one that is based on low carbon principles. The businesses we represent could not be clearer on the need for this transformation, or the benefits within our grasp.

ASBEC’s Low Carbon, High Performance report showed us that we can eliminate emissions from the built environment entirely by 2050. And we can deliver healthier, more productive cities and save $20 billion using technologies that exist today.

Australia’s property industry is already getting on with the job, as our seven-year streak of leadership in the GRESB rankings attests. We have certified more than 1,715 Green Star-rated buildings, fit outs and communities.

As we chart a new course towards a carbon neutral industry, the GBCA remains determined to recognise and reward industry leadership.

This is why we’ve released new Green Star Innovation Challenges to drive the uptake of buildings powered by renewables. It why we celebrated the trailblazing Green Star projects that are slashing their emissions during World Green Building Week. And it’s why we are collaborating with industry to develop our Carbon Positive Roadmap.

With our sights set on 2030, our new buildings and precincts can be carbon neutral. As an industry we have the will, tools and attitude to make it happen. GBCA once again stands with the industry ready to ensure we continue to drive transformation and leading-edge design.

Romilly Madew is CEO of the Green Building Council of Australia

This blog was originally posted on the Green Building Council Australia website.