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Green Leaders Recognised at WorldGBC Green Building Awards

Outstanding leaders in sustainable development have been honoured at the annual World Green Building Council Awards.

Nils Kok was presented with the prestigious David Gottfried Global Green Building Entrepreneurship Award for his work at the intersection of sustainability and finance in the real sector.

Associate professor in Finance and Real Estate at Maastricht University, Mr Kok is the co-founder and executive director of the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB).

“Mr Kok’s ground-breaking work has helped large portfolio owners understand how they can protect and enhance the value of their buildings by embracing sustainability.  He essentially cracked the code that has made the business case for sustainability a ‘no brainer’,” explains the WorldGBC’s Chairman, Bruce Kerswill.

Chairman’s Awards were also presented to three individuals for their significant contributions to a growing global movement.

Mr Qiu Bao Xing, former Executive Vice Minister with the Chinese Government’s Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, was acknowledged for his leadership, which helped elevate green building to the government policy agenda.

“Mr Qui was responsible for the establishment of the ChinaGBC and drove the development of China’s 3 Star system.  The scale of Minister Qui’s task has been awe-inspiring, and inspirational to many of us around the world,” Mr Kerswill says.

Australian Tony Arnel, Global Director of Sustainability at NDY, was acknowledged for his contribution as the WorldGBC’s Chairman from 2008 to 2012.

“During his time at the helm of the WorldGBC, Mr Arnel developed a clear council member development pathway, and the WorldGBC’s membership grew dramatically from just a handful of GBCs to 89 councils.  He laid the foundations for a network that now exceeds 100,” Mr Kerswill explains.

Chilean architect and executive director of the firm ELEMENTAL S.A, Alejandro Aravena, was celebrated for his work championing people-centred design.

“Mr Aravena leads the way in using the design process to engage people to create their own communities.  His work demonstrates how community-building is not just about government making decisions, but about communities deciding how they want to live.  As the green building movement matures, it is no longer enough to focus on energy efficiency and technical solutions. Mr Aravena’s work is an example to the world of true sustainability in action,” Mr Kerswill says.

Learn more about Alejandro Aravena’s work.

“Green building is now a global phenomenon, and in many countries, is a powerful and practical pathway to improve people’s lives, acting as a shortcut to correct inequalities,” Mr Kerswill says.

“The WorldGBC was established in 2002 with just eight green building councils and today is the largest organisation influencing the global green building agenda in more than 100 countries.  These four award recipients have made valuable and measurable contributions that will deliver more sustainable, productive and liveable built environments around the world,” Mr Kerswill concludes.


The World Green Building Council’s David Gottfried Global Green Building Entrepreneurship Award recognises those involved in the worldwide sustainable construction movement whose contributions have been particularly pioneering, displaying an entrepreneurism that has helped to transform or advance the green building mission.  This award, first presented in 2011, was named after the inaugural winner, David Gottfried, who was a founder of the US Green Building Council and the World Green Building Council.


The world’s only global green building awards celebrate the worldwide green building industry’s accomplishments and honour the individuals who have contributed to the rapid green transformation of the global property, design and construction industries.