Carbon & climate change


Since 2015, we have significantly increased our efforts to de-carbonise the built environment. From thought leadership papers, to our involvement in the global effort to eliminate carbon emissions, we believe the built environment is ready to begin its transition to a carbon positive trajectory.

Carbon Positive Partners

We thank our partners for their leadership and support of our activities and are always looking for organisations seeking to demonstrate their leadership in this space.

For more information on becoming a Carbon Positive Partner please contact Debbie Roussakis, Partnerships Coordinator.

A Carbon Positive Roadmap

'A Carbon Positive Roadmap for the Built Environment' establishes the steps required for new and existing buildings and fitouts to decarbonise. 

The roadmap clearly outlines the high-level outcomes, actions, targets and policy positions required. These are proposed alongside changes to the GBCA’s Green Star rating tool to ensure it helps lead industry through the next decade of transformation.

Developed in close consultation with industry and government, the roadmap plots a world-leading path to raise the benchmark for sustainable design, construction and building operation in Australia’s built environment.

A Carbon Positive Roadmap

Additional information

To assist in the development of this document, we commissioned a report on the cost and feasibility of implementing draft recommendations of an early version of the Roadmap. We thank AECOM for their assistance.

While the report was developed for the draft version of the roadmap, and does not reflect the current targets, it continues to hold valuable insights for industry. 

The report and subsequent recommendations can be found here.

Come learn about our carbon positive future

From seminars to webinars, we are committed to helping you learn what you need to know to be successful in our carbon positive future.

Previous versions

Prior to this release, on 6 March 2017, GBCA launched its first discussion paper on this topic. The discussion paper set the scene for the engagement that occurred over the year, outlined potential priorities for the industry and asked for feedback. 

A draft of the roadmap was released in June 2018. The draft sought feedback on the initial roadmap targets. This document has now been superseded by the most current version (Rev.A). 

These three documents are presented for information purposes only.

World Green Building Council's Advancing Net Zero Program

Advancing Net Zero is WorldGBC’s global project which aims to promote and support the acceleration of net zero carbon buildings to 100% by 2050. GBCA is a founding member of the Advancing Net Zero Program. 

We are proud to have been involved in the release of the groundbreaking report From Thousands to Billions - Coordinated Action towards 100% Net Zero Carbon Buildings By 2050, which outlines how net zero goals can be achieved through concerted action of three core groups of actors: Business, Government and Non-Governmental Organisations. In addition to the document above, WorldGBC has created a set of snapshots detailing each green building council's response to the cause of Advancing Net Zero. The snapshot detailing our activities can be found here.

Bringing Embodied Carbon Upfront

WorldGBC, in partnership with the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, have released a report calling for urgent and co-ordinated action to tackle global embodied carbon emissions from the building and construction sector. GBCA has been a proud participant in the development of this report. 

Embodied carbon emissions are those released during the entire life cycle of the building, including manufacturing, transport, construction, operations and end-of-life phases. The report outlines the need for reducing all embodied carbon emissions, with a particular focus on reducing those upfront, that is, those emissions from manufacturing and construction.

The report calls for radical industry collaboration to achieve decarbonisation from the sector by 2050. It sets out the vision, goals, actions, and milestones needed to achieve transformation, and highlights industry leaders paving the way. The report also sets a worldwide challenge for buildings and infrastructure to cut embodied carbon emissions by 40 per cent by 2030 and achieve 100 per cent net zero emissions for buildings by 2050.

80 organisations worldwide have endorsed the report. Australian leadership has dominated the response to this challenge with 20 GBCA members out of 81 organisations globally being among the first to endorse the ambition outlined in the report.

Global Commitment for Net Zero Carbon Buildings

The Global Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment challenges businesses and organisations across the world to take advanced climate action by setting ambitious targets to eliminate operational carbon emissions from their building portfolios by 2030 in order to meet the Paris Agreement ambition of below 2 degrees of global warming. It was launched by WorldGBC and the We Mean Business Coalition at the Global Climate Action Summit in September 2018. We are proud to be part of the working group that develops and manages the Commitment.

gbca global commitment

Want to join?

This is your chance to showcase your leadership and join the global movement to decarbonise the built environment.

For companies that operate in Australia, we have developed a Fact Sheet to assist you in navigating the commitment and detail how Green Star will ensure your success.