A word from Rom

25 Dec 2015

We are ready to lead

What does the future look like? And how do we get there? These are questions we’ve been asking ourselves and our members.

And the timing is right to ask these questions. Our collective future is shaped not only by the commitments made in the Paris Agreement – which means transitioning to a zero carbon economy, defining science based targets and moving investment to sub-2°C portfolios. It is also shaped by urbanisation, innovation in technology, a growing interest in wellness, and awareness of sustainability across the value chain, as well as global opportunities and threats.

We are ready to lead.

This means leading our industry and our cities to the position of carbon positive. And it means leading the shift to a new understanding of sustainability as we strive to meet the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

To do this we’ve developed a new strategic plan to set us on a path of bold industry transformation by 2030.

Our new vision is for healthy, resilient and positive places for people and the natural environment. And our new purpose is to lead the sustainable transformation of the built environment. To do this, we have set four strategic goals.

1. Planet: Drive a carbon positive industry

By 2019, our industry will have a clear pathway to meet the 1.5°C target set in the Paris Agreement – and we want all major sectors of our industry to have established targets. To get there, we will develop science-based targets, resources, products and services to guide asset development and operations. 

In the next year, we will agree to sustainability impacts that we can measure, establish metrics and determine current benchmarks so that we can track our progress as an industry.

We will develop a framework to help industry reach its carbon positive goals, with the first step our work with the federal Department of the Environment and Energy, NABERS and the Barangaroo Delivery Authority on the expansion of the National Carbon Offset Standard.

We will also refine the way our products are developed and work. We want industry to have customer-focused products that are intuitive, cost effective and a pleasure to use. Our aim is to keep evolving the Green Star rating tools to support scalability and flexibility – and to ensure industry has more options as we work towards that 1.5°C target.

2. People: Foster liveable and sustainable communities and cities

We will develop a definition of liveable, sustainable communities and cities that resonates with all Australians – one that can be adopted by governments, our stakeholders and the end-users of buildings and communities. And of course, we will ensure industry has the transformational tools to develop and manage places that are sustainable, productive and resilient.

Over the next year, we will gain industry consensus on a clear definition for a sustainable city – one that can work with the City Deals model currently being rolled out around Australia. We will continue working with our current stakeholders as well as looking to forge new partnerships with like-minded organisations.

As we have always done, we will build on our partnerships, working with organisations that support our goals, such as GRESB, EcoDistricts, WELL, Smart Cities Council and others.

3. Industry: Broaden market transformation

GBCA and Green Star have always been positioned as a premium product. Today, we recognise the need to influence the broader built environment.

Broadening market transformation means engaging with the built environment sectors with the greatest potential for change, creating consumer demand and building the skills of our workforce to address emerging issues in new sectors.

Over the next year, our focus will be to launch a GBCA Academy to ensure we are developing the right skills, to establish and implement a clear residential strategy, and to define a way forward for other sectors.

4. Region: Increase regional influence

In September, GRESB applauded Australia’s “unbroken streak of global leadership”. GBCA is well connected to international peers and seen as a global leader. As Australia attracts ongoing international investment, this positions us to achieve and exceed our sustainability targets.

We are developing a new strategy to expand our members’ influence in the Asia Pacific, and to demonstrate how our region can collaborate to achieve our collective aims. We will also look to expand our existing partnerships and forge new ones to leverage opportunities for the Australian industry.

We have always had our members at the heart of everything we do. But we continue to look for new ways to create more value. We are embracing a technological approach to service delivery and a stronger focus on digital and mining the existing data we already have at our fingertips.

At their core, our four key goals are about leadership. We are committed to leading the shift to a new carbon positive industry, and to reshaping the way Australians live, work and play in their cities. We are determined to accelerate market transformation and to set the sustainability agenda throughout our region.

I’ve never been more positive about the possibilities for the future of our industry and our nation – and I am excited to be working with you, our members, as we build healthy, resilient and positive places for people and the natural environment.