Expanding the National Carbon Offset Standard a win for buildings, precincts and cities

The Turnbull Government’s decision to expand the National Carbon Offset Standard to include buildings, precincts and cities has been welcomed by the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA).

The Australian Government introduced the National Carbon Offset Standard in 2010 to recognise carbon neutral businesses, products, services and events.

“We applaud the Turnbull Government’s commitment to expand the standard to include buildings, cities and precincts, and are delighted to participate in the Expert Committee,” says the GBCA’s Chief Executive Officer, Romilly Madew.

“Our cities are responsible for as much as 80 per cent of our national energy consumption, which means they are at the frontline of any efforts to tackle climate change.

“Australia now has more than 1,050 Green Star projects under its belt, and we’ve claimed the title of the world’s greenest property sector for five years running, according to the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark.

“Australia’s property and construction industry is responsible for delivering the building blocks of our cities, from individual buildings to entire communities. If we are to meet Australia’s emissions reduction targets and international commitments to limit global warming to less than two degrees Celsius, we must find ways to encourage and empower industry to deliver more sustainable development.

“We know how to deliver low-carbon buildings and we are seeing great leadership at the community scale emerging with projects such as the Green Star-rated Tonsley in South Australia, Aura and Ecco Ripley in Queensland and Alkimos Beach in Western Australia. Now, it’s time for us to up the ante and focus on delivering zero-carbon buildings and precincts.

“To do this, we need a credible, rigorous and broadly-accepted method that provides a clear definition of carbon neutral buildings, and provides certainty to investors, tenants and building owners. Expanding the National Carbon Offset Standard will allow Australia’s property industry to be recognised for creating and operating carbon neutral buildings, precincts and entire cities,” Ms Madew says.

Environment Minister Greg Hunt has promised to establish an Expert Committee for carbon neutral precincts and cities, and says “the aim is for Australia to have our first officially certified and operating carbon neutral precinct or city by January 2017.”

The first meeting of the Expert Committee is planned for April 2016 and will include representation from the GBCA, as well as from Australia’s capital cities, the Barangaroo Delivery Authority, the National Australian Built Environment Rating System and the CRC for Low Carbon Living.

“Last year, the Green Building Council of Australia announced our intention to recognise and certify zero carbon buildings. We are looking forward to collaborating with the Australian Government and other key stakeholder groups to ensure the carbon neutral standard gives our industry the tools and recognition it needs to work towards a low-carbon future,” Ms Madew concludes.

The Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) was established in 2002 to develop a sustainable property industry in Australia and drive the adoption of green building practices through market-based solutions.

Media contact

Karen Jamal
Green Building Council of Australia
Phone: 0412 179 135
Email: karen.jamal@gbca.org.au