Industry to shape Australia’s nature roadmap

12 Mar 2024

The Green Building Council of Australia is seeking industry input on its upcoming Nature Roadmap, which will shape the future of environmental management and nature regeneration in and around our buildings and communities. 

GBCA CEO, Davina Rooney said the Nature Roadmap, which is due for release in early 2025, will set ambitious environmental benchmarks, aligning with broader conservation efforts to transform our buildings and communities. 

“The Nature Roadmap will be a significant step towards ensuring as an industry we are creating spaces that actively contribute to the enhancement of nature and biodiversity,” Ms Rooney said. 

“Our buildings and communities have direct and indirect impacts on our habitat, ecosystems and water quality. As a sector, we must work together to protect existing nature and biodiversity and to support the renewal of nature in our cities.” 

Ms Rooney said the pressing issues we face, like climate change and biodiversity loss, call for a fresh perspective.  

“We need to embrace a new approach—one that honours and integrates the knowledge and traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples alongside Western knowledge and science.”  

“We need to ensure the resilience of Australia's landscapes for generations to come. It's about valuing and celebrating diverse perspectives to tackle the complexity of our challenges head-on,” Ms Rooney said. 

Ms Rooney said there is also financial imperative to get it right, with over half of the global economy dependent on nature. 

“In Australia, almost half of our GDP ($896 billion) depends directly on nature, while indirectly every dollar spent in the Australian economy depends on a healthy ecosystem and nature.” 

Boards are expected to integrate nature-related considerations as part of their fiduciary duties, covering risks, dependencies, and opportunities. This comes following the release of the Taskforce for Nature-Related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) framework in September 2023. 

The GPT Group supports GBCA’s work on nature as our Nature Principal Partner. GPT’s Head of Sustainability, Steve Ford said that understanding your impacts and dependency on nature is important for a property company. 

“GPT recognises the built environment displaces natural environments and draws upon natural resources from all over the world. We have a responsibility to better understand these impacts and act to reduce them, both to minimise our impact on the environment and to ensure the resilience of our assets and deliver long term value creation for our stakeholders. We also look for opportunities to invest in nature restoration, contributing to a resilient future for our business and for the generations to come,” Mr Ford said. 

Discussion paper

To initiate feedback from industry, GBCA today released a discussion paper on Nature which has been shaped by the development of last year’s Building with Nature 2.0 paper. 

The discussion paper evaluates environmental risks and opportunities, explores innovative concepts for nature regeneration, and underscores the collaborative roles required between governments and different parts of our industry for success.  

Key highlights of the discussion paper include: 

  • A primer on international drivers and national legislation relevant to nature. 
  • Results from workshops held nationally with industry, government, practitioners, and experts on nature. 
  • Emphasis on the importance of First Nations engagement and integration of their knowledge to improve nature outcomes. 
  • Proposal and feedback solicitation on guiding principles for roadmap development. 
  • Discussion on key issues arising from the application of principles and anticipated legislative changes in the future. 
  • Case studies from GPT and Investa highlighting examples of protection and restoration of biodiversity around project sites. 

GBCA encourages feedback from all sectors. To read the discussion paper and submit your feedback, please visit this link on our website

Case studies

GPT - GBCA's Nature Principal Partner 

The GPT Group’s voluntary actions at 865 Boundary Road in west Melbourne show how a natural capital approach can strategically inform the protection and restoration of Australia’s biodiversity. Read the case study here

Investa - GBCA member 

Investa’s ‘Operation Crayfish’ project seeks to re-establish crayweed along the 70km stretch of greater Sydney’s foreshores. Read the case study here