Romilly Madew wins prestigious international sustainability award

05 Oct 2017

5 October 2017

Romilly Madew, Chief Executive Officer of the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA), has been awarded the prestigious World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) Chairman’s Award for her work to advance sustainable building globally.

Ms Madew received the award from Tai Lee Siang, WorldGBC Chairman, at a special ceremony last night in Jaipur, India.

The WorldGBC Chairman’s Award honours people who have contributed to the transformation of the global property and construction industry.

Ms Madew was chosen as this year’s winner for her tireless commitment to sustainability, and her inspirational leadership.

“Since 2006, Romilly has been at the forefront of a global movement to change the shape of our buildings, communities and cities,” Mr Tai said.

“Not only has Romilly been instrumental in transforming Australia’s building industry through her sustained leadership and advocacy, but she has played a vital role at the global level.”

At the helm of the GBCA for more than a decade, Ms Madew represents 650-plus individual companies with a collective annual turnover of more than $40 billion. 

Under Ms Madew’s leadership, the GBCA has certified more than 1,715 sustainable buildings, communities and fitouts under the Green Star rating system. 

Importantly, these buildings consume 62 per cent less energy than non-Green Star buildings, emit 66 per cent fewer greenhouse gases and use 51 per cent less water. They are also healthier and more productive places – with a raft of evidence finding Green Star buildings can boost productivity by up to 15 per cent.

Today, 37 per cent of Australia's office space has Green Star certification. Schools, hospitals, libraries, community centres, apartments, industrial facilities and the Sydney Opera House have achieved Green Star ratings. More than 1.3 million people visit a Green Star-rated shopping centre each day and 42,000 live in Green Star-rated apartments. In addition, 420,000 people are moving into Green Star communities, the same number that live in the nation’s capital.

Mr Tai praised Ms Madew’s instrumental role to establish several green building councils – including the New Zealand, South African, Hong Kong and Indonesian GBCs. He also paid tribute to her long service on the WorldGBC Board of Directors, and work to establish the Asia Pacific Green Building Network. 

“This award also acknowledges Romilly’s efforts to champion equality and diversity throughout the green construction industry,” he said.

Ms Madew joins an illustrious list of previous Chairman’s Award winners, including Sir Timothy Smit of the Eden Project (2012); Qiu BaoXing, former Vice Minister of the Chinese Government’s Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (2014); and Rick Fedrizzi, former CEO of the US Green Building Council and current CEO of The International WELL Building Institute (2016). 

Accepting the award, Ms Madew said she was honoured to play a role in shaping the world’s greenest real estate sector.

“Just last month, GRESB, the global real estate sustainability benchmark, ranked Australia the global green leader for the seventh year in a row. 

“To me, this award acknowledges the leadership of our industry, which is committed to delivering enduring value to communities and investors while creating a better future for us all.”