Welcome support for built environment’s opportunity to reduce emissions

28 February 2019

With the built environment accounting for a quarter of Australia’s emissions, the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) has welcomed the Federal Government’s announcement of additional support for energy efficiency programs.

Head of Public Affairs and Membership, Jonathan Cartledge, said it was terrific to see government recognising the significant opportunity the built environment offers to meet Australia’s emissions reduction commitments.

“There is a wealth of evidence showing that improving the energy efficiency of our buildings is an extremely cost effective way to considerably cut carbon emissions,” Mr Cartledge said.

“Measures targeted at new and existing buildings could deliver 28 per cent of Australia’s 2030 emissions reduction target according to the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council.

“We are particularly pleased to see the government building on the success of the National Australian Built Environment Energy Rating System (NABERS) and expanding its application to more building types, like schools, and industrial buildings.

“The GBCA is proud to work in close partnership with the NABERS program, and looks forward to helping fully leverage the benefits of its expanded focus.

“Likewise, the Commercial Building Disclosure (CBD) program has a proven track record of success. We would urge the government at the conclusion of the announced review to move forward with applying mandatory disclosure to other high energy using classes of commercial building.

“The GBCA has always been a strong supporter of the CBD program, which working in parallel with Green Star, has proven to be a critical driver in unlocking the emissions reduction potential of our buildings while raising awareness of building energy performance among building occupants, delivering cost savings and creating jobs.

“Our Carbon Positive Roadmap for the built environment, released last year, sets out the clear steps required for commercial, institutional and government buildings and fitouts to decarbonise and proposes a range of policy positions for industry to support. It is fantastic to see calls for upgrades to energy efficiency requirements and an expansion of requirements for the mandatory disclosure of energy efficiency reflected in this announcement.

“Alongside this the further support announced for the implementation of the COAG Trajectory for Low Energy Buildings, is welcome noting the broad benefits for consumers and businesses that come with increased energy efficiency across our buildings.  

“The built environment represents an incredible opportunity to support the transition to a low emissions future. These investments represent a step in the right direction towards the recognition of this potential. We look forward to working with government in the implementation of these initiatives.”