Achievements worth applause

16 Dec 2020

A word from Davina Rooney, CEO, Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA)

While 2020 will be remembered for drought, bushfire, smoke and a global pandemic, I hope it will also be remembered for some impressive industry achievements.

This week we launched our annual report, Green Star: A year in focus, and the numbers alone are a sign that our industry has not stepped back from sustainability at scale.

Together, we delivered 456 Green Star projects – the most ratings Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) has issued in a single year. Australia now boasts 48 million sqm of Green Star-rated space, and the cumulative saving is equivalent to 5.7 billion kilograms of carbon dioxide.

The diversity of assets we now rate speaks volumes of our industry’s visionary leadership. U City's innovative answer to aged care, Melbourne Conservatorium’s carbon neutral concert hall and the Melbourne Metro Tunnel’s city train stations are just three inspiring examples (and you can read more in Green Star: A year in focus).

This year we acknowledged the vision, passion and commitment of 40 Green Star Champions with a new award. One of these champions, Cundall’s Director David Clark, recently accepted the WorldGBC’s prestigious Business Leadership in Sustainability Award on behalf of his team, which has set ambitious targets and action plans that tackle everything from zero carbon energy to ethics and equity.

Other achievements in 2020 also deserve a special round of applause. We launched Green Star Buildings, the biggest overhaul of the Green Star rating system in 18 years. We worked together to define positive, healthy and resilient Green Star Homes. We continued to respond to the needs of our users and chalked up an 80 per cent satisfaction rate with Green Star this year – the highest satisfaction on record.

These are just a few of the outcomes made possible through the collaboration and commitment of our members and partners. Many more are showcased in Green Star: A year in focus.

We are also excited to launch the first stage of our long-awaited Green Star Online project with four digital calculators. We have tapped into next generation technology with the help of Build-Apps and Microsoft to deliver Green Star digitally in 2021. This will help us improve the customer experience and make Green Star submissions even easier.

The staged approach will give our users the chance to explore the new platform and share feedback before we flick the switch on Green Star Buildings in May. Other rating tools will follow as they are released.

Green Star Online will deliver on our promise of democratised data with a robust framework that will allow us to build new business applications, automate processes and leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning. Together, we can guide the future with the right data – and giving you access to slice and dice our Green Star data will enable you to make better decisions about your projects.

While I’m sure we are all pleased that 2020 is drawing to a close, it is reassuring to know the transition to net zero continues at pace and scale, despite the disruptions.

On behalf of the team at GBCA, I wish everyone a safe and happy holiday. Our office will close on 24 December 2020 but we will be back on 11 January 2021, ready to roll up our sleeves and continue our work to transform the built environment.