Innovation fuels Australia’s net zero commitments

26 Aug 2020

Our CEO, Davina Rooney, recently caught up with Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) members who are carving the path to a carbon positive future. These members are signatories to the World Green Building Council's (WGBC) global Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment (the Commitment), which challenges organisations to achieve ambitious net zero operating carbon emissions across their portfolios by 2030 and to advocate for all buildings to be Net Zero in operation by 2050.

Since its launch on 13 September 2018, the Commitment has captured a global interest and last week WGBC celebrated a new milestone, receiving its 100th signature. Of the businesses, organisations, states and cities that make up the 100, 18 are Australian with QIC and Mott MacDonald the most recent GBCA members to join.

Part of our local cohort, and GBCA’s Climate Positive Partners, are Dexus, GPT Group, Frasers Property Australia, Integral Group and Lendlease. Davina Rooney recently spent time with some of these signatories to unpack how they are working toward a net zero property portfolio, including some of the solutions implemented to reach this goal.

David Yates, Executive General Manager, Investor Relations, Communications & Sustainability, shared that Dexus have started a renewable energy supply agreement will enable the organisation to source 100% renewable energy for their property portfolio in NSW.

Paulo Bevilacqua, General Manager Real Utilities, Frasers Property Australia, said that while Frasers have strong sustainability foundations in place, they are always exploring new innovations and improvements for the way they do business, their customers and the environment.

“We’ve just produced a measurement tool for residential that will allow customers to look at offsetting at the time of purchase, and that’s something we’re keen to get some feedback on,” said Paulo.

Integral Group was one of three founding signatories to the Commitment. Richard Palmer, Principal Sustainability Consultant and Green Star Champion, explained that because net zero is at the core of what Integral do, the next step is one of promotion and responsibility.

“I think now our focus and attention is very much moving to advocacy and impact across the industry and how we’re able drive net zero more broadly in the built environment,” explained Richard.

Mark Fookes, COO, GPT Group, used data to confirm that the Group’s commitment is on track, “Since we've been on this journey, we’ve been able to reduce our energy usage by 45% since a 2005 benchmark, that’s delivered over $210 million electricity savings... we’ve been able to reduce our emissions by over 60%, which is 1.5 million tons of carbon we’ve been able to save,” shared Mark.

With signatories doubling from 50 to 100 in just a year and under the impacts of a global pandemic, there is hope that the momentum towards a healthy, resilient and net zero future is gaining pace. To be inspired by our Climate Positive Partners and the important work they are doing, see our recent Carbon leader series and tune into World Green Building Week, 21-25 September.

Watch the Carbon leader series