Seasons of Green Star leadership

15 Dec 2022

A message from the CEO Davina Rooney

As 2022, our 20th anniversary year, draws to a close and we hone in on the holiday season, the GBCA team is already looking at another milestone on the road ahead: 20 years of Green Star in 2023.

Our industry’s cumulative impact through Green Star is impressive, and our Green Star: A year in focus shares all the highlights. But the numbers alone are astounding. Three million people visited a Green Star-rated shopping centre every day in 2022. More than 825,000 people healed in a Green Star certified hospital this year. And 770,000 people will live or work in the 60-plus Green Star communities we have certified.

Green Star has only achieved so much by standing on the shoulders of giants – and their seasons of leadership have been essential to our success today.

With Maria Atkinson AM, foundation CEO and visionary at the helm, the GBCA laid out the challenge and set the standard for excellence. Maria gathered the industry’s leaders together and got them all reading from the same map – Green Star.

Translating that leadership into a market-level movement was the next step, and super-collaborator Romilly Madew AO stepped into the ring. Romilly steered the GBCA through the global financial crisis and brought new voices to the table.

In every era of Green Star, we’ve made progress when industry leaders lifted our eyes above the horizon. In fact, almost every big regulatory change over the last 20 years has started with a game-changing Green Star project.

We can draw a straight line from the ACT’s all-electric commitment to Ginninderry’s determination to be Canberra’s first suburb designed without natural gas.

Quay Quarter put embodied carbon on the agenda by retaining two-thirds of the original building core and saving 6.1 million kilograms of carbon.

The Gold Coast Commonwealth Games showcased sustainable social infrastructure at scale, laying the foundations for the world-leading carbon neutral ambitions for the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Changes to the National Construction Code this year would have been impossible without a coalition of home builders talking about what was possible. These leaders have avoided old arguments by focusing on a prosperous new hope.

The current era of Green Star reflects both the maturity of the GBCA and the enormity of the climate crisis. We must step up the pace of change and the scale of ambition while we manage the complexity of an ever-broadening scope of issues, from electrification at scale to embodied carbon. We must whistle while we walk.

Changes at the board level of the GBCA also usher in a new season of leadership. We welcome five new faces to the table as we bid farewell to five-longstanding sustainability champions. One of those, Property Council Chief Executive Ken Morrison, backed Green Star before it even had a name. Read Ken’s reflections in this month’s Green Building Voice.

As always, the GBCA is future focused and has an ambitious agenda for Green Star in 2023. Top of the list are rolling out a digital platform, launching new iterations of Green Star Communities and Green Star Fitouts, and publishing guidance documents for grid interactive buildings and upfront carbon.

With the holiday season upon us, I wish all our members, partners and followers a wonderful break. We will be closing the GBCA office on Friday December 23 so we can rewind and recharge. We will be back on Monday January 9 ready for a new season of Green Star leadership in 2023.