The clock strikes 2024

27 Mar 2024

There are too many takeaways from TRANSFORM to summarise in one succinct sentence, but here goes… Set the clock to 2024, because the issues we’ve talked about for decades are moving into motion.

Nature was, perhaps, the key thought leadership thread throughout this year’s program, as the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures forces companies around the world to rethink their relationship with nature.

The moment when 320 companies, representing US$14 trillion in assets, committed to disclose their nature impacts was the moment the world stopped talking and started acting. There’s a lot going on globally, and our job at the Green Building Council of Australia is to translate the global trends and chatter into local action and real impact.

We are determined to bring the same level of clarity to the nature agenda that we did with carbon. At TRANSFORM we launched a nature discussion paper to seek industry input into the Nature Roadmap.

The nature discussion paper provides a primer of international drivers and national legislation, explores implications for the built environment, and unpacks the insights from four stakeholder workshops held last year. Now it’s over to you to read the discussion paper and share your feedback. (If you want a distillation of the nature discussion at TRANSFORM, check out our feature article in this month’s Green Building Voice.)

It’s also our job to sieve the “alphabet soup” of frameworks and guidelines and, as Frasers Property’s Paolo Bevilacqua said at TRANSFORM, turn them into a “hearty and digestible stew”. This is why I’m so proud of the industry-first international alliance we’ve struck with UK-based Building Research Establishment (BRE) and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) to unlock sustainable finance.

This new alliance will see us work together to align the world’s top green building rating systems – Green Star, BREEAM and LEED – as sustainable finance flows. Together these three rating tools already drive hundreds of thousands of buildings towards net zero; we just need finance to fund many more.

The first milestone for the alliance will be the launch of a sustainable finance guide at London Climate Action Week in June. This will expand on the practical guide to sustainable finance the GBCA launched to the Australian market in 2023.

We have also launched a new practical guide for grid-optimised precincts this month to help developers, governments, building owners, investors and residents prepare for the transition to electric vehicles, energy storage, and a more dynamic renewable electricity grid.

There’s a lot going on. Our Chief Impact Officer Jorge Chapa said it best at TRANSFORM, recalling a time when the GBCA would celebrate each new Green Star certification with cake. With 4,550 Green Star certifications on our books, that’s a lot of cake, he joked.

And our team has no time spare to sit around enjoying a sugar hit when there’s so much work to be done. The number of Green Star submissions in our system has doubled in the last six months. We know that’s a good problem to have. With the clock ticking, we continue to invest in people and systems, collaborate with members and respond to feedback, so that you, our extraordinary and visionary leaders, can help our nation transform.