22 Feb 2023
There’s no better place for the property industry’s sustainability champions to come together than TRANSFORM 2023. The conference, which kicks off in Sydney on 22 March, is the epicentre of thought leadership and trendspotting for the green building ecosystem. But it’s what happens off stage and in the breaks that interests TRANSFORM 2023 Chair, Jeff Oatman.
“Fit and in fighting form” is how Jeff, the GBCA’s Head of Collaboration and Membership, describes Australia’s sustainable building sector in 2023.
Green Star Future Focus remained a clear light on the hill during the darkest days of the Covid-19 pandemic, he says. “I think people really anchored themselves to our Future Focus vision and that has translated into a spike in membership, Green Star registrations and demand for training.” Interest in Green Star working groups has “gone through the roof” too. “We received almost 200 nominations for our expert reference panels last year. Our latest Responsible Products Advisory Group alone, received 60 nominations for just eight spots.
“We are no longer dealing with the ‘usual suspects’ of sustainability. Instead, we’re being joined by a whole new cohort of companies from along the supply chain, like product manufacturers and financial institutions. And that means there’s plenty of new faces for you to meet at TRANSFORM.”
This year, TRANSFORM will feature more than 30 hours of content through keynotes, panels, breakouts and conversations. It’s an unmissable information exchange, as the stellar line-up of speakers confirms. But challenging concepts often need time to ‘percolate’. “Innovation diffusion is a process. It took nearly a decade for the industry to measure and manage operational carbon as a matter of course. Now we’re on the same journey with embodied carbon, but the volume is much larger and the timeframe compressed. We need more ideas, more enthusiasm, and more people in the room if we are to move further, faster,” Jeff says. Other ideas can rapidly evolve into real-world outcomes. Jeff points to the recently launched Global CookSafe Coalition as an example. “That was just a spark of an idea at TRANSFORM 2022. A year later it has amassed partners and ambassadors and developing campaigns.” The breaks are often where the GBCA gets its best ideas, Jeff adds, because “that’s when the challenging – but necessary – conversations can happen.”
Achieving net zero by 2050 will require the building sector to be net zero in operation by 2030. “We are seeing a lot of Australian businesses and governments commit to ambitious targets by 2030 and bringing them to life with tools, like Green Star,” Jeff says.
The GBCA’s most recent Green Star satisfaction survey found 91% of members are happy with the rating system’s evolution. The business case for Green Star may be “sold” in many sectors, but that doesn’t mean the GBCA’s work is ever done, Jeff observes.
“Our role is to challenge industry to embrace sustainability at speed and scale – and we can only do that when everyone’s moving together in the same direction.”
The GBCA is the conductor, but the members of the orchestra are the stars of the show, Jeff notes.
“It’s not our job to solve the big problems. Our job is to get the right people in the room so they can solve those problems together. That’s what TRANSFORM does.”
Don’t miss your chance to meet the right people in the room where it happens.