TRANSFORM 2019: Businesses lead the sustainable transformation of Australia’s built environment
Jay van Rijn | Mar 25th 2019

What happens when you bring together Australia’s best-in-class property and construction firms with their superannuation finance partners, plus consultants, service providers, product suppliers and the local and world green building councils? Progress and industry transformation towards Net-Zero!

Photo: Green Building Council of Australia

At this year’s Green Building Council of Australia’s (GBCA) Transform conference, there was criticism of the status quo – but also greater optimism about the resources available for sustainable transformation, and calls to climate action from industry.

From John Thwaites, Chair of ClimateWorks Australia’s rebuttal of Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s claims that Australia will meet our Paris Agreement commitments “in a canter”, to GBCA’s incoming CEO, Davina Rooney, laying down the foundations and showing how the building sector can effectively rise to the challenge of meeting the scale and urgency required to decarbonise the economy.

It’s no secret that Australian businesses are amongst the world’s most proactive in commercial building sustainability and sustainable finance management (see TCFD and ClimateAction100+). So it makes sense that Transform 2019 was more than just a call for industry action – the conference also saw corporate leaders in the building sector to announce some impressive sustainability achievements, and celebrated climate action success stories that will surely inspire and motivate further industry-wide commitments.

Major progress was seen from Frasers Property Australia and Toll Group, who announced the first National Carbon Offset Standard (NCOS) carbon neutral certified buildings under the NABERS and GreenStar rating tools respectively. Investa also achieved the first Science Based Target approval in Australian Real Estate. These achievements build on the GBCA’s Carbon Positive Roadmap and the World Green Building Council’s Global Net Zero Carbon Building Commitment.

But to get to net-zero, speakers also emphasised the need for an interconnected approach with systemic solutions. Sector-wide cooperation and partnerships will be integral to successful climate action.

Photo: Green Building Council of Australia

What were the main takeaways from GBCA’s Transform 2019? Well, 2019 is shaping up to be the biggest year yet for Australia’s built environment, in terms of achieving national and international firsts in climate action – and we’re looking forward to supporting industry efforts to decarbonise and transform our built environment towards net-zero emissions!

South Pole was Carbon Offset Sponsor for Transform 2019 for emissions measurement and offsetting – all emissions from the event were compensated for through our Prony Wind Power project in New Caledonia.


South Pole is excited to support Australia’s building and construction industry in its continued sustainability journey towards net-zero emissions – and there are a multitude of opportunities to be unlocked for businesses and organisations that join the movement for a greener future.

Learn more & get in touch with the team at South Pole Australia to find out how we can help your organisation fulfil its sustainability ambitions and reap the benefits!

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