Update from Alex: creating lasting positive change

26 September 2016

With only a few days until our new CEO, Andrew Eagles, starts, it’s obviously an opportune moment to reflect on how far we’ve come during my time in the role.

I certainly started at a challenging time in May 2010, due to the global financial crisis, disinterest from Government and the earthquakes that hit Christchurch not long afterwards. I feel that optimism, and a strong belief in the value of sustainability, have stood us in good stead. Our goal at the time was to maintain the status quo, trying hard not to lose ground in the tough times, and slowly but surely building again. Now, I think NZGBC is in a great place to ramp up its impact.

With a focus on continuing to grow our capacity, refining and perfecting our portfolio (look out for a new rating-tool strategy in the next six months), and a desire to broaden our appeal, we are steadily building this business to meet the needs of more customers – and one that meets our vision for all New Zealanders to live, work and play in a sustainable built environment. As we celebrate World Green Building Week this week, alongside Green Building Councils around the world, it’s clear: the movement is growing as more people realise the impact buildings have on our health, finances and environment.

Andrew will be a great leader to take NZGBC to the next level. He will be inheriting an organisation that’s credibly placed to continue to influence the broader sustainable built environment.

As an organisation, we’re working to get our message out more broadly and demonstrate how essential – and desirable – sustainability is. Key stakeholder groups for us are property agents (and their influence on tenants), schools (and their influence on future generations), and the residential sector (meeting the needs of all New Zealanders). This week we celebrate success with ratings for organisations in each of these groups:

  • The new 5 Green Star-rated Bayleys House, part of an exciting new precinct, and Bayleys’ desire to infuse sustainability into the culture of the organisation;
  • Te Kura Kaupapa Maori O Whangaroa in Northland, our latest Green Star school that will change how a new generation thinks about sustainable buildings; and
  • One of many new social housing developments for Housing New Zealand, creating energy-efficient homes and avoiding the fuel poverty that’s linked so strongly with the health of our children, while addressing sustainability in whole-of-life housing.

The common factor with all these great projects and the many we have in the pipeline, is you – NZGBC’s strong and supportive membership. Our core focus is still as a catalyst: to educate and support you, so you can play your part in promoting and delivering green buildings that will change our built environment. I urge you to connect with Andrew and the NZGBC team. Let them know how they can continue to support your sustainability work, and that of New Zealand’s green building community. The more we share knowledge and encourage each other, the quicker we will create lasting, positive change.

Go well,

Alex