Cars, collaboration, and call me!

27 August 2019

Photo by Adrian Schwarz on Unsplash

One million cars belch out a lot of climate change pollution.

And constructing and renovating buildings in Aotearoa pumps out a similar amount – a whopping three million tonnes of carbon every year. That was one of the key findings in a much-publicised report we launched recently.

The carbon pollution identified in the report only included so-called ‘embodied carbon’. (If any of you can think of a better term, please drop me a line!) Embodied carbon refers only to the emissions created during the manufacture and construction stage of a building and its materials – not the operational emissions.

Called Under Construction: Hidden emissions and untapped potential of buildings for New Zealand’s 2050 zero carbon goal, the report, written by our friends at thinkstep, also found that our industry could slash emissions by around 1.2 million tonnes of carbon every year. That’s like taking almost half a million cars off the road.

The findings of this report clearly show that buildings and construction have to form a key part of New Zealand’s efforts to tackle climate change pollution. We simply can’t achieve our zero carbon goals without making progress on this hidden pollution.

And that’s exactly what we told the Environment Select Committee, when we appeared in front of them on the day the report was launched.

I’d like to thank our members who provided important feedback and information for this report. Working together, collaboratively, to transition our industry to zero carbon is a hugely important task, and will remain a key priority for the Green Building Council.

Our next step on this path will come in September, during what is shaping up to be a great World Green Building Week. There’ll be webinars, a photo competition, Green Speak Waikato and some heavyweight panel discussions taking place in Christchurch, Auckland and Wellington.

The event in Wellington will be taking place at Parliament, and will mark the launch of New Zealand’s first ever roadmap to zero carbon for all our buildings. This roadmap will include the launch of a new zero carbon tool, for existing buildings.

This new tool, and Homestar, Green Star, NABERSNZ and HomeFit, are for everyone of us who is working to make New Zealand buildings better, healthier, less polluting, more efficient places for all New Zealanders.

All of you, who share this vision, created the Green Building Council, and continue to make us who we are.

All of you own, together, collaboratively, the tools which authenticate and celebrate green buildings in New Zealand. All of you can have input on our advocacy strategy for change.

The staff in our second floor Auckland office oversee the strategies and tools on your behalf. And we want to get to a sustainable healthy New Zealand as soon as possible, so always welcome consultation and feedback.

We get that through the events we hold around the country, the consultations we hold, the webinars, the training, through the network of accredited professionals, through meeting many of you at other events.

But I also wanted to provide a direct line for you to talk to me.You might have questions about some of our strategy on existing homes such what we are doing in relation to the healthy homes standard.

You might have a suggestion about a new developer who we could speak to or be advocating for change with your local council and have somebody we should meet.You might be wondering how to assess the building you work in or have suggestions or questions about Homestar, Green Star of HomeFit.

I’ll be blocking out 2.30pm until 5pm on the first Wednesday of every month especially to hear from you. Bring suggestions, thoughts, feedback on our work.Call me direct on 09 9510744.

I look forward to speaking with you. Together, we’re going to make our buildings better.

Noho ora mai


Email Andrew