One of our biggest and most successful weeks ever

02 October 2019

We’ve just witnessed the most successful World Green Building Week ever in Aotearoa. Thousands of Kiwis took part in panel discussions, building tours, webinars, movie nights, a photo competition and thought-provoking presentations, in some of the country’s best-known venues, including Parliament’s Bowen House, and Auckland Town Hall.

And we launched a Zero Carbon Roadmap for Aotearoa’s Buildings, alongside the first ever zero carbon certification for buildings in New Zealand, developed with our friends at Enviro-Mark Solutions. The road map is the first comprehensive raft of solutions to tackle the problem of building and construction climate change emissions, and we’ve been really happy with the reception it’s received.

The Government has already promised to consider the road map, and how it can support their climate change goals.

If you've missed out on any of the World Green Building Week presentations, or would like to watch any of them again, don't worry, we have video footage and copies of each presentation. Check out our video library as well as past events.

I’ll be catching up with the presentations online using the links above because I was celebrating World Green Building Week in New York, while the UN Climate Action Summit was in town and hitting the international headlines.

We’ve recently measured our own organisational carbon footprint, and flights form a significant part. I wrestled with the decision of whether or not to fly to the US, and decided the alliances we would strengthen with our international counterparts, particularly around the launch of the World Green Building Council’s report on tackling carbon pollution, and the key lessons from meeting the likes of the World Green Building Council, Green Building Council of South Africa and being involved in discussions on the greening of New York’s buildings would be hugely valuable to our mission. And it was. We will be flying a lot less though, and only when necessary, as we reduce our own climate emissions.

It was very clear from those all around the globe that action is building.To take just one example the Taskforce on Climate Related Financial Disclosure (TCFD) is starting to green finance. A total of over 780 organisations are now supporters of the TCFD, including the world’s largest banks, asset managers and pension funds, responsible for assets of USD $118 trillion. Bloomberg reported in New York that TCFD will be compulsory across Europe within a year and a half. This means far greater analysis of which assets are high carbon and more focus on directing investments towards greener or lower carbon assets.

Investors and regulators are illustrating in stronger and stronger words that action on carbon is coming like a freight train. So, I am really proud that the NZGBC has launched certification for zero carbon buildings. Yes. You can now certify any existing building.

Importantly, though anybody can get involved. If you don’t want to certify yet, you can still participate. Just send in your energy bills for the last 12 months and some key data. This is of use also. Get in touch.

Thank you to the thousands of you around Aotearoa who got involved with World Green Building Week, and to all of you who work together to make our homes and buildings better, for all New Zealanders. And, if you haven’t voted in your local elections yet, then there are still a few days to have you say – so make sure you vote!

Noho ora mai,

Nā Andrew