Steve Aschebrock appointed new board chair of the New Zealand Green Building Council

04 December 2019

Steve Aschebrock is the new board chair of the New Zealand Green Building Council.

Steve has been on the board since 2014, when he joined alongside the outgoing board chair Gary Walker.

We sat down with him ahead of our Annual General Meeting.

“It seems really strange, but I remember when I was about 10 years old doing a project on the toucan... I don’t know why I chose the toucan but I was really worried about how the habitat of the Brazilian rainforest was being destroyed and the toucan had nowhere to live.

“That was my big thing and then I thought at that early age, why can’t we pay the Brazilian government not to cut down the forest?”

Now, years later Steve Aschebrock is the managing director of commercial flooring supplier INZIDE Commercial. They’ve got a big focus on protecting the environment and a circular economy. They’re CarboNZero certified and work with recycled carpets

“I was corporate – I was Lion Breweries, I was Vodafone, Pepsi Cola, Procter & Gamble, big FMCG, so why did I leave all the corporate and go into my own little business, why did we become CarboNZero certified 13 years ago? Part of that was so I could try make a difference, and partly because I wanted to pay the Brazilian Government carbon credits so they don’t chop down their forests.

“In the New Zealand market there's two million square metres of vinyl sold every year, and there’s 50 thousand square metres of marmoleum. It’s stupid. I’m quite a crusader to get rid of plastics and to me carpet tiles are plastic. I don’t know why you’re allowed to bring it into the country if you don’t export it out of the country again when it’s finished.

“That’s what we do, so we’re exporting this back out as waste to be turned into a new carpet and we bring it back again so there’s a continuous loop.”

Steve helped develop NZGBC’s interiors tool, prompting an interest in working more with the NZGBC.

“I really liked it and I could see major change coming through it. Then I saw actual change and thought I really want to be a bit more involved.

“The Green Building Council itself is the voice. People know how to build a good building, and the Green Building Council is certainly showing them how to do it.”

Steve takes over from Gary Walker who has served as chair since being voted in in 2017.

“Gary's done a brilliant job, we’ve just got to keep on pushing and looking for those step changes that we can make."

Brendon Dwyer re-elected as a core board member.

After a close run election Brendon Dwyer has been voted onto the Board as a core member. Brendon was previously appointed as an independent board member. The general manager of building services at Beca across NZ, Australia and Asia,  Brendon has been an active contributor to the NZGBC for many years.

Brendon is a passionate advocate for good quality, sustainable design solutions, and has a strong desire to contribute to the NZ construction industry, as we continue to develop our sector. The NZ construction sector is a significant component of the NZ economy, and touches all New Zealanders. We have a significant role to play in the development of a successful and sustainable NZ. Brendon sees the role at the NZGBC as a key opportunity to inform and influence our industry.

A big thanks to the other nominees Jeff Samasoni, Mitchell Jefferson, and Lance Jimmieson.