Update from Alex

30 November 2015

Member Newsletter - November 2015

Inspired by the WGBC World Congress 2015

Bringing together 31 green building councils from around the world, World Congress is the focal point in the annual calendar for senior leaders to connect, share experiences and consider ideas for the future. Inspiring stories are shared about projects making a real difference globally. Last month I was lucky enough to join up with colleagues from around the world in Hong Kong for the 2015 congress. Here are a few highlights…

Andrea Reimer, Deputy Mayor of Vancouver talked about the city’s ambition to be the greenest city in the world. The plan started from a negative space, with a tiny budget and a huge ambition. The Greenest City Action Plan 2020 was launched as an icebreaker, ”pushing through the sea of possibility” as Andrea described it. The business case is the impressive bit - $31.5bn of brand value as a result of their ‘greenest city’ label which attracts more capital. Andrea can be found here and here’s a video from a past session.

Another great project is the European-wide Build Upon delivering the renovation revolution to transform Europe’s existing built environment. The EU required each country to develop a national renovation strategy by April 2014, with an update by April 2017. Build Upon is the effort to bring a powerful collaborative community together, with strong partnerships, events and projects. There is a huge amount of work that has gone into the impressive constellation diagrams of stakeholder mapping, and videos of key stakeholders demonstrating their support.

Paul Scialla of Delos was present to discuss progress on the WELL Building Standard, which focuses on human health, well-being, science and design. For those of you that never saw it, CBRE’s global headquarters were WELL rated in 2013, and they are now working on over 200 projects globally.

Closer to home, 90% of Hong Kong’s electricity is used in buildings and Hong Kong Green Building Council’s vision is for a low carbon sustainable built environment. This entails reducing electricity consumption by 30% (from a 2005 absolute level) by 2030. Hong Kong has some similar issues with building stock as we do in New Zealand, in that very little has accurate metering.

Finally, Chris Pyke, COO of GRESB provided an overview of how industry is getting greener fast, with Australia/New Zealand leading the way (pdf). Of course the reality is that only one NZ entity has filed data, so we still have a way to go to get meaningful local figures. GRESB’s perspective is that there is a demand for high quality data.

Finally, it’s hard to believe it’s nearly the end of the year already. This will be our last newsletter of the year. Thank you to all our members for your loyal support during 2015. I hope you have a wonderful and safe break.