Discussion paper

A carbon positive roadmap for the built environment

29 Jun 2018

Discussion paper and roadmap Stage 1 for commercial, institutional, and government buildings and fitouts
Discussion paper: The world passed another global-warming milestone in 2016 (NASA, 2017), with temperatures rising to their hottest on record for the third year in a row. Now is the time to take action on climate change. Since the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) was established in 2003, we have established strong networks, respected global rating tools and a solid reputation within industry and government. We are therefore in a unique position to gain consensus on industry action. By working collaboratively to drive the uptake of the Green Star rating system, we have encouraged leadership, transformed industry practice and created enduring value for asset owners, investors, managers and the people who live, work and play in buildings.
In much the same way, we are developing a Carbon Positive Roadmap to inspire industry to take action as we work towards Australia’s climate targets, to provide clear pathways to carbon neutrality, and to create new value for our members. With industry behind us, we can make this happen. This discussion paper is the first step towards a new Carbon Positive Roadmap. Using the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council’s (ASBEC’s) Low Carbon, High Performance report (2016) as a guide, GBCA has built on the targets outlined to meet our Australian’s commitments to the Paris Agreement, and to keep global warming to within 2.0ºC. These are:
 All new buildings must be net zero by 2030
 All existing buildings must be net zero by 2050.
GBCA’s vision is for a 1.5˚C future, as outlined to in the Paris Agreement (GBCA, 2016). To realise this future, we need to create a net zero built environment at an even faster pace than previously anticipated. This discussion paper sets the scene for a 1.5˚C future, outlines potential priorities for the industry, and the roadmap for action, such as defining carbon neutral buildings and precincts.
Roadmap Stage 1: We have now developed a draft roadmap for industry feedback. The draft roadmap outlines high-level outcomes, actions, targets, advocacy positions and proposed changes to Green Star over the next decade. The targets and positions outlined in the roadmap should be considered as tentative and draft.
The roadmap is limited to commercial, institutional and government buildings and fitouts. The next release of this roadmap to be released in 2019 will also address the residential sector and the precinct scale.
We will update the roadmap every 12 to 18 months as new information is available, practices change, or other areas of opportunity are identified. While care has been taken to ensure the information in this document is accurate, it may change based on regular industry feedback.