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‘Net zero’ is the new goal for the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) who recently pledged to drive the building industry towards this important environmental objective. GBCA made the pledge to mark the inaugural Buildings Day, held as part of the COP21 climate change negotiations in Paris.

According to GBCA Chief Executive Officer Romilly Madew, a new label will be introduced in 2016 to recognise buildings that achieve ‘net zero’ impact in energy, carbon and water. She explained that the new label will also recognise buildings that go beyond net zero to make positive contributions to the environment, such as generating more renewable energy than is consumed.

GBCA will additionally introduce an advanced curriculum to educate professionals on how to deliver net zero buildings, promote net zero as an achievable goal in the organisation’s events, and create resources that can be used internationally to drive the uptake of net zero building worldwide.

The GBCA will also continue collaborating with local, state and federal governments to develop policies and initiatives that lead to greener buildings, sustainable communities and productive cities.

Madew observes the Australian market is already leading the world in terms of sustainability in some sectors, proven by its position at the top of the GRESB table for five years. Stating that the next challenge is to embrace a net zero philosophy, she added that the GBCA’s vision is to recognise and reward projects that make a positive contribution to the environment.