The CEO of the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA), Romilly Madew, has been awarded the prestigious World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) Chairman’s Award for her work in advancing sustainable building.

The WorldGBC Chairman’s Award honours those who have contributed to the transformation of the global construction industry.

“Since 2006, Romilly has been at the forefront of a global movement to change the shape of our buildings, communities and cities,” says WorldGBC chairman Tai Lee Siang.

“Not only has Romilly been instrumental in transforming Australia’s building industry through her sustained leadership and advocacy, but she has played a vital role at the global level,” he says.

For its part, the GBCA represents 650-plus individual companies with a collective annual turnover of more than $40 billion.

Under Madew’s leadership, the GBCA has certified more than 1,715 sustainable buildings, communities and fitouts under the Green Star rating system.

More importantly, these buildings now consume 62 percent less energy than non-Green Star buildings, emit 66 percent fewer greenhouse gases and use 51 percent less water. They are also healthier and more productive places, with a raft of evidence finding Green Star buildings can boost productivity by up to 15 percent.

Today, 37 percent of Australia's office space has Green Star certification. Schools, hospitals, libraries, community centres, apartments, industrial facilities and even the Sydney Opera House have all achieved Green Star ratings.

“To me, this award acknowledges the leadership of our industry, which is committed to delivering enduring value to communities and investors while creating a better future for us all,” says Madew, who joins an illustrious group that includes last years’ winner, the former CEO of the US Green Building Council and current CEO of the International WELL Building Institute, Rick Fedrizzi.