Through the recognition, building professionals and architects will be able to select products that are better for the planet.
Australia's building and construction industry has a significant environmental footprint, including waste generation, water consumption, energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. Worldwide, building and construction are responsible for 39 percent of all carbon emissions.
Green Star, launched by the Green Building Council of Australia, is the nation's only voluntary rating system for buildings and communities. A Green Star rating is an independent verification that a building or project is sustainable across all stages of the built environment life cycle. The newly recognised Green Environmental Choice Australia (GECA) standards include:
- building insulation materials
- cement, concrete and concrete products
- steel and steel products
- recycled products
- waste collection services, and
- sustainable products and services (life cycle assessment based).
GECA licensees certified under these standards will be rewarded for demonstrating their ongoing commitment to having a lower environmental, health and social impact. GECA's standards provide those in the building industry with an independent, reliable and credible way to source products and materials for their Green Star projects.
"Our newly recognised standards promote best practice in areas that we know are of great impact on the environment," says Michelle Thomas, GECA CEO. "For example, the production of a tonne of steel generates almost two tonnes of carbon emissions, accounting for as much as five percent of the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions. Cement is the source of about eight percent of the world's emissions. Our standards place clear restrictions on carbon emissions, helping the industry to reduce its impact."
Nicole Sullivan, senior manager at Green Star Solutions, congratulates GECA, saying, "GECA now has 22 standards that contribute towards buildings and fitouts achieving Green Star credits – this is a remarkable achievement."
GECA is a purpose-driven not-for-profit organisation helping individuals make, buy and do better for people and the planet. Its rigorous standards follow ISO (Internal Organisation for Standardisation) 14024 principles and ISEAL (International Social and Environmental Accreditation and Labelling) frameworks for global best practice in ecolabelling.