Expert Voices: Jane Henley, Chief Executive Officer, World Green Building Council and Adam Beck, Executive Director - Market Development and Sustainable Communities, Green Building Council of Australia

“Partnership is the new leadership.”

These were the words of Elizabeth J. Heider, Chair of the Board of the US Green Building Council, when she addressed the audience at the world’s largest green building conference in November.

Those words echoed around the auditorium at Greenbuild, and were later retweeted around the globe.

They resonated because we were reminded that, while leadership can provide the vision and the drive, none of the challenges we face will be overcome in isolation. “We cannot do it alone,” Elizabeth said.

In this spirit, the World Green Building Council and C40 announced a new partnership at Greenbuild. This new partnership has been forged to ensure green buildings are front-and-centre in city planning and policy development.

The partnership will provide C40 cities with access to the world’s largest green building implementation network, which encompasses more than 25,000 organisations, 300,000 trained professionals driven by 700 skilled staff in green building councils around the world.

Combined, the WorldGBC and C40 partnership touches every continent on the earth, engaging more than 90 nations and dozens of cities. By linking city experts with green building professionals, cities will be able to quickly develop comprehensive and customized plans to ramp up green building through the sharing of best practice and resources.

So, how will it actually work?

Take the City of Melbourne, for example, which is working collaboratively with the Green Building Council of Australia on a range of projects. One of these projects is Victoria Harbour, considered the ‘jewel in the crown’ of Melbourne’s Docklands. By the time the development is complete in 2021, 30,000 people will live and work at Victoria Harbour, which already boasts the highest concentration of Green Star-rated buildings in the country. The City of Melbourne and developer Lend Lease are now looking to use the new voluntary rating tool, Green Star - Communities, to ensure it meets national best practice standards for sustainability at the precinct scale.

As a result of this green leadership, Victoria Harbour is one of the initial projects worldwide to be included in C40’s global Climate Positive Development Program. What’s more, Victoria Harbour is delivering social, economic and environmental sustainability for the people of Melbourne.

This real-life case study of best practice - along with a range of others - will be shared with other cities and green building councils, to ensure we continue to build on our sustainability strengths and transfer our knowledge around the world.