What is the strata industry’s role if Australia is set to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050?

Australia’s aim to be a net-zero carbon emitter is still very much in question.

As an election promise, Albanese says it’s within the party’s reach to make it happen. If the Morrison Government agrees to a substantial reduction, it’s likely to be met by relying on carryover climate credits.

Regardless of the debate on either side of the political grandstand, what does net-zero by 2050 really look like and what role does the strata industry play in helping us get there?

 

First, what does net-zero emissions really mean?  

Net-zero means human-generated greenhouse gas emissions will be balanced by removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, becoming carbon neutral.

Here, Australia’s carbon-intensive economy would shift to renewables, reducing things like fossil fuels–coal and natural gas–and therefore reducing human emissions to almost zero.

While any remaining greenhouse gas would be balanced out by actively removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by planting forests and using carbon removal technologies.

 

Advocating net-zero emissions

The eight most important changes that need to happen for Australia to lock in net-zero emissions

  1. Phase-out coal
  2. Invest in renewable and clean energies
  3. Improve building health and enhance buildings with sustainability plans
  4. Decarbonize our lifestyles by phasing out things like plastic
  5. Move to electric vehicles, including public transport
  6. Stop deforestation and promote forest planting
  7. Reduce food waste
  8. Utilise sustainable water techniques

 

Supporting sustainability through Government partnerships

All buildings, residential and commercial, impact the environment. In fact, buildings use 40 per cent of the world’s energy, emit 40 per cent of the world’s carbon emissions, and use 20 per cent of the word’s available drinking water. While it will be easier for some industries to transition as compared to others, strata professionals sit in a unique position.

Through programs such as the government’s National Australian Built Environment Rating System, or NABERS, strata professionals can introduce customers to one of the most important elements of reducing carbon emissions: retrofitting buildings and introducing sustainability plans.

 

Making a difference starts at “home” – driving momentum from a community level

For strata professionals, the focus is on our customers and how programs like NABERS for Apartment Buildings can help them. We all like to think that everyone wants to partake in programs that help the environment, but often there needs to be a motivator in order to get people over the line.

A NABERS for Apartment Buildings rating helps owners and committees save money and improve their property value. Using a six-star scale and detailed report, NABERS benchmarks strata properties against similar buildings on the Australian market showing where the building can improve on operational value, sustainability and costs.

Acting as a tool to increase sustainability and reduce overheads, NABERS is a system that enhances building value by making the low-carbon emission building attractive to prospective buyers and renters, and by reducing operating costs.

Thankfully, all state governments within Australia support the target for Australia to become a net-zero carbon emitter by 2050. Which is why we will see an increasing emphasis on programs such as NABERS.

NABERS, while currently only compulsory for commercial buildings, will eventually become compulsory for residential buildings too.

Strata professionals have the power to help shift Australia to become a net-zero emitter by helping committees and owners see the value of creating truly sustainable buildings.

 

“Modernising” strata management by championing a more sustainable future

PICA Group’s CEO, Wayne Walker, says committees and owners see a lot of value in strata managers who can guide them and their building down a pathway to a more sustainable feature.

“It saves them money, increases the value of their building, and makes owners and committees feel like they are being proactive in a space that needs action.

“Part of being a great strata manager isn’t just dealing with the day-to-day, it’s about dealing with the long-term health and well-being of a building and making sure the building and the committee are future-ready.”

PICA Group is an official partner of NABERS and a strong advocate in making and planning for a sustainable future.

To find out more about NABERS, visit PICA Group NABERS.