Build A Better World Now !
With the overarching theme of Build A Better World Now the pervasive thread of discussion throughout the 9th Green Building Convention 2016 was the clear and immediate need to focus on change in order to achieve global sustainability goals.
Staged in Johannesburg in July by the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA), the Green Building Convention gathered thought leaders from home and abroad to share their views on building sustainability in southern Africa, and across the continent as a whole, right through to a global level. Amongst global sustainability leaders present were Terri Wills -CEO of the World Green Building Council and John Elkington – co founder and executive chairman of Volans. Green Building Councils of a number of African countries were also represented at the event, including Zimbabwe, Zambia, Kenya and Ghana.
Building materials and design, energy, training, corporate governance and conservation amongst others, were the subjects of debate.
Sub-tracks under the primary theme formed the structure of the event: Building Bold And Visionary Leadership Now; Building Innovative And Disruptive Technology Now; and
Building Collaborative Cities And Communities Now – leading to break-away and plenary sessions.
In his opening address, Seana Nkhahle, out-going chairman of GBCSA and CEO of the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) re-affirmed – on behalf of all present – GBCSAs commitment to the ambitious national sustainability targets set forth in the 2020 pledge, which includes amongst others, construction of 2 500 Green commercial buildings; 10 000 Green Building certified homes; training of 12 000 Green professionals; assisting African countries in establishing more Green Building Councils; and introducing a Net-Zero certification scheme.
The stimulating keynote address presented by the renowned John Elkington focused on the fundamental change and turmoil being experienced across the globe in all aspects of life – and the importance of strong leadership and management skills necessary to take sustainability practices forward for future generations and for the good of our planet.
Elkington is internationally recognised as an “adviser from the future” and has written or co-authored nineteen books on what he calls “Green Growth” and the economic imperatives surrounding business and the environment.
Amongst other speakers at the Convention were: Dr Graeme Codrington – researcher; Terri Wills – CEO of the World GBC; Nicola Robins -Director of Incite; Dr Morne du Plessis CEO of WWF SA; Professor Anthony Turton – Water strategy specialist; Danie Hoffman – Programme leader department construction economics University of Pretoria; Rob Boogaard – president and CEO of Interface; Jeff Robinson – Global sustainability leader – Aurecon, and Samantha Annandale – CEO of Verde Hotels.
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