Investing for a Greener Future: EU Green Week 2016

In the EU, Green Week is the largest annual gathering of European environment policy makers and forms the cornerstone of substantial change in this field, with the 2016 theme being ‘Investing in a greener future’.

To celebrate Green Week in Adelaide, the EU Centre for Global Affairs collaborated with the student-led Adelaide Sustainability Association (ASA) in May 2016 to host Think Global Act Local: Investing in Adelaide’s Green Future at the Scott Theatre on the campus of the University.

Opened by ASA President Daniel Conley who summarised the ASA goals and aspirations and acknowledged the ASA committee members, the seminar provided students with a unique opportunity to hear from the Lord Mayor of Adelaide, Martin Haese, about how the City of Adelaide is investing in future generations through its commitment to achieving a Carbon Neutral Adelaide by delivering sustainable environmental outcomes as well as an opportunity for employment, overall increases in energy efficiency, and business prospects for both the city and State.

The Lord Mayor discussed the various challenges and opportunities that Adelaide has in contributing to a global future, and what students can do to help shift the global trend toward sustainability. The Lord Mayor presented insights into his own personal journey representing Adelaide on the world stage at events and conferences around the world, including the landmark COP 21 in Paris.

The presentation by Mr Haese was followed by an informal conversation with The University of Adelaide’s Sustainable Development Fellow, and international best-selling author, Dr Karlson Hargroves from the Entrepreneurship, Commercialisation and Innovation Centre (ECIC).

The event brought together more than 100 students, staff, alumni and the wider community to network for better understanding of how the city of Adelaide will benefit from investments in a greener future, and harness global thinking to motivate local innovation.

The event gave the audience an insight into the plans of Adelaide for the future and how students, academics and professionals can better understand how the city of Adelaide will benefit from investments in a greener future, and harness global thinking to drive local innovation. The event was a significant milestone for the ASA and its members and paved the path for similar events like this in the future.

On 24 July 2016, the EU Centre for Global Affairs also collaborated with Curtin University’s Sustainable Built Environment National Research Centre (SBEnrc) to deliver an Industry Stakeholder workshop in Perth, Western Australia (WA), at the WA Club on the topic of “Capturing Opportunities from Financing Offset Building Manufacture”.

The workshop was well attended with representatives from banks, builders, government agencies and researchers with the findings contributing to an upcoming industry report. In-line with the Green Week theme of “Investing in the Future”. The workshop focused on how the banking community perceived risks and rewards from investing in the manufacture of buildings in Australia. Building manufacture has been shown to deliver strong sustainability results (economic, social and environmental) in Europe and there is an opportunity for Australia to develop a competitive industry in this area. Such a new industry could provide transition opportunities from a number of other industries such as manufacturing, mining, and automotive that are seeing declines.

In-line with the European Union’s theme for Green Week 2016 ‘Investing in a greener future’ the workshop held in the Western Australia Club focused on understanding ways to overcome barriers to financing building manufacturing, which presents significant environmental, social, and economic opportunities. Not only does it have strong ‘green’ credentials such as significantly reducing construction waste and greenhouse gas emissions, it also creates safer and greener higher skilled employment opportunities, and stands to increase the competitiveness of both the building and manufacturing sectors.

Such opportunities are being taken up around the world, especially in our region with some AUD$60 billion invested in building manufacture in the Asia-Pacific region in 2012, set to rise to $100 billion by 2020. In practice, the shift to aggregating construction of buildings in large-scale dedicated facilities to be transported to site for assembly, presents a number of challenges that will require innovative approaches to overcome. In particular it will be critical that the building and finance sectors work together to create effective financial instruments and structures to underpin a significant upscaling of building manufacture in the coming decade. The workshop focused on innovative approaches to overcoming barriers to financing of building manufacture. The event began with a moderated expert panel from the building and finance sectors to provide context for a workshopping process to identify key strategic areas and specific activities related to overcoming barriers to financing building manufacture that deliver value to all parties. The expert panel and workshop was facilitated by Dr Karlson Hargroves, Senior Research Fellow, Curtin University Sustainability Policy Institute.

The Sustainable Built Environment National Research Centre Industry Report 

About EU Green Week 2016

Green Week 1 Green Week 2

Martin HaeseLord Mayor Martin Haese

Martin Haese is a proud South Australian. As a city resident, business owner and educator, Martin is committed to serving the City of Adelaide’s residential, commercial and visitor communities. At 27 years of age, Martin Haese opened his first retail store in the City of Adelaide and over the next 12 years grew that business into a successful national enterprise with 220 employees. He went on to study an MBA and later became the General Manager of the Rundle Mall Management Authority. He co-founded the Entrepreneurs’ Organisation in SA and has served on a number of boards including the South Australian Youth Arts Board, the Adelaide Convention Bureau, the Property Council’s Mainstreets Committee and Chairman the Bay to Birdwood. Martin Haese was also the national Chair of the Council of Capital City Lord Mayors in 2015. As Lord Mayor, Martin Haese is focused on enhancing Adelaide’s reputation as a smart innovative city and being a ‘city where good things happen first’. His immediate goal is for the City of Adelaide to become an even greater place to live, learn, work, play, visit and invest. The ultimate goal is to become the world’s most liveable city.

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