The Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) will be joining Green Building Councils across the globe to celebrate World Green Building Week, and has invited all South Africans to take part in the celebration by getting involved in making their homes and workspaces greener.
The GBCSA will use the week, which takes place from 21 to 27 September 2015, to highlight the valuable contribution green buildings are making towards a sustainable future and, at the same time, encourage all South Africans to join in powering positive change around the globe.
Brian Wilkinson, GBCSA CEO, comments: “As of last year, South Africa ranked 18th in terms of biggest emitters of CO₂ – ninth as a proportion of our GDP and 27th in terms of CO₂ emissions per person. Buildings account for 40% of end user energy consumption, 40% of solid waste and 12% of fresh water usage worldwide. These figures are alarming, and they highlight the need for more education around green building.”
He adds: “The good news is that green buildings have already taken great strides in powering positive change by slashing energy use and emissions, saving water, reducing the volume of waste to landfill, and providing healthier places for people to work and live.”
World Green Building Week started in 2009 to create a more connected, more interactive, more public conversation around the role buildings play in creating our sustainable future.
“This week presents us with a great opportunity to shine a spotlight on the global movement and our collective mission to create sustainable built environments,” Wilkinson says.
The GBCSA will be using World Green Building Week as a platform to educate building users about the benefits of working in a green building.
“By providing this motivation we hope to, in turn, encourage as many people as possible to also adopt positive environmental habits at home,” urges Wilkinson. “We would like to encourage everybody to get involved, to become green advocates and spread the word to power positive change.”
The GBCSA has also created a special platform to further educate South Africans on how to green their living places with the ‘My Green Home’ project.
“With co-funding from the German government and a set of valued sponsors and partners, we spent six months working with one suburban family to green their home and show what is possible. In that short time, the family saw a 53 % reduction in electricity consumption, a 44 % reduction in water consumption and an 81 % reduction in waste to landfill. We encourage more South African families to take up the challenge, and what better time to start than World Green Building Week?” Wilkinson says.
“We hope to see as many South Africans as possible support not only this very special week, but also join us in our continued journey to build a sustainable future for South Africa,” concludes Wilkinson.