Written by- Megan Donald
2021 saw a massive expansion in the social conscience of environmental and social sustainability. With the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow dominating news headlines for much of the year leading up to the event, the government and private sector focussed on carving out their own path to sustainable operations and the elusive 1.5-degree cap on rising global temperatures.
For Core Projects, environmental and social sustainability have always been values close to the heart of the business. This year saw us convert that passion into the beginnings of a detailed framework of sustainability that will help us continue to expand our operations in a way that not only has a smaller footprint but also gives back to social and environmental causes.
2021 brought with it several big wins for Core Projects in the Purpose space:
– We recertified as a B Corp
– We calculated our Carbon Footprint and offset 100% of our emissions
– We set our sights on 2022 and beyond with the beginnings of an annual Impact Report, emissions reductions targets, and social impact goals being put in place for the business
This new year presents us with so many opportunities to improve the way we do things and to educate our clients and our team to improve our circle of influence. More specifically, we’re looking into how we engage with Indigenous and disadvantaged people through our work, continuing to reduce our carbon footprint by employing an Emissions Reduction Strategy, and seeking out new opportunities in our industry to deliver sustainable communities to market.
Looking more broadly at our industry, we saw various initiatives rolled out from Sustainability Victoria in 2021 such as the 7-star energy efficiency standard for new builds, and the trialling of the Zero Net Carbon Homes pilot project. This focus on sustainability in building and development has filtered down to projects such as our own Orana estate, which boasts a 6-leaf EnviroDev certification and Homes4Homes partnership, to the Evergreen estate in Clyde which is home to the country’s longest stretch of recycled road. Similarly, we are seeing councils get behind the use of recycled materials to build sports grounds, children’s playgrounds, and other amenities, and innovative waste and recycling systems being introduced under the Circular Economy Bill which passed in Victoria in October.
This progression towards more responsible and proactive development by industry and councils is predicted to increase more and more in the near future as consumer attitudes continue to seek out considered, ethical approaches to the creation and delivery of all products and services. Housing is no different. The key balance to be struck here will of course come down to cost to the consumer, however with endless data proving long-term savings from the use of renewable energy and sustainable design principles, this initial investment will undoubtedly be more and more favourable to purchasers. Ensuring our business activities and policies are of the highest standard and in line with ever-evolving sustainability, space was and will continue to be an ongoing challenge and fantastic opportunity for Core. This constant striving to be and do better is what makes Core such a unique and brilliant organisation and will undoubtedly serve us well in the Purpose space leading into the future.
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