GPT deliveries Embodied Carbon Neutral Certification

2 September 2022

In an Australian first, The GPT Group (GPT) has achieved upfront embodied carbon1 neutral certification for a Melbourne logistics development through the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) and Climate Active.  

GPT’s Chief Executive Officer, Bob Johnston, said: “Climate action is needed now and at GPT we are addressing all emissions under our control and we are supporting our tenants and supply chain to join us on this journey. 

“We have led the way in dealing with emissions from our corporate and building operations, and now we are pleased to have achieved the delivery of Australia’s first Climate Active upfront embodied carbon neutral certified logistics development at 143 Foundation Road, Truganina. 

“Additionally, GPT’s 51 Flinders Lane office development in Melbourne, which is currently underway for the GPT Wholesale Office Fund, has been verified by Green Star as designed to achieve upfront embodied carbon neutrality and will be certified by Climate Active upon completion. 

“With our Greenfleet partnership to restore native forests, we are ensuring that our buildings move beyond providing a positive legacy in the built environment to also deliver a positive legacy in the natural environment. This builds on GPT already having more Climate Active Carbon Neutral Certified building floor space in its portfolio than any other property owner and over a decade of Climate Active Carbon Neutral Certified corporate operations.” 

Upfront embodied carbon is the emissions from the construction processes and production of the materials that go into developing a building. GPT has been working with industry organisations such as the GBCA and consultants to refine the measurement of upfront embodied carbon in the supply chain. 

GPT’s upfront embodied carbon plan first aims to reduce and eliminate development emissions where feasible, this included incorporating low emission concrete mixes at 143 Foundation Road. The development’s residual emissions have then been offset through the restoration of protected native biodiverse forests in Australia that remove carbon from the atmosphere as they grow and create habitat for koalas and other native animals. 

Since 2018, GPT has offset emissions in partnership with leading environmental not-for-profit, Greenfleet, Australia’s first carbon offset provider to protect the climate through the restoration of protected native forests. In a landmark agreement between GPT and Greenfleet announced earlier this month, the partnership is set to support the restoration of 1,100 hectares of native forest in the Noosa Hinterland.   

GBCA CEO, Davina Rooney, said achieving embodied carbon neutral certification for the Melbourne logistics development through GBCA and Climate Active is an enormous achievement. “GPT’s commitment to achieving this carbon neutral certification for future developments is a game changing moment for Australia. We look forward to working with Climate Active to assess future developments and to see the positive impact this will have on our sector.” 

According to the GBCA, in the near term leading construction practices will be capable of delivering between 20% and 40% upfront emissions reductions when compared to historic construction processes. Therefore residual emissions represent more than 60% of inherent emissions which will have to be offset to achieve carbon neutrality.  

GPT’s Head of Sustainability, Steve Ford said: “For GPT it is extremely important to ensure any offsets that are ultimately used to deliver carbon neutral outcomes are of the highest quality and deliver a positive impact on nature. This is why we are partnering with Greenfleet.” 

Chief Executive Officer of Greenfleet, Wayne Westcott, said: “Our partnership with GPT is an important step towards tackling climate change by permanently removing carbon from the atmosphere in a manner that also addresses two other important challenges – loss of biodiversity and engaging Traditional Owner communities. We like to think of this project as restoring country for climate.”