Media release: Industry calls on government to ‘get smart’ on net zero emissions 16 December 2021

A coalition of major industry bodies has called on governments across Australia to ‘get smart’ in the push towards net zero emissions by making smart energy investments – in energy efficiency, renewable energy, and demand management – in government facilities.

Today, the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council, Energy Efficiency Council, Green Building Council of Australia and Property Council of Australia released a new report that sets out how governments can slash emissions while strengthening the budget bottom line by focusing on smart energy management.

Energy Efficiency Council CEO Luke Menzel said the time was right for governments to lead by example in pursuit of net zero.

“All levels of government are backing in net zero emissions by 2050. Some state governments have ambitious 2030 targets. However, governments still have a huge opportunity to lead by example, cutting energy waste, saving taxpayer dollars and slashing emissions through smart energy management.

“There are big opportunities for energy performance improvements in schools, hospitals and other public facilities right around the country. But without focus, and follow through from government, they will get left on the table,” said Menzel.

The report – Smart energy management in government operations – finds that governments can reduce energy use in facilities by 30 per cent or more and outlines the steps governments need to take to scale up energy management programs in their own operations, saving hundreds of millions of dollars each year.

Prof. Ken Maher AO, President of the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council, said government leadership is crucial. “Governments have a huge opportunity to lead in this space and send a clear signal to industry by demonstrating what’s achievable. This is the kind of leadership we need to achieve our decarbonisation commitments.”

Davina Rooney, CEO of Green Building Council of Australia, said governments have the opportunity to take early action to reduce emissions this decade. “If we're going to hit our net zero target for 2050, that means we need net zero operational emissions in buildings by 2030. That's why a guide like this is so important in providing the 'how', now that we've all agreed on the 'why'.”

Ken Morrison, Chief Executive of the Property Council of Australia, said driving energy efficiency improvements in government operations is fundamental to governments achieving their net zero aspirations: “Walking the walk within the property space that government occupies is so important, and energy efficiency is the foundation.”

The new guide can be downloaded at:

Media contact

Julianne Tice
T: 0403 251 744