Building Industry leaders were told today that investment in the triple bottom line will not only deliver sustainable cities it will increase business productivity, profitability and wellbeing for employees.
Speaking at Green Cities 2015 in Melbourne, internationally renowned green design architect and researcher Professor Vivian Loftness of Carnegie Mellon University outlined the power of implementing the triple bottom line plus the financial, environmental and human benefits of good design choices.
“Investing in architecture and urban design that addresses the triple bottom line that includes Indoor Environment Quality, sustainability and employee health is the key to business productivity and profitability,” said Professor Loftness.
“Many leading Australian property owners are committed to sustainability however not all are, so much more is needed to fully address the triple bottom line. There is still a great deal of architecture and land use that still is not green,” she said.
“Substantial property owners have a responsibility to their community to plan for the future. If the first bottom line – cash – is the focus, our future cities, and the businesses they house, will not be sustainable.
“The second bottom line looks at environmental benefits of doing things differently. By reducing energy use for society at large we will see carbon footprint reductions, air quality benefits and water use reduction. The third bottom line is designing with social wellbeing in mind. Unfortunately, corporate profit and loss accounting does not incorporate the second (environmental) and third (human) bottom lines unless the company is socially responsible, seeks to give back to the environment, and plans for the long term,” Professor Loftness said.
Professor Loftness also emphasised the breadth of global research and information that exists to help educate decision makers and urban designers about what is needed for green cities.
“There is an abundance of expertise on the processes required to build greener cities and adapt existing buildings, but policies must lead in order to remove barriers and create a culture of sustainability,” she said.
Professor Loftness’ visit was sponsored by the CRC for Low Carbon Living’s Closing the Loop Project which aims to connect decision makers with the wealth of evidence in support of high performance, sustainable buildings.
Brett Pollard, Head of Knowledge and Sustainability at HASSELL said the project is pulling together the research and evidence of academics and industry experts like Professor Loftness to provide clear evidence based strategies for the next generation of workplaces, schools and hospitals.
“The Closing the Loop project presents a unique opportunity to not just further drive down the carbon emissions and environmental impacts of the built environment but also to have a substantial, positive impact on the health and wellbeing of the people who inhabit our buildings, towns and cities,” he said.
“Industry leaders like Professor Loftness are key to this process and why bringing all the information together necessary for the benefit to future generations.”