FAVOURITES – 12 June 2009 – The 40 per cent greenhouse gas emissions emissions from buildings – a figure commonly quoted internationally – relates to both end use (operating energy consumption) and inferred embodied emissions (for capital formation).

Wilkenfield’s work [see contribution from Maria Atkinson] is well regarded and its methodology considers final demand and end-use by sector – thus the 23 per cent is valid and responsible.

Advocates of the alternative position should pay some attention to researching the origins of the 40 per cent back into the 1990s – where input-output research was done to demonstrate the 40 per cent was for the total impact (ie, operational and embodied).

It’s just a shame that a lack of appreciation for research and evidence has allowed the sensationalism of the 40 per cent to be mis-represented for so long.

This fact is all the more reason for responsible property companies to focus on operational efficiency in addition to embodied (i.e design and materials) efficiency.

Dr. Caroline Noller, Head of Corporate Responsibility, The GPT Group
caroline.noller@gpt.com.au

Note: this letter was received some weeks ago but due to a technical problem was not posted earlier –  ed