19 December 2012 – The shakeout from the sustainable property sector continues with the departures this coming Friday of GPT sustainability head Rosemary Kirkby and Debbie Berkhout.
The move is the latest in a series of departures of sustainability leaders from major property companies in the last half of this year, after the shakeout that followed the financial crisis.
It is understood the balance of the sustainability team at GPT will be absorbed into the asset management team, headed by Matthew Faddy, and that the focus would now be on integrating sustainability across the whole business rather than as a separate unit.
Ms Kirkby told The Fifth Estate during an interview on Tuesday that she was highly satisfied with her work after three years with GPT, having been lured by chief executive Michael Cameron to the job, at first reluctantly. She was now looking forward to some personal projects in the New Year.
Ms Berkhout said she was happily taking a redundancy after a highly rewarding two or so working with Ms Kirkby on the social sustainability and communications strategy. Her background includes Lend Lease, Landcom and Cite Urban Strategies.
She said the team’s work was presented by Ms Kirkby at the “Shared Values” conference in Melbourne in November and had caused significant interest from corporate peers.
The interview with Ms Kirkby and highlights from the Melbourne presentation will appear soon.