Some people have a knack for driving change, and Esther Bailey is one of them.

Joining our editor Tina Perinotto on the How to Build a Better World podcast this week, Esther talked about what she’d been up to at NABERS, the government’s environmental rating program for buildings, where she’s head of market development.

NABERS has transformed the office sector and is now overhauling other energy intensive sectors, with hospitals one such quiet achiever. She’s really interested in the circular economy, and says growing piles of waste might be even harder to control than climate change. She says the role for NABERS will be measuring the waste streams coming out of buildings, which is data you need to turn these streams into something of value.

With her training in behavioural science, Esther knows how to influence people’s behavior – all for the better. This skillset came in handy for her eight years at the City of Sydney, where she worked on the Better Building Partnership and CitySwitch, two collaborative programs designed to encourage learning between the leaders already vying for change. For Esther, a bit of healthy competition is one easy way to inspire action.

Also, a heads up: NABERS is offering free ratings for a limited time, doing their bit to keep assessors in work during this uncertain time.

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