AIRAH’s Phil Wilkinson has been honoured for his contribution to sustainability in the built environment with the Bob Brown Foundation 2016 Deni Greene Award.

Mr Wilkinson, AIRAH executive manager – government relations and technical services, represents AIRAH on high-profile sustainability-related committees and bodies including NABERS, The Melbourne Forum and ASBEC. He was also a founding member of the Green Building Council of Australia.

The annual award has previously been won by efficiency champion Alan Pears, University of Melbourne Thrive Research Hub director Dr Dominique Hes and 350.org campaign director Charlie Wood.

“Phil is a rare find – the combination of technical expertise, a passion for effective communication and a deep commitment to improving the sustainability of the built environment is a boon to us all and makes him a deserving winner of the Deni Greene Award,” Mr Brown said.

The award citation said that Mr Wilkinson “has demonstrated an amazing ability to achieve regulatory and behavioural change in an industry that has the potential to contribute significantly to reducing Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions.

“His courage and tenacity, underpinned by great communication skills and a strong technical background, have resulted in practical outcomes with far-reaching impacts.”

Mr Wilkinson is currently overseas, so AIRAH chief executive Tony Gleeson accepted the award on his behalf at the ceremony in Hobart.

“I’d like to congratulate Phil on his well-deserved recognition from the Bob Brown Foundation honouring his work around energy efficiency and sustainability,” Mr Gleeson said.

“Phil has been a champion of the HVAC&R industry for many years, and his zest, tenacity and collaborative approach have been tremendously effective,” he said.

Mr Wilkinson said it was “such a pleasant surprise” to get the phone call informing him he had won the award.

“The Deni Greene Award has been won by some of the country’s leading sustainability advocates, so I’m honoured to be recognised in the same illustrious company,” he said.

“The award is testament to the fine work done by AIRAH to promote safe, sustainable, healthy and comfortable built environments – something I am passionate about.”