Here’s our roundup of the jobs and biz news you need to know to stay ahead in this fast paced world of sustainability. If you have not yet subscribed to our newsletter you can do so here.

Feature on water coming up
With fires raging up north and set to move south, and drought already digging in its tentacles, we’re starting to focus on water. If you want to contribute to a feature we have in the wings about how our buildings are set to cope with the new reality on the way, or if you want to write your own commentary for our Spinifex column send a note to

Kate Dundas, executive director at UN Global Compact Network Australia, notes that Australia, as one of the driest continents anywhere, could be a leader in innovation and technology to make us all more water resilient. Sadly, says Dundas, water resilience doesn’t get the same focus as greenhouse gas emissions, but it’s critical for landscape, biodiversity, business and industry. She’s all about science-based targets for nature to help businesses to assess their impact on water. And notes a few big corporates have made some progress. 

On the same note, the Australasian Green Infrastructure Network is new but already having an impact. Its Burnley Green Roof Plant Guide will be worth a look as the temperatures rise and we want to know how to keep the transpiration of plants working. Watch out for AGIN’s strategic plan launch on 8 December, in Melbourne.

And then there was one of the most impactful speakers at Urban Greening 2021, Dr Sebastian Pfautsch, making an appearance in a long piece in The Sydney Morning Herald about the hatred of trees, the power of trees and urban stealth gardeners – dubbed the “king of coolth”. Perfect!

The redundancies announced by Lendlease in July caught Jeremy Mansfield in the vice like grip that trips up many people at some point in their working lives. Usually, that leads to great re-inventions, as it clearly already has for JezMans (his ex-Twitter handle) who’s about to jump onto some non-executive director roles and work on his new business Mansfield Advisory. That’s in between his passion for Green Cross Australia, his work on the Supply Chain Sustainability School (Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand),  Adjunct Industry Fellow at Griffith University and as chair of the resilience expert reference panel for the Green Building Council of Australia.

Leasing giveaways

With 740 people – 10 per cent of the workforce – slashed in that round of cut-backs at Lendlease, it’s no wonder that there’s a tightening of the office space belt as well. That includes Barangaroo’s International Towers in Sydney, which Lendlease delivered.

The company subleased two floors at Tower Three at below the $1271 it was paying but included 35 per cent leasing incentives which equated to 45 per cent of its passing rent according to The Australian Financial Review. Other tenants and owners are doing likewise; it seems that being green is not much protection if the market is flat or if people continue to work from home.

Gilbert + Tobin is also leaving the precinct to move to Charter Hall’s new $1.7 billion tower at Chifley Square with a 10,000 square metre deal at more than $2000 a sq m annually showing that for some tenants the lure of the new is still irresistible, even though the legal firm’s current rent is just $1440 a sq m. Also letting big chunks of office space go is Atlassian at 341 George Street Sydney in deals equating to 50 per cent discounts.

In Adelaide One Festival Tower which we wrote about here has snared Allianz as a lead tenant with a 10 year lease taking the Walker Corporation‘s Premium A-Grade office space to 90 per cent pre-commitment, the developer claims.

The insurer will take 4000 square metres across levels 15 and 16 for 10 years in the 6 Star Green Star, 5.5-star NABERS rated building, joining Flinders University with eight floors, Deloitte and Mott MacDonald.

The Built constructed tower will be the tallest all electric building in Adelaide, procuring 100 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources.

University stars – recycling Solar Panels

In good news for embodied carbon in solar panels a start up is about to hit the US market with its tech to salvage valuable minerals and parts from solar panels. Solarcycle, co-founded by UNSW researcher Pablo Dias has received $US 30 million in series A seed funding investment in California. Policy impacts: Dias said the company is hitting up the US market first because it has one of the biggest end-of-life markets alongside Europe, but no legislative framework mandates for solar panels.

Climate Bonds

Climate Bonds is releasing a set of low-carbon building criteria, including embodied carbon and other DNSH (do no significant harm) factors. The update will bring the requirements in line to match with the EU Taxonomy. The update will also include residential buildings, with the new accreditation available from December 2023.

– with Bevin Liu

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