CBRE Pacific head of sustainability Amanda Steele has been appointed to the top job as head of the company’s important Pacific asset services business in a move that signals sustainability professionals are rising in the leadership ranks.
Ms Steele’s current title is Pacific head of sustainability and the new role will see her as a senior managing director with responsibility for managing the business – one of the company’s biggest – overseeing sustainability opportunities and innovations for clients and for CBRE as a business.
Her role fills the position vacated by Phill Rockliff.
CBRE president and chief executive officer Pacific Ray Pittman said the role had “excellent opportunities for continued development”.
“Our growth strategy incorporates a drive for innovation, creativity, exemplary client care and a relentless focus on adding value in all that we do. This was very much at the forefront of our thinking when appointing Amanda to lead Asset Services into the next phase of growth and development.”
Ms Steele told The Fifth Estate on Tuesday there was no doubt she would be taking her sustainability skills and employing them in the new job.
“Everyone should be working in sustainability; it’s not about a job title,” she said.
She said the skills of sustainability – strategic ability, creativity and innovation – were increasingly valued in business and pointed to her own appointment and the promotion in July of AMP Capital’s Emlyn Keane from head of property management and sustainability to acting managing director of office and industrial as evidence of this.
“The skills of sustainability professionals are highly valued – long-term planning looking at mega trends; how to solve problems outside of the traditional approach.”
In fact, she said, they were fundamental in her winning the role.
“I’ve honed those skills for 16 years really.”
In her new role she will focus on assisting clients to maximise the value of their building assets and “very much assisting the teams on the ground, setting the vision and the culture of the organisation”.
Ms Steele paid tribute to the company’s leadership team, which she said had “really pushed the business to look up and out”.
“[Executive chairman] Tom Southern has always looked for people outside of property,” she said.
She recently received the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors Australia Property Professional of the Year award for 2015, sits on the NSW Property Council of Australia Sustainability Committee, the Better Buildings Partnership for the City of Sydney, the Green Star Steering Committee for the GBCA and is also a strong advocate for gender equality and social justice.
Ms Steele was educated in international politics and public policy at the University of Sydney and was previously with Stockland. Her honours thesis was on leadership.
CBRE is now searching for a new Pacific leader for Sustainability.