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Living leaders lead the way

I recently had the pleasure of being a judge on the Brickworks International Living Building Challenge awards. It was the first competition in the world for designing a retail centre and to be built right here in Melbourne, Australia. Once built it will be the world’s most sustainable shopping centre and will be worth a visit...

For me, our future sustainable world is dependent on the intersection of passion and potential of our people.

This was what the Living Building Challenge represented. Those who entered the challenge were all passionate people thinking and creating outside the box. Read more from Kate here.

Sustainable Brands Sydney 2016 recap

The Sustainable Brands 2016 conference was held last month in Sydney for the first time!

GECA was instrumental in initiating and bringing together a panel of speakers on a session, titled 'Certification: Transparency is crucial for building trust and credibility'.

Kate Harris, our CEO along with other certification bodies spoke and explored the question of how to determine whether a particular ecolabel program was trustworthy and credible, and examined similar themes to those outlined in ISEAL's Credibility Principles.

Our Standards and Technical Manager, Shaila Divakarla, also facilitated a workshop on ‘Building brand and profitability through sustainable procurement’ and was joined by Tanya Harris (Fred Hollows Foundation) and Jean-Louis Haie (Planet Procurement). The workshop focused on how to practically apply the ISO20400 standard in a specific industry, company, product or service.

GECA was glad to be involved with the event, which explored ways for business leaders to learn how to successfully innovate their brands to ensure a sustainable future. Read more.

Image: Lee Stewart

Slow Date a Sustainability Expert at SEE Sustainable Experience

GECA are proud to be a Supporting Partner of SEE Sustainable Experience 2016, held at the Australian Technology Park, Sydney, next week (21-23 July).

SEE the latest sustainable green building innovations from 60+ suppliers and deepen your knowledge via 50+ seminars. Come and chat to GECA's standards and technical manager and registered architect, Dr Shaila Divakarla, as part of the 'Slow date a sustainability expert' event on Saturday 23 July! Join us for a fun day where you will receive free personalised advice from Sydney’s leading sustainable designers, eco experts and green strata specialists, in leisurely 30-minute sessions. Register for this free event here.

Pre-register to fast track your free entry through the SEE Sustainable Experience website. You can also get free entry at the door on either the Thursday, Friday or Saturday.

Can concrete be environmentally-friendly?

Concrete is, quite literally, the foundational material of the building and construction industry.

It’s strong, it’s durable, it’s affordable, it’s versatile and it’s readily available. But what are the environmental impacts of concrete and cement, especially considering the sheer scale of its production and use in the built environment?

It’s a tricky question to answer, since concrete can be considered relatively environmentally-friendly, or somewhat environmentally harmful, depending on your perspective. Read more at Sourceable.

Australasian Waste & Recycling Expo

The Australasian Waste & Recycling Expo (AWRE) returns to Sydney this year, bringing together industry leaders and professionals for two days of networking, discussion and innovation. It's on at the Sydney Showground from 10th – 11th August 2016.

Hear from Kate Harris as she speaks on revolutionising how we benchmark, report and improve. GECA is working with NABERS and the Better Building Partnership to develop a GECA waste collection service based certification. Kate will talk through the collaboration and desired outcome whilst focussing on what this means for waste collection and how to get on board. See the rest of the seminar schedule here.

Entry to the expo is free, and GECA newsletter subscribers can take advantage of a 10% discount off their seminar pass by using the code 'WASTE10' when registering! Register here.

Melbourne Indesign 2016

Australia's biggest design event, Melbourne Indesign, is back 12-13 August 2016!

The event celebrates the local design community and brings the industry together to converse, collaborate, create and innovate.

Many outstanding design brands exhibiting this year are certified with GECA's ecolabel. Don't miss out on your chance to exhibit!

GECA is a supporting partner of Melbourne Indesign and will be taking part in a discussion titled, 'Design for the public: design activism and using design for the betterment of people and their environments'. Find out more and register to attend.

Collaboration For Good

You are invited to the Environmental Professionals Forum’s inaugural Collaboration for Good. Join likeminded individuals for a two hour power session to create solutions that can make a difference to three selected sustainability focused NGOs (including GECA) on a current issue they face.

We are seeking enthusiastic members who are keen to tackle complex issues. All backgrounds, experience and skill sets are encouraged to participate. The only prerequisites are that you are passionate about sustainability and the environment, and you come with a collaborative mindset.

The event is held in Sydney from 6pm on 28th July. Find out more information and register for free here.

CleanScene 2016

GECA is pleased to be a supporting partner of this year's CleanScene event! Australia’s largest cleaning and hygiene event returns to the Sydney Showground on 6-8 September.

Proudly supported by the NCSA, CleanScene will be the one and only Industry Trade exhibition for the cleaning industry this year. Easily compare and meet major suppliers under one roof, learn from industry experts during the free seminars, network with peers and source the latest innovative products in cleaning and hygiene.

Do you want to make sure you keep up to date with the latest developments and trends in the industry and how changes in regulations and legislations will affect your business? Register now for free.

Websites to watch

Looking for more ways to promote your sustainable products, or find out more information about what's already out there? Check out these three online resources and see how they can benefit your business.

Get a free listing on Selector with Architecture Media

Selector.com is an online product information network for architects, designers and builders looking for quality products from leading suppliers.

GECA has partnered with Architecture Media to organise a special offer for our valued licensees. If you have GECA certification for your products, you can enjoy a FREE 12 month listing on Selector.com for one whole product line!

If you'd like more information and to take advantage of this offer, contact Paula at paula@geca.org.au or give us a call on (02) 9699 2850.


GECA is always looking for ways to promote your products to a larger market. This month, a new global platform linking green products and services to specifiers was launched. Zureli.com is a combination of an eco-product directory and a social media platform with three main areas - company profile page, product or service page, and social media - and is a great way to promote sustainable products and services. GECA licensees can access an exclusive 4-month free trial and an annual discount by getting in touch with Tim Worthington.


EnviroSource was launched in May this year, with their mission being "to boost the capability of Australia's environmental community through connection, learning, promotion and collaboration." The site functions as a central knowledge hub supporting busy environmental leaders, decision-makers, practitioners, change-makers and other interested parties, who are working hard to resolve environmental challenges. It's a great place to find and share knowledge, opportunities and resources to support your work. Explore the site and check out GECA's company profile.

New products from Sebel Furniture

GECA licensee Sebel Furniture have added many new products to their certified range: the Focus stool, mobile cupboard, Domino lounge, and a range of tables and desks are all certified under our Furniture and Fittings standard.

The Focus Stool is specifically designed for schools, universities, colleges and other outdoor/indoor areas. Ergonomic design with chip-resistant powder coated welded steel frame and durable polypropylene seat.

A modern low lounge with its compact, no-fuss style, the Domino Lounge breathes life into any library, office or common room. Designed with superior comfort, styling, durability and manoeuvrability in mind.

Sebel's range of mobile bench cupboards are hugely popular in primary classrooms that want to maximise storage space and maintain order. Features sturdy construction, rounded corners, and includes 6 or 12 Tote trays (depending on model).

Australian business and the Sustainable Development Goals

Australian business is very aware of the newly adopted United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and many are planning strategic partnerships to pursue the Goals, according to the 8th Annual Review of the State of CSR in Australia and New Zealand.

The State of CSR is one of the largest ongoing longitudinal studies on CSR in the world, and is produced by the Australian Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility (ACCSR).

ACCSR’s Managing Director, Dr Leeora Black, said the results are encouraging because most businesses will address several of the Goals and they see important linkages in their broader societal contributions. “The big focus on Gender Equality shows the effect of recent campaigns within business to address the gender gap,” she said. Read more.

Case study: dramatic reduction in labour costs with Envirofluid

There are a lot of windows at the Cairns Convention Centre - and while that means plenty of natural light flooding into the space, it also takes a lot of time to keep all the glass and aluminium sparkling clean. When Cairns Height Safety introduced Envirofluid's GECA certified Triple 7 Glass Shine as a substitute for conventional glass and mirror cleaner, it proved to be so effective that they were able to cut their cleaning time in half.

Choosing Triple 7 Glass Shine meant huge savings in terms of labour costs, and it also meets all of GECA's criteria for lower impact on human health and the environment. Read the full case study here.
Image: cropped from Jenny Graham

Plastic Free July

Plastic Free July 2016 has got off to a wonderful start: thousands more people have joined the challenge and are sharing the plastic free message in communities around the world. The organisers have heard about so many actions, including beach cleanups, community plastic free living workshops, farmers markets going plastic bag free and businesses banning plastic straws - have you taken up the challenge? Read more.