Now we close the loop.
We’ve seen how, when we look beyond our project’s site boundaries, we can contribute to significant environmental, social and economic uplift without needing to spend a fortune. We can avoid resorting to high-tech add-ons just to score points in a rating tool… the trick is to know where the right departure point is, from which we can look outside our site for better sustainability returns.
Let’s quickly re-cap;
- Developers will generally only consider off-site investment if they can get recognised for it;
- Seek the point in the de-carbonising graph where it no longer makes sense to keep going on-site, and off-site carbon mitigation makes more sense… e.g. plant thousands of trees instead of a green roof;
- City development projects can devote some of their ‘would-have-been-a-cogeneration-plant’ funds towards regional uplift and restoration projects, creating superior ecological outcomes, economic and social uplift and improved agricultural output;
- In Australia (and many other countries) we have a sad record of high suicide rates outside our cities. It’s time to re-join city & country through sustainable development;
- A Biobanking model already exists to facilitate offsetting of environmental impacts. This model could in theory be easily adapted to suit our green development industry;
- We have a suite of rating tools that already, to some degree, allow offsetting – the only question is ‘how much more effective can we make this?’
I’ve been considering and researching this opportunity for months now and I still haven’t found nor heard a reason for it not to work. We have all the parts already in place, there are already precedents for offsetting, our rating tools have already accepted offsetting in principle, and by gosh we need to soak up some carbon and restore some biodiversity.
Watch this space…