Welcome from Carlos Flores
FY20 has been a challenging year for most of our partners across the built environment and beyond. It was a year where large parts of Australia suffer the worst drought in 100 years, followed by devastating bushfires and then COVID-19. Combined, these events have touched every aspect of our lives, our economy and our environment.
We know COVID-19 has been particularly challenging for many of you in the NABERS community, disrupting operations across large parts of the built environment. Many of you reached out to us in the past six months, fearing this could undo years of hard-earned progress on building sustainability. But you also strengthened our resolve to keep solving climate change, the waste crisis and other sustainability issues, as they will outlast this pandemic.
Energised by this, we worked hard to explore ways to support industry during this difficult time. NABERS was one of the first rating tools in the world to set up a well-resourced, dedicated COVID-19 taskforce, which allowed us to quickly provide solutions to the many issues you have been facing. We also worked with our Commonwealth Government colleagues to provide financial relief measures for all our Assessors, as well as our raters in many sectors where NABERS is voluntary.
We’ve also accelerated the expansion of NABERS into new sectors, allowing us to support organisations working to drive sustainable change across the Australian economy. Sectors we will target for expansion in the next couple of years include residential aged care, retirement living, schools and warehouses.
In recent years Australia has taken great strides by increasing the proportion of renewable energy in the grid. Through our Future of NABERS Energy project, we are ensuring that our tools to accurately reflect this new reality, providing a level-playing field for all-electric building technologies. We pride ourselves on being one of the most rigorous system for measuring buildings sustainability globally, and this change will help us continue driving buildings towards net zero emissions.
Despite this being a particularly challenging year, the number of buildings using NABERS to measure their environmental performance actually grew. Areas such as NABERS Indoor Environment and NABERS Waste particularly so, reflecting our strong collective interest in wellbeing and growing awareness of the waste crisis. And while we will be in uncharted waters for some time to come, the fact so many of you are still out there making a difference is a sign of how much stronger and resilient the sustainability movement has become.
On a personal note, I feel incredibly proud of the work my team, our Assessors, our customers and our broader NABERS community have done in the past 12 months. I truly believe we will emerge from this stronger, ready to make the world the sustainable place we know it can be.
A note from Francesca Muskovic, Stakeholder Chair
The second half of the 2019-20 financial year came with unprecedented challenges. NABERS acted swiftly to support its stakeholders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and has contributed to the resilience and recovery of Australia’s economy. During FY20 NABERS announced fee-free ratings to most sectors as well as free Assessor accreditation training. This support was most welcome, timely and greatly appreciated by NABERS’ many stakeholders.
As another hallmark of the times, this year the NABERS and CBD conference went ahead online instead of in person. NABERS ability to pivot and go online allowed over a thousand people to come together – many who could not normally travel to attend - and discuss the most pressing issues in Australia's built environment. The event was packed with inspiring speakers and stories, I’m sure you’d agree it was a genuine highlight.
Despite the challenges presented over the past year, the NABERS team have continued to make significant progress in their ambitious goal to expand NABERS to every major building type. The expansion into new, key sectors is advancing rapidly, and will mean that NABERS will grow from capturing about 30% of emissions from non-residential buildings to capturing at least 80% of emissions from non-residential buildings.
On behalf of the stakeholder members on NABERS’ Steering Committee, I welcome you to the NABERS Annual Report 2019/20. Your support of NABERS is more important than ever, as the team seeks to support its customers, new partners, and both national and international stakeholders in a green economic recovery.
A note from Catherine Zerger, A/g Government Chair of the NABERS Steering Committee
We all know that the 2019–2020 financial year was an unprecedented year and no-one has been unaffected by the circumstances of COVID-19, including our partners at NABERS.
COVID-19 has had a major impact on the building sector. Through NABERS, the Commonwealth Government has provided financial relief to industry, including free ratings to selected sectors and waived Assessor accreditation fees.
The Commonwealth Climate Solutions Package continues to support and enable funding for the expansion of NABERS and has also allowed NABERS to bring all ratings tools onto a cloud based platform. NABERS will also be a key part of the delivery of the Trajectory for Low Energy Buildings, a national plan for energy efficiency opportunities throughout the building system.
NABERS is a world-leading program that we are proud to support and as the Acting Government Chair of this Committee, I would like to express my sincere thanks to all of the industry and government stakeholders for their expertise and continued collaboration.