Green Building Counsil and IWBI team up to create healthier buildings
The healthy building movement in Australia received a boost today, with the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) and the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) announcing a new partnership.
The GBCA and IWBI have agreed to work collaboratively to promote health and well-being in the design, construction and operations of buildings, fitouts and communities in Australia.
The GBCA, which is the nation’s authority on sustainable buildings and communities, launched the Green Star rating system in 2003, and since then has certified more than 1,050 buildings, communities and fitouts throughout the country.
IWBI administers the WELL Building Standard (WELL), a performance-based system for measuring, certifying and monitoring features of the built environment that impact human health through air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind.
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The two organizations announced the new partnership at the Green Cities 2016 conference in Sydney, after signing a memorandum of understanding which outlines their commitment to work towards common goals.
“A truly sustainable building not only addresses environmental impact, but social and economic impact too,” said GBCA CEO Romilly Madew. “Green Star’s focus on indoor environmental quality provides a critical foundation for human health and well-being – one which WELL enhances through its dedicated focus on evidence-based medical and scientific research and measurable performance.”
The organizations will now work together to identify opportunities to align the two rating systems, develop events and education offerings, and promote building practices that improve the health and well-being of occupants.
Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI), which provides third-party certification for the WELL Building Standard, will also support efforts to promote and deliver WELL across Australia.
Business Chief Legend: Ho Ching, CEO of Temasek
Ask Singaporeans who Ho Ching is, and the majority will answer the ‘wife of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’. And that’s certainly true. However, she’s also the CEO of Temasek Holdings, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, and one of the world’s largest investment companies.
Well, she is until October 1, 2021, as she recently announced she would be retiring following 16 years as CEO of the investment giant.
Since taking the reins in 2004, two years after joining Temasek as Executive Director, Ho has gradually transformed what was an investment firm wholly owned by Singapore’s Government into an active investor worldwide, splashing out on sectors like life sciences and tech, expanding its physical footprint with 11 offices worldwide (from London to Mumbai to San Francisco) and delivering growth of US$120 billion between 2010-2020.
Described by Temasek chairman Lim Boon Heng as having taken “bold steps to open new pathways in finding the character of the organisations”, Ho is credited with building Temasek’s international portfolio, with China recently surpassing Singapore for the first time.
As global a footprint as Ho may have however, she has her feet firmly planted on Singapore soil and is committed to this tiny city-state where she was not only educated (excluding a year at Stanford) but has remained throughout her long and illustrious career – first as an engineer at the Ministry of Defence in 1976, where she met her husband, and most notably as CEO of Singapore Technologies, where she spent a decade, and where she is credited with repositioning and growing the group into the largest listed defence engineering company in Asia.
It’s little wonder Ho has featured on Forbes’ annual World’s Most Powerful Women list for the past 16 years, in 2007 as the third most powerful woman in business outside the US, and in 2020 at #30 worldwide.
But it’s not all business. Ho has a strong track record in Singapore public service, serving as chairman of the Singapore Institute of Standards and Industrial Research and as deputy chairman of the Economic Development Board; and is a committed philanthropist with a focus on learning difficulties and healthcare.
As the pandemic kicked off, she not only led active investments in technology and life sciences, with German COVID-19 vaccine developer BioNTech among the most recent additions to Temasek’s portfolio, but through the Temasek Foundation – the firm’s philanthropic arm which supports vulnerable groups close to Ho’s heart, handed out hand sanitiser and face masks.
So, you would be forgiven for thinking that at age 68, Ho might simply relax. But in March 2021, just as she announced her retirement from Temasek, Ho joined the Board of Directors of Wellcome Leap, a US-based non-profit organisation that’s dedicated to accelerating innovations in global health. Not ready to put her firmly grounded feet up yet it seems.