Beca Principal Debbie O'Byrne to spearhead New Zealand’s participation in global circular economy programme

Beca is pleased to announce Debbie O'Byrne, Circular Economy Principal, has been invited to spearhead the New Zealand Green Building Council’s participation in the World Green Business Council Circularity Accelerator.
Launched in May 2022, the WorldGBC Circularity Accelerator is a programme to increase the adoption of circular economy and more efficient use of resources in the building and construction sector. The programme will serve as a platform for raising and aligning ambition across the industry, and for implementing solutions as demand increases.

The New Zealand Green Building Council works closely with the WorldGBC global action network of over 70 Green Building Councils and 36,000 members globally to focus on three key strategic areas: climate action, health and wellbeing, and resource circularity.

“We recognise that our members can share their world class expertise on circularity and so we’re delighted to invite Debbie who has pioneered circularity in markets across Australia, Europe and the Americas,” says New Zealand Green Building Council chief executive Andrew Eagles.

“It’s easy to think of circularity as being limited to waste and recycling but there are opportunities to find socio-economic benefits through a thriving circular economy with a built environment that supports the regeneration of resource and natural systems.”  

Debbie O'Byrne says it’s a great honour to be invited to represent Aotearoa on the global stage.

“Unequivocal climate science, and our own extensive experience, is telling us we need to act now - and the Circularity Accelerator will sharpen the focus and momentum for change in the building and construction sector worldwide.”

“I am very grateful for this opportunity to champion circular design thinking, and contribute meaningfully to a more sustainable and equitable future for coming generations.”

Debbie says together, we must look beyond carbon, to system-level issues like biodiversity loss.

“We must learn from, and apply, the incredible depth of knowledge and perspective that Māori have developed and honed for millennia here in New Zealand, and from other indigenous communities around the globe. And, we must change our consumption and our mobility behaviour, if we are to realise meaningful and resilient outcomes that deliver for all.”

The Circularity Accelerator programme supports the ambitions of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement, as well as working towards WorldGBC’s goals:
  • 2030 goal: The sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources within the built environment, achieving zero waste to landfill targets and working towards a built environment with net zero whole life resource depletion
  • 2050 goal: A built environment with net zero whole life resource depletion, working towards the restoration of resources and natural systems within a thriving circular economy.

The first step for the global circularity steering group will be to oversee a ‘State of the Market Report’, aiming to provide clarity and cohesion, ultimately providing context for how New Zealand compares to other nations when it comes to circularity.

About the World Green Business Council

WorldGBC catalyses the uptake of sustainable buildings for everyone, everywhere.

As members of the UN Global Compact, WorldGBC work with businesses, organisations and governments to drive the ambitions of the Paris Agreement and UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development. Through a systems change approach, the network is leading the industry towards a zero emission, healthy, equitable and resilient built environment.

Find out more about WorldGBC and the Circularity Accelerator here - https://worldgbc.org/circularity-accelerator 

About the New Zealand Green Building Council

The New Zealand Green Building Council (NZGBC) are passionate advocates for better buildings, because better buildings mean healthier, happier Kiwis.

Created by the sector, NZGBC are Aotearoa's leading sustainable building not-for-profit representing over 720 members, with a combined market turnover of over $40billion. Members include large government departments, banks, energy companies, and insurers, to property and construction companies, architects, developers, designers and tertiary education providers.

NZGBC believe all New Zealanders deserve to be safe, healthy and happy – at home, at school, at work. Everywhere.

For more on the NZGBC visit - https://www.nzgbc.org.nz