Bruce Kerswill, Executive Chairman of the Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA) and the pioneer who led the charge in the formation of the local Council, has been elected as the Chairman of the World Green Building Council (World GBC).
Kerswill, who has been involved with the World GBC Exco since 2009, is passionate about green building and, having recognised that the lack of knowledge about green building in South Africa was limiting our efforts in terms of global warming and international best practice, championed the initiative to set up the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA).
Since then the GBCSA has become recognized as the ‘lead’ organisation in green building in South Africa, and is now one of the most active councils globally. Kerswill’s involvement with the World GBC also affords the GBCSA continued and improved access to international resources, information, insight and skills.
The World GBC aims to facilitate the global transformation of the building industry towards sustainability, and currently has 100 Green Building Councils from other countries as members. Buildings globally consume about 40% of the world’s energy, and green buildings typically reduce consumption by 50 to 70%, so have a massive impact in reducing greenhouse gases. The WGBC assists new GBC’s and promotes interaction in its network, as well as providing leadership on common global issues.
During his involvement with the WGBC, Kerswill has championed the cause for social and environmental impacts to be included in the concept of green building for developing countries, and has played an integral role in facilitating the formation of the Africa Regional Network of Green Building Councils.
Kerswill has had a long career in the commercial property industry. A Town and Regional Planner and MBA by training, he moved into property development and housing, and then into property asset management and corporate strategy. With partner Rodney Squire-Howe, he co-founded Spire Property Group and assembled the Paramount Property Fund, listing it on the Joburg Stock Exchange in 2001. Most recently he played an integral role in the formation and listing of the Tower Property Fund, the first fund to list on the JSE under the REIT structure. He is currently Managing Director of Spire Property Group, which provides property management services to private and corporate clients.
“I look forward to my role as Chairman of the World GBC: there is a real magic to over 100 countries all working in synch to address some of global society’s greatest problems. WGBC has over 28 000 companies, including some of the world’s largest, who are members of its constituent GBC’s. I believe it is one of the most effective organisations in addressing climate change, effecting change on the ground and in people’s behavior – and all done in a great spirit of camaraderie” concludes Kerswill.