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Green Building Council appoints new Deputy Chairman

Rudolf Pienaar -Deputy Chairman Green Building Council South Africa [GBCSA]

The Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA) today announced it has appointed Rudolf Pienaar as its Deputy Chairman.

Pienaar is a Director of Growthpoint Properties, South Africa’s largest JSE-listed REIT and a JSE ALSI 40 company, which has property assets valued at nearly R100 billion. Pienaar has been a member of the GBCSA board since 2010, chairs its Marketing Committee and sits on its Exco.

The GBCSA was established in 2007 to promote green building development in the country. It is a member of the World Green Building Council (World GBC). Today, it is one of the most active councils worldwide.

Brian Wilkinson, CEO of the GBCSA, comments: “We’d like to congratulate Rudolf Pienaar on his appointment as the Deputy Chairman of the GBCSA board. Rudolf Pienaar has been a dedicated and active member of our board and is a committed advocate of green building practices – his appointment is richly deserved.”

With 30 years’ experience in the property industry, Pienaar has served in senior management positions of five listed property companies. He is a director of Growthpoint, Acucap and the V&A Waterfront. Pienaar also serves on the Advisory Board of the Department of Construction Economics at the University of Pretoria.

Pienaar has been among those at the forefront of South Africa’s movement for a sustainable, green building environment since 2008 and is a champion of Growthpoint’s green building leadership. Pienaar is Director of the Growthpoint Office Division, which includes a significant R32 billion portfolio of offices. Growthpoint is a Platinum Founding Member of the GBCSA, a JSE Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) Index company and a Dow Jones Sustainability Index company. It is also a top performer in the CDP Climate Performance Index.

Growthpoint owns or co-owns the largest portfolio of green buildings of any company in South Africa. It co-sponsored the GBCSA’s Energy and Water Benchmarking Tool and is taking part in the pilot programmes for the Green Star SA Existing Building Performance Tool and the Socio-Economic Category. It has also partnered with GBCSA for the Greenovate Awards pilot which encourages students of the built environment to find ways to live more sustainably and helps link environmental challenges to innovative thinking.

Commenting on his appointment, Pienaar says he is looking forward to the opportunity to foster a greater understanding of the benefits of green building for both the owners and the occupiers of properties.

“The property sector contributes 40% of emissions world-wide. This puts a huge responsibility on property practitioners to change this – and the time to change is now,” says Pienaar. “Building by building we want to transform our properties so the people who use them can reach their maximum potential and businesses can thrive”

Green building is a win-win for building occupiers and owners. Green buildings are also good business. They provide lower total occupancy costs for tenants, are proven to deliver higher returns for owners and are designed to have positive impacts on their surrounding communities and environment. Green buildings also have significant benefits for employee well-being and productivity.

Pienaar believes collaboration is the key to driving the green building movement forward. This means building owners and occupiers coming together, buildings interacting positively with their communities, the collective benefits of green building structures and green interiors, and the entire property industry working together for a more sustainable built environment.

“Property is a highly competitive industry. Yet, when it comes to sustainability it is important that we continue to work together as peers in an open and collaborative way,” says Pienaar. “This is an approach the GBCSA has nurtured and I would like to see it grow even more.”

“We are a dedicated team of industry experts working in collaboration with industry bodies, leaders, government departments and professionals to develop market-based green solutions for the South African property industry. Rudolph is a valuable member of this team and will serve as an asset in his new role and assist us to continue doing what we do,” Wilkinson concludes.

Pienaar adds, “By freely sharing information about both our success and failures we can drive green building forward with greater pace and results. Everybody wins.”