Against the backdrop of the iconic, and in many ways, sustainability-built and operated sports stadium, the 2023 Sustainability Summit began as a beacon of inspiration, paving the way for transformative conversations on environmental responsibility, innovation, and collaboration.

The Summit kicked off with two keynotes speeches – one by Russell Lee, Director at COX who spoke through his innovative work on the iconic Allianz Stadium itself and how it’s shaping the future of sports and entertainment venues.

The other keynote was a journey into the future of sustainable design by Chris Nunn from Scape, who unveiled the remarkable potential of the Passive House model in Australia.

The event featured a diverse and highly-talented line-up of speakers across 10 panels, see here for the full list –  ranging from industry leaders to environmental advocates,  academics, architects, engineers, and authors, each offering unique perspectives on sustainability. Panel discussions delved into topics such as circular economy models, renewable energy solutions, EVs and their influence on design, and the role of biophilia in driving eco-friendly initiatives.

The engaging discourse fostered an atmosphere of collaboration, with participants exchanging ideas and best practices to accelerate positive change.

As Timberlink Australia noted, “Inspiring to hear from a far broader range of sustainability-motivated experts than I normally get to interact with”, while Plus Architectire noted that the Summit “….catered to all individuals and knowledge levels. Really engaging interesting topics were covered. Great opportunities for networking.”

Outside the conference rooms, a range of sponsor products were on display ranging from recyclable acoustic materials, to building aggregates, water dispensing technology to state-of-the-art recycled flooring systems; in fact, all manner of technology that can be used to address environmental challenges was on display.

The 390 live Attendees – plus a further 288 that joined online – were all given the opportunity to interact with these innovations, sparking some interest as well as enthusiasm for integrating such solutions into their own practices.

This year’s Summit also placed a strong emphasis on the far-reaching effects of sustainability, exploring how common ideas and logical design influences combined with environmental consciousness go hand-in-hand with fighting the dilemma of climate change.

By highlighting the interconnectedness of these issues, the summit encouraged participants to adopt holistic approaches in their sustainability efforts.

The networking opportunities at the event were invaluable, fostering connections between like-minded individuals and organizations. Collaborations were forged, partnerships were discussed, and the seeds for future initiatives were planted.

The Summit, in essence, served as a catalyst for a broader movement toward sustainable practices across various parts of our built environment.

As Lien Architects said: “Attending the Sustainability Digital Summit was enlightening – the diverse perspectives amongst peers and innovative ideas shared, created a powerful platform for meaningful discussions and inspired positive change towards a sustainable future.”

A special thank you must go out to our two MCs for the day – Tone Wheeler and Yvonne Haber, who although both architects – have showed a propensity as public speakers and orators.

Wheeler notes that: “It takes a village to raise a child”, or so the old saying goes; after this year’s Sustainability Summit we know that it takes a community to make sustainability. We’ve moved on from the individual solution to the collective, interactive multi-disciplinary approach to addressing climate change.

For her part, Haber says that “I found the summit very interesting as it has developed the idea of sustainability beyond the selection of material into the bigger picture of sustainability in the urban environment. This includes looking at different methods of addressing the housing issue for this and future generations.”

“This summit was particularly valuable as each panel of speakers were from different areas of the built environment from the designer/architect to the manufacturer of the different products.”

In conclusion, the 2023 Sustainability Summit held at Allianz Stadium was a resounding success. It not only provided a platform for thought leaders to share their insights but also ignited a spark within attendees to take meaningful environmental action.

As we reflect on the event, the resounding message from the Summit was loud and clear: The time for change is now, and the path to a sustainable future requires collective effort, innovation, and a commitment to fostering a harmonious relationship between humanity and the planet we call home.

This Sustainability Summit, our 7th in this particular Q & A format, has set the stage for a new era of environmental stewardship, leaving an indelible mark on the industry and an indelible path toward a greener, more sustainable world.

Written by Branko Miletic