Jefa Greenaway on why you need to enter the 2020 Sustainability Awards

  •   23 July 2020

If you are serious about sustainability, what better way to showcase your thinking, your commitment and the outcomes of your design approach, than by entering the 2020 Sustainability Awards, says director of Greenaway Architects, University of Melbourne senior academic, ABC Radio Melbourne regular commentator and 2020 Sustainability Awards ambassador Jefa Greenaway.

“The awards are a terrific forum to engage with the most important issues that the design profession is and will continue to grapple with. Beyond the potential acknowledgment, the diversity of approaches and the depth of thinking and design execution are key means to communicate that there are numerous techniques, philosophies, and creativity that underpins the work of progressive and considered design practices,” says Greenaway.

In terms of what he would hope to see in this year’s entries, Greenway says that “A measure of the success will be seeing a range of projects that have moved beyond the minimum expectations around sustainability.”

“Given the challenges of climate change and biodiversity loss, the time is now for the built environment to raise the bar and embed sustainability within the DNA of our thinking, not as an after-thought or graft-on, but as an integrated and normalised response to all the projects we work on. I am keen to see how design practices are meeting such challenges, how they creatively navigate all the competing forces of time, cost and quality is balanced to engage meaningfully with sustainable design practice.”

“I am also keen to see how many projects are seeking to achieve net-zero emissions and how practices navigate the plethora of measuring tools that seek to capture the extent a project is truly sustainable,” he says.

“Sustainable design to my way of thinking is more than thermal performance, a responsible choice of materials, and reducing the embodied energy of buildings. Sustainability is an extension of ‘caring for Country’  principles and is at its best, a holistic practice.”

“If we work on the assumption that everything is interconnected, I will be very interested to see how architecture, landscape, and interiors are integrated to provide engaging sustainability approaches. I am keen to see how one extends sustainability to include social sustainability, well-being, and people-centered design,” says Greenaway.

Furthermore, he says,  “I will be keen see if any projects seek to harness Indigenous knowledge systems and deep wisdom in realising sustainable design”

“I certainly hope to be inspired and see that the next generation of design practitioners have the passion, rigour and intent to make the necessary changes to pivot to the new realities that we all face,” Greenaway concludes.

For entering the 2020 Sustainability Awards, go to  or email