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Responsible Event Management: GBCSA’s Approach

By Anja Thompson, GBCSA Events Project Manager

For over 15 years, GBCSA has been passionate about creating opportunities for our green building community to connect, catch-up and contribute to the ongoing industry conversations through our knowledge-sharing and networking events.

I fondly recall the introduction of our first Planet Shapers Event back in 2016, when we partnered with South Point and hosted a building tour of the 6-Star Green Star rated WWF offices in Braamfontein, followed by an afternoon walk through the precinct. We have continued to expand our events offering to include various building tours, knowledge sharing sessions on hot topics, as well as just creating the opportunity to connect over a drink with GBConnect events.

And we take our responsibility to do this in a sustainable way seriously!  But what is GBCSA’s approach to events?

Every event is unique, and the possibilities are determined by various factors in each instance. Here are a few of our considerations:


We always aim to host our events in a Green Star or Net Zero-rated venue.  And with the number of certified buildings in South Africa increasing at the rate it is, this has become a more realistic expectation over the years!  

Single-use plastics and the use of biodegradable materials

This is a crucial part of any event we organise.  We are always striving to find an alternative to the plastic water bottle and plastic-wrapped mint! 

Name tags

If you’ve ever had the opportunity to join us at our regional events, you might know this one off by heart already: We always request that our delegates leave their name tags behind after the event, to ensure they are reused.

Sustainable and alternative catering options

GBCSA supports sustainable food practices and we have often gone vegetarian-only at our events.  We have also successfully hosted vegan-only events – something we are keen to encourage in future too!  We only offer local drinks at our events.

Venue or hotel sustainability policy

Requesting this information during planning can provide great insight into how seriously event facilities and hotels take their environmental responsibility, such as how they handle waste.  Where this is not available, we use this opportunity to request certain measures for our events. We’ve found that by engaging in these conversations, we can help these facilities start their own sustainability journeys.

From carefully curated content for our events to sourcing sustainable gift choices; from encouraging our delegates to carpool to supporting ‘local’, GBCSA continually asks if we are doing enough, and what more we could do for each event!

A final thought

We are all walking this green path of sustainability in some shape or form.  Let’s each take that extra bit of time to ask the event facilities we use if they have a sustainability policy in place.  

Simple questions can make a difference, such as,  “Do you distribute leftover catering from our event responsibly?”  And, if not, consider arranging to take the leftover catering and drop these treats off at a nearby orphanage, local fire station, police station or anyone that’s out there serving the community.  And we can all enjoy a celebration without that balloon!

Events are ever-evolving, and we will keep striving to provide our green building community with opportunities to connect responsibly.  

Individual Membership

Designed for professionals acting in their individual capacity, including single consultant-businesses.

Organisational Membership

Ideal for companies, government departments, and organisations.

  • Total Employees: 1 - 5 Employees - R 4080.00
  • Total Employees: 6 - 20 Employees - R 12570.00
  • Total Employees: 21 - 50 Employees - R 24690.00
  • Total Employees: 51 Plus Employees - R 43840.00

Lisa Reynolds

Chief Executive Officer & Executive Director

Lisa Reynolds is the CEO of the Green Building Council South Africa.

Lisa was the driver for the drafting of Energy Efficiency Standards and Regulations for Buildings and has been involved in Energy Efficiency since 2003. She serves on many committees in the SABS and within the energy management professionals’ space. She was President of the SAEEC from 2016 to 2019 and was the previous President of the ESCo (Energy Services Companies) Association. Lisa was instrumental in the formation of SAFEE (Southern African Females in Energy Efficiency) within SAEEC.

She has assisted the South African Government with its Green Building Framework policies, Energy Efficiency Tax Incentives and Energy Efficiency Strategies

Her passion for the “Green space” started with the birth of the Green Building Council in 2007. Lisa served on the Board and the Technical Committee of the GBCSA, as well as on several Technical Working Groups for Rating Tools and Criteria. Lisa. became CEO in June 2020.

Lisa has a BSc, an MBA and a CEM. Lisa’s awards include the 2007 ETA Award for Women, 2008 Individual Energy (SAEE), 2012 SABS Standards Writer Award; the 2014 Women in Energy (SAWIEN); and the 2016 Ian Lane Hall of Fame award.

Lisa is committed to growing the Green Economy within a Green Recovery.

Organisational categories

As an organisational member, you will fall into one of the below categories, and be charged according to specific size indicators. Please reach out to us for any further clarity on which category is best for your organisation

Property Developers

Annual Turnover

Investors, Owners, Property Managers

Total Asset Value

Major Corporate Tenants & Retail

Annual Gross Rentals

Building Contractors

Annual Turnover

Building Product Manufacturers & Distributors

Annual Turnover

Professional Services: Architects, Designers, Engineers, Quantity Surveyors, PM’s, Consultants, Legal

Number of employees

Research, Higher Education, NGO’S & Regulators

NGO or Research/Higher Education/ Regulators

Related Interests: Utilities, Financial, Insurance, etc.

Annual Turnover


Local/ municipal/ provincial/ state 
Contact GBCSA to confirm your category