AFA - Sustainability - It's Time to act

Furniture 360 Project leader Mark Thomson was a keynote presenters at the conference, discussing the importance of third-party certification and verification, materials selection, hazardous substances and chemicals of concern in modern furniture.

Billed “The Rebuilt Environment – A National Festival of Design” the conference ran from October 27 to 29 and was the largest congregation of building design professionals since the Covid-19 pandemic.

Meeting in Melbourne ahead of the Victorian State Election (November 26, 2022) the conference overwhelmingly supported need for greater action on climate.

Conference host and AFA Head of Partnerships and Marketing, Jason Ross also covered the conference takeaways for the Fifth Estate publication* “It’s time to act”: building designers support action on climate – The Fifth Estate).

What is a Building Designer? 

A Building Designer is first and foremost a professional familiar with all facets of the building trade, whose plans and designs represent the particular needs, style, and budget of the client. 

Ultimately the Building Designer has autonomy over the complete design of the building structure and for the most part has full control over material selection through the building specification. 

Through building specification, Building Designers play a key role in influencing the selection of materials in residential and commercial projects.  

About the BDAA 

Australia’s leading national peak body representing the Building Design Community. In addition, they represent thermal assessors and are a key stakeholder for furniture and furnishings in the Australian commercial and residential building markets.  

What is the Climate Emergency? 

In July 2022, the Albanese Government joined 16 regional leaders in signing a ‘climate emergency declaration’ following the Pacific Islands Forum in Fiji ** Anthony Albanese declares climate change emergency as Pacific leaders take aim at Australia (

As it stands over 100 local government jurisdictions have pledged their support for the climate emergency – 36 in New South Wales and 35 in Victoria – joining the ACT as the only state or territory to declare a climate emergency. 

For many, including the Australian Government, strong action on climate means action on energy and a *** Stronger Action On Climate Change | Prime Minister of Australia (

According to Australian Government research (Manufacturing | Australia’s manufacturing industry is one of the nation’s most energy intensive – this includes furniture and furnishing manufacturers. 

It accounts for close to one quarter of Australia’s total energy consumption.  

The AFA supports a net-zero future, and has partnered with Energy Action to assist AFA members with opportunities to reshape how and when they use power. 

Energy Action is your go-to for a net-zero tomorrow 

The AFA have partnered with Energy Action to help members take control of our energy needs and navigate their journey towards Net Zero at least cost. 

In a special interview Patrizia Torelli, CEO of the AFA, spoke with Director and CEO of Energy Action, Bruce Macfarlane about the energy and carbon crises.  

And when it comes to net-zero, Energy Action can talk the talk and walk the walk. 

Bruce Macfarlane explains: 

“Energy Action is a certified by Climate Active, a government body, as being Net Zero.  

What it means is that our business produces no net emissions.” 

Energy Action can help AFA members achieve Net Zero by measuring energy usage and emission sources – it can help large emitters write a strategy so they can balance timelines and costs. 

For more information, visit AFA’s dedicated Energy Action partner link

*Courtesy The Fifth Estate “It’s time to act”: building designers support action on climate – The Fifth Estate


**Courtesy Sydney Morning Herald


***Courtesy of the Australian Government, Prime Minster of Australia