Nina James, General Manager of Corporate Sustainability at Investa Office Management, is one of the driving forces behind Investa's recent decision to pursue a net zero emissions target by 2040. She answered SchwartzWilliams' questions about her career, and about her sustainability goals for Investa.
How did you start in the corporate sustainability field? Have you always worked in the field, or did you do something else previously?
I actually started as a Landscape Architect, a career path I very much enjoyed for 15 years, which afforded me the opportunity to work on projects all over the world. But after training with the Al Gore Ambassadorial programme, The Climate Reality Project, I realised I wanted a career shift more formally into sustainability.
Initially I cut my teeth in the Investa Land development business, as the National Sustainability Manager, which was a terrific position to build upon the foundation of my previous career and launch into the next phase.
I joined the office group of Investa a little over a year ago, as the General Manager of Corporate Sustainability. One of the wonderful things about sustainability managers is that we have all had very different paths into sustainability. Some graduated via science, architecture, engineering, finance and even opera performance! It certainly leads to creative discussion and solutions!
What’s the goal of your work at Investa?
To maintain and build upon our global leadership position in the office sector.
How does the Paris agreement shape your work?
The Paris agreement has had a significant impact on the focus of our sustainability team.
The Paris agreement has set the goal posts for governments, and therefore the property sector, globally. The Paris agreement has focused global attention on the challenges of addressing climate change. We now have a target globally of a 2 degree future, which is enormously helpful in establishing our own responses within the context of the property sector.
You founded the Urban Land Institute’s Women’s Leadership Initiative. What do you hope to achieve with this organisation?
The vision of the Woman’s Leadership Initiative is to promote the advancement of women in property and to increase the number of, and visibility, of women in senior positions in property.
Where do you live now?
I’m currently living in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney, having recently purchased my first home!
What’s your dream home, anywhere in the world?
I’m an enormous fan of mid-century modernist architecture, so my dream home is a contemporary interpretation of the Rose Seidler House, ideally located somewhere with a view of the ocean.
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