Business manager

Business manager for the company's green industry, who has been heavily involved in scaling up Green Building Councils.

"Across the city, those working in green building and green renewable energy are unlikely to come from a wealthy environmentally minded background," she said.

In the current environmental campaign, green building schemes have been announced for more than 160 buildings in 24 cities across Australia.

"Although the environments from which they are being built are generally difficult and expensive, it is clear that green buildings are increasingly being adopted in Australia and in the global community," she added.

The first such scheme for the city of Perth is due to be completed next year.

Meanwhile, the Coalition has already introduced legislation to encourage councils to deploy the technology to use more light, energy efficient homes, workers and buses.

Last week, the Mentoring for Governments to assist local councils with building 'green buildings' group was launched in Melbourne.

Researchers say the building industry is key to Australia's growing momentum for a more sustainable future.

They point to the example of the planned solar energy bubble that engulfed an Australian pavilion in South Africa, where it allowed energy producers to advance in exploiting solar.

Another country, Canada, has also explored using fossil fuel-free buildings to save money on energy, and the country has a lead in a push to introduce energy-saving buildings into its housing stock.

However, many in the industry see the environment as their strongest enemy.

Kelly Phillips said the sustainability movement was giving both sides some needed breathing space.

“They were pushing back to try to protect the environment. In doing so, they were making an example of putting the environment ahead of the money," she told Reuters..