Maria Atkinson AM is a Sustainability Business Advisor, a Co-Founder and Founding CEO of the Green Building Council of Australia, of which she is now a Life Fellow.
She was awarded the Member of the General Division of the Order of Australia (AM) for “service to the construction and real estate sector, particularly as a leader and contributor to environmentally sustainable building development in Australia” in 2012.
She is the former Group Head of Sustainability for Lend Lease’s consulting business Sustainability Solutions in Sydney. She is Director of XO Pty Limited, which focuses on impact investments with the intention to generate measurable social or environmental impact alongside revenue growth and profitability.
She studied Environmental Biology, Aquatic Biology & Coastline Protection at the University of Technology (UTS), Sydney. She is also a graduate of the Executive Development Program at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, USA.
She is a member of the City of Sydney Design Advisory Committee; the Australian Government Department of Climate Change; the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) Climate Adaptation Flagship Stakeholder Advisory Group; and Director of the St James Ethics Foundation.
She is a member of its Climate Change Think Tank, a Director of the United States Green Building Council, and a member of the US Studies Centre Council of Advisors. She was the Chair of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Sustainable Buildings and Climate Initiative until July 2011, and a member of the Singapore Building and Construction Authority’s International Panel of Experts for Sustainability in the Built Environment from 2007 until 2009.
She chaired the discussion about the Future of Sustainable Construction at the World Economic Forum inaugural Summit on the Global Agenda in Dubai in 2008, and spoke at the THINK 08 conference in London. Maria Atkinson was also a delegate to the Australia 2020 Summit in the Sustainability and Climate Change stream.
Maria Atkinson was appointed to the Board of the LafargeHolcim Foundation in December 2013. She was a member of the Global Holcim Awards jury in 2012 and 2015, and participated in the concluding panel of the 5th International LafargeHolcim Forum held in Detroit in April 2016.
She was a keynote panel moderator at the 6th International LafargeHolcim Forum for Sustainable Construction on “Re-materializing Construction” held in Cairo, Egypt in April 2019.