Get to know 2022 Board Nominee Joseph Karten

Joseph Karten is the Head of Sustainability and Social Impact of Built

Visit Joseph Karten's LinkedIn Page

Strategy and Governance Experience

"My role at Built has most recently been to draft and execute our sustainability and social impact framework and strategy. Getting all 1,200 people in the company to pull in the direction of sustainability is difficult but very rewarding and our outcomes can be quantified in our sustainability uplifts referred to below as well as our industry recognition as a leading green builder. I report monthly to our Built Operations Leadership Team chaired by the CEO and attended by the Executive Chairman. In this forum, I keep the entire leadership team informed of progress against strategy and any changes needed to keep on track."

Career history demonstrating experience and insight that you will bring to the leadership of APHA

"For the last nearly two years, I’ve been Head of Sustainability and Social Impact and for 1.5 years before that was National Sustainability Manager. My role shifted from day to day operations to managing a high performance team of 6 other brilliant sustainability professionals and ensure they were supported to continue delivering on our culture of excellence in execution, integrity in sustainable outcomes and always questioning the team on how we could deliver a more sustainable project. My day to day role now involves keeping an eye on the latest developments in sustainability and social impact globally and maintaining a global network of changemakers to keep questioning the system we’re all trying to change from within. It’s a daunting but extremely exciting time to be a sustainability leader."

Please provide an example to demonstrate your strength as an influential leader that is able to drive change and outcomes? 
"When I started at Built a decade ago, it was not a contractor known for driving sustainable outcomes and indeed I was the first person hired in a Sustainability capacity. Since then, I’ve grown the team to seven, achieved uplifts on sustainability ratings for our clients in nearly 2/3 of all certifications sought (77 in total) and made sustainability and social impact foundational to the company’s vision, ethos and operation. Our Green Standard, in operation for over 4 years has most recently committed all projects to using Green Star compliant materials. Last year, Built was listed as a winner in the AFR sustainability leader awards.

Why does this opportunity attract you?  "My entire career objective has been to facilitate the proliferation of sustainable building technologies to enable a just transition to a brighter, fairer and sustainable future. During my fellowship tour of green buildings in 2006 when I visited passive house buildings under construction in the Vauban, Freiburg, Germany and through my time at the Green Building Council on to my work over the last decade with Built, my career aspirations have unceasingly focused on proliferating in the broadest sense the green building methods and techniques that have largely remained niche. By serving on the board of the APHA, I will have the opportunity to harness my networks and direct my passion to get passive house design and philosophy into a much greater range of building projects. I believe in the work of the APHA team and I'd like to lend my experience to ensuring the benefits of its work is maximised."

Please list any prior association committee or board experience or anything else you would like to add. 

"I've been an active member and co-chair of the Steel subcommittee in MECLA driving demand for low embodied carbon steel amongst domestic steelmakers and increasing awareness across the Australian property industry of the specific challenges associated with the hard to abate industry of primary steel.  I'm also deputy chair of the NSW PCA Sustainability committee where I help lead the monthly meetings and capture progress of the various working groups."


Which role are you applying for? 

General Board Member


The building industry accounts for almost 40% of all global carbon emissions worldwide. The buildings we design today will still be operational by 2050. Reaching net zero will require huge changes to our houses, offices, and schools and the way we live in them.