Lizette Swanevelder- Green Builder Extraordinaire!

Lizette Swanevelder has been associated in many sectors of the building industry for the past 22 years, and her passion lies in promoting ecological sustainable building practices and greener environments.

Lizette broke new ground in 2009 by launching Australian-based company Ecospecifier Global GreenTag in South Africa – the world’s first third party green building product rating system. This at a time when the focus on ‘green’ was a relatively new and unfamiliar phenomenon in the building environment, and greenwashing was rife in a competitive marketplace.

Lizette was part of the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) Technical Working Group Committee which developed the Green Star Rating Tool for Interiors Fit-Out tool.

Lizette has worked closely with various Associations and Institutes, and hosts a monthly forum for the Winelands Built Environment Professionals Group (WBEP).

In 2011, Lizette was nominated as one of the top 100 women in the Mail & Guardian Woman’s Book of South Africa in the Environmental category.

Highly committed to social upliftment through greening and sustainable development, Lizette has been actively involved with non-profit organisations which support these interventions, such as Green Communities, which promotes sustainable urban green living environments for low income housing settlements.

Through applying her passion for implementing greener environments, Lizette won the 2015 Mail & Guardian Greening the Future award in the Communities for Climate Change category, and received a certificate of merit for the Biodiversity Award at the 2014 Eco-Logic Awards hosted by SABC 3 and Enviropaedia for the greening of 200 gardens in Witsand, an informal settlement in Atlantis.

Inspired by a sense of compassion and empathy for others, through volunteering and community service, Lizette has a long-standing history of supporting her local communities. She has volunteered as a basic ambulance assistant for the NSRI, and as a rescue swimmer for various helicopter services.

Lizette abides by a philosophy that if she can ‘lead the way in showing people how to protect the environment, then collectively and through our own individual actions, we can make a greater impact to humankind and the earth’.

If you had a theme song, what would it be?

Survivor – Eye Of The Tiger

What is the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?

Leaving a high paying job and starting from scratch to follow my passion (best decision ever!)

If Mars was liveable, would you accept a one way ticket there?

No, I love our planet

If you were given one thousand acres of land what would you do with it?

Grow fruit & vegetables and build shelter for rescue animals

Are you more of a hunter or a gatherer? 

Can be both depending on what will help to achieve my goal

How many pairs of shoes do you own?

Embarrassed to say far more than I need! But I still wear my favourite designer shoes from 15 years ago

If we came to your house for dinner, what would you prepare for us?

A vegetarian feast

How would people communicate in a perfect world?

Direct, open and honest with no judgement (and with no mask)

When you have 30 minutes of free time – how do you pass it?

Working in my garden

If you woke up to 300 unread emails, how would you prioritise which ones to answer?

I will tackle new enquiries first

Where do you go and what do you do to find peace and recharge?

Swim in the ocean

If you could know the absolute answer to one question, what question would you ask?

Vaccine and cure for COVID-19

If you could write one new law that everybody had to obey, what would it be?

Make recycling law

What, if anything, have you ever re-gifted?


What is the most interesting thing you have seen or read this week?

Amazon will buy the self-driving technology from Zoox, which will expand their portfolio of technologies to automate delivery of packages

What skill or craft  would you like to master?

Learn different languages and play the piano

If you could dedicate your life to solving one problem, what would it be?

Prevent and clean up litter


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