Climate change is a severe threat to human development. Environmental protection and economic growth are two significant dimensions of promoting sustainable global development. In this research, a two-step procedure has been applied to investigate carbon productivity, which is deemed an appropriate indicator to measure sustainable development in conjunction with carbon reduction and production advancement. A decomposition method with the Log Mean Divisia Index has been applied to explore the factors influencing carbon productivity change, including technological innovation and regional adjustment. The carbon productivity of the Australian construction industry from 1990 to 2012 was then investigated. Research results indicate that carbon productivity in Australian construction had increased significantly and could be further improved. Technological innovation has played an important role in promoting carbon productivity, while regional adjustment has remained roughly steady. Based on correlation analyses, scale of the construction market and stock of machinery and equipment had shown weak correlations with carbon productivity changes, and it was clear that improvement in carbon productivity could benefit capital productivity and investment return. The research has systematically defined carbon productivity and for the first time measured it for the construction industry. The results are expected to assist construction industries worldwide to investigate productivity performance and to identify the influencing factors for improving development sustainability.