The World Green Building Council (WGBC) have just held their 2018 Build Lasting Change Conference and called on market leaders across the globe to join their Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment as signatories.
The Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment calls for businesses and organisations across the globe to act by setting targets of eliminating operational carbon emissions from their building portfolios by 2030, with ambitious aims of meeting the Paris Agreement’s goal of getting below 2 degrees global warming.
For starters, a Net Zero Carbon Building is a building that is highly energy efficient and fully powered from on-site and/or off-site renewable energy sources.
“The Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment has the power to radically transform the building and construction industry by spearheading a global shift towards aggressive energy efficiency as well as a complete change from fossil fuel-based power to renewables,” said the Green Building Council of Australia.
According to Andrew Steer, president and CEO of the World Resources Institute, the “average energy consumption per person in the global buildings sector remains practically unchanged since 1990, despite the fact that building energy upgrades represent the single largest source of low-cost emissions reductions and create significant equity benefits by reducing energy poverty”.
Green building can make a significant contribution to sustainable development goals, and promote an affordable and cleaner energy supply, spurring innovative design and contributing to climate resilient infrastructure. Globally, almost 40% of energy-related greenhouse emissions come from buildings, with 28% coming from the operations of buildings themselves.
The Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment demonstrates that it is essential for the building and construction sector to play a key role in achieving large-scale emissions reduction. It’s all about shifting the way the industry thinks.
“It’s clear we need to move past the incrementalism of change ‘permit-by-permit’ and instead shift market expectations—in prominent, high-growth places—of what acceptable [sustainable] building assets look like,” voiced Andrew Steer.
“This new Commitment is a huge step forward on the path towards net zero. Our vision is ambitious, but we know that the building industry has the knowledge, the technologies and the capability to deliver. The Commitment will help to create unprecedented demand for green design and construction, stimulating the market to deliver net zero carbon buildings at scale,” stated Terri Wills, CEO of the World Green Building Council.
As part of the World Green Building Council’s announcement, they celebrated the first three founding signatories of the commitment:
- Signify – formerly known as Philips Lighting – is an industry leader in lighting and the lighting company for the Internet of Things. With a presence in over 70 countries, Signify has committed to net zero carbon for all its buildings (currently over 300).
- Integral Group – a global engineering firm specialising in the delivery of net-zero buildings. Integral Group actively promotes opportunities for net zero on every project they are engaged on, removing technical, financial and perceptual barriers to uptake.
- Majid Al Futtaim – an innovator in the shopping mall, retail, and leisure destinations in the Middle East and North Africa, this company has committed to eliminating operational carbon emissions from all its assets across 15 countries by 2030.
“We believe that there are two key ingredients to designing net-zero buildings: positive people and simple engineering,” announced Kevin Hydes, CEO of Integral Group.
More information can be found at: https://new.gbca.org.au/news/industry-news/wgbc-calls-companies-across-world-make-their-buildings-net-zero-carbon/