Marketing Your Zero Carbon Project

Earning Zero Carbon Building certification is a significant achievement, demonstrating leadership and innovative approaches to the built environment.

To ensure accurate recognition in the marketplace, different stages of certification use specific communication messages. As such, the CaGBC has created guidelines for how to properly refer to your project whether it is registered, ZCB-Design or ZCB-Performance certified.

 

Registered

ZCB Design certified

ZCB Performance certified

ZCB Brand Guidelines

Registered

Registering is the first step in the Zero Carbon Building (ZCB) certification process and indicates your intention to meet the requirements of Canada’s first zero-carbon green building standard.

When referring to an officially registered project, it is important to ensure proper language in order to protect the value of Zero Carbon Building certification.

As is referenced in the official Zero Carbon Building Brand Guidelines, a Zero Carbon Building registered project may be referred to as a “CaGBC® Zero Carbon Building™ certification Candidate”.

It is also appropriate to refer to your project as “registered with the intention to certify”, “targeting CaGBC® Zero Carbon Building™ Performance certification” or “targeting CaGBC® Zero Carbon Building™ – Design certification” (as appropriate); keeping in mind that both ZCB-Design and ZCB-Performance certification are not guaranteed until the certification has been awarded.

Registered projects should never be referred to as “certified”

While registration does indicate your commitment to certifying a building under the ZCB Standard, it cannot legally be referred to as certified until you have received official notification.

Trademark and copyright infractions are taken very seriously by the CaGBC and will not be tolerated. If the project does not comply with the Zero Carbon Building™ Brand Guidelines and continues to do so after being contacted, the CaGBC will send a legal cease and desist letter to the owner, and this will result in legal action if changes are not made within the designated timeframe.


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Zero Carbon Building - Design certified

This certification means a project has demonstrated design excellence and has provided documentation that demonstrates it has met the requirements of the ZCB-Design Standard.

Design certification: correct messaging

While there isn’t a certification mark for ZCB-Design certified projects, you are encouraged to include mention of the certification in your messaging. This can include:

  • [Company name] is pleased to announce that [project name] has earned Zero Carbon Building™ – Design certification through the CaGBC®’s Zero Carbon Building™ Program.
  • [Project name] has been Zero Carbon Building™ – Design certified by the Canada Green Building Council®.
  • [Company name]’s [project name] is now Zero Carbon Building™ – Design certified. This certification program offered by the Canada Green Building Council® is the first of its kind in Canada and one of the first in the world.

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Zero Carbon Building – Performance certification

This certification demonstrates excellence in green building and puts your project among an elite group that have earned certification through this rigorous program. The certification applies to a defined 12-month period of operations.

ZCB-Performance certification promotional tools

Once the certification confirmation form is received, certificates and two decals will be provided, along with the image files for use of the Zero Carbon Building certification mark (logo). As ZCB-Performance is an annual certification program, the certification mark includes the year of building operations for which certification was earned. Logos and permissions are given to the building owner.

Performance certification: proper messaging

ZCB-Performance certification is awarded annually. This means that you must refer to the year of operations for which certification was earned in all messaging (specifically, use the calendar year that applies to the end of the performance period; for example, if you certified operations from June 1, 2018 to May 31, 2019, you would use 2019). Reference language could include:

  • [Company name] is pleased to announce that [project name] has earned Zero Carbon Building™ – Performance 2018 certification through the CaGBC®’s Zero Carbon Building™ Program.
  • [Project name] has been Zero Carbon Building™ – Performance certified by the Canada Green Building Council®.
  • [Company name]’s [project name] is now Zero Carbon Building™ certified for 2018. This certification program offered by the Canada Green Building Council® is the first of its kind in Canada and one of the first in the world. Note: you may use two years to indicate your certification if it fell between two years (i.e. 2017–2018), but always ensure you associate the date with the certification.

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CaGBC marketing support

The CaGBC Marketing team is here to support you and can help in a variety of ways, including:

  • A quote from the CaGBC for your news release, and a fact-check, if desired (five business days turnaround time is required).
  • A Zero Carbon Building and CaGBC backgrounder for the media kit.
  • The opportunity to profile your project on the CaGBC Zero Carbon Building webpages and in social media. This may include:
    • a newsletter profile (audience of over 10,000);
    • a case study;
    • social media graphics and mentions; and,
    • the use of your project’s name and images in future promotional materials (if desired and with permission).
  • Potential to help connect your project with a media contact for an article or broadcast piece (subject to availability).

For additional questions on promotional material or request any of these items, please contact CaGBC Marketing.

Referring to a certified project in promotional materials

As is referenced in the official Zero Carbon Building Brand Guidelines, your certified project can now be referred to as "Zero Carbon Building™ – Performance certified". A certified ZCB-Performance project can also utilize the ZCB certification logo. Please note that ZCB-Performance certification is recognized annually, based on the most recent 12-month period of operations; therefore, the project can only be referred to as ZCB-Performance for one year at a time.

Do’s and Don’ts when referring to a ZCB certified project

Due to the nature of ZCB certification, it is easy to improperly explain or refer to certified projects. Listed below are a few examples of common mistakes made when communicating a ZCB-certified project.

  • Do not refer to a ZCB-Design project as anything other than this. It cannot be referred to as a ZCB-Performance certification as it has not met the required criteria yet.
  • It is important to remember that ZCB-Performance certification is awarded annually. This means that you must refer to the year of operations for which certification was earned in all messaging and cannot communicate that the project is certified outside of that year, unless performance in those years was also certified.
  • Do not refer to the project as 'Zero Carbon accredited'. Accreditation is a designation that a professional earns; projects earn certification.
  • Zero Carbon Building™ certification is not an award; it is a certification that is achieved.
 

Other promotional tips

Each project has interesting features or goals that make it unique. It is always a good idea to speak to the members of the project team to find out what makes your project stand out. Things to keep in mind are:

  • What carbon emissions is your project saving compared to a traditional building?
  • Why did you decide to pursue zero carbon emissions for your project? What value does this provide to you – monetarily and otherwise?
  • Why did this project want to earn Zero Carbon Building certification and how does this benefit it?
  • There are new and innovative low carbon technologies being developed and implemented all the time; maybe your project has one or more of these exciting new technologies.
  • Don’t be afraid to refer to your project’s certification as a demonstration of industry leadership. This program is the first of its kind in Canada and you are among an elite group.

For additional questions about promoting your project, please feel free to contact CaGBC Marketing at any time. For additional, more detailed information about branding, please refer to the Zero Carbon Building™ Brand Guidelines.


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Additional information and questions

For additional questions about promoting your project, please feel free to contact CaGBC Communications at any time.

For additional, more detailed information about branding, please refer to the Zero Carbon Building Brand Guidelines.