Vancouver, Canada – 28 May 2019 – Today, the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) announced that 50 signatories have now signed up to the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment (the Commitment), launched in September 2018.
These organisations have pledged to take urgent action to ensure their own portfolios of buildings operate at net zero carbon by 2030 and, for some cities, states and regions to enact regulations to ensure all new buildings operate at net zero carbon from 2030, and all buildings, including existing, operate at net zero carbon by 2050.
The Commitment is unique in positioning energy efficiency as a central component to achieving decarbonisation across global portfolios, in addition to generating and procuring renewable energy to meet reduced energy demand. This represents the most cost effective, best practice approach to ensuring buildings are fit for purpose, futureproofed against climate impacts, and provide healthy and comfortable environments.
The announcement comes as WorldGBC released its Advancing Net Zero Status Report 2019. The report details efforts to demonstrate market demand and readiness to take on the challenge of decarbonising the global building stock, and highlights collective leadership action from global businesses, governments and NGOs to catalyse the market towards achieving this goal.
A full list of the Commitment signatories is celebrated in the report, which also profiles the early action taken by some of those who have signed up: including Kilroy Realty, Majid Al Futtaim, Integral Group, the City of Vancouver, and the State of California – who are all actively converting their commitments into action.
Additionally, the report features actions from Green Buildings Councils (GBCs) from across the world facilitating this market transformation such as:
- the release of nine new net zero carbon certification schemes (from France, Canada, Brazil, Australia, South Africa, Germany, Sweden, India, USA) and two frameworks (from the Netherlands and the UK)
- certifying nearly 390 buildings globally as net zero carbon
- raising awareness through advocacy activities of the urgency and achievability of net zero carbon buildings
- developing industry capacity through educational programmes and industry events
Other global non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are also supporting the market transformation with initiatives featured in the report from key partners Architecture2030, the International Living Futures Institute (ILFI), The Climate Group and the World Resources Institute (WRI).
The latest businesses to sign up to the Commitment are:
Foster + Partners – Foster + Partners, partner of WorldGBC, is a global studio for sustainable architecture, urbanism and design founded by Norman Foster in 1967. Sustainability is at the heart of its work, with all projects audited against global standards while developing bespoke strategies that drive the environmental agenda. A unique integrated design approach enables innovative strategies towards low carbon solutions. Foster + Partners commits its operations to be net zero carbon by 2030, as well as leading the transition through their design projects.
AESG – A member of EmiratesGBC and represented on the WorldGBC Board of Directors, AESG is a world leading specialist consulting, engineering and advisory firm working throughout Europe and the Middle East. AESG’s vision is to positively contribute to creating a better world and are striving to be industry leaders in advancing sustainable urban development. In addition to committing their own offices globally to be net zero operational carbon by 2030, AESG commits to providing a pathway to net zero for all design projects from 2020 onwards, embedding net zero principles within the enhancement of existing buildings, developments and policy advisory services.
Local Government Super – GBC Australia member Local Government Super’s (LGS) mission is to incorporate environmental practices and social considerations into the day to day management of its direct property portfolio to reduce the impact of its operations and enhance the retirement income of its members. LGS achieved 5 Star Green Star Performance rating from the GBCA in December 2017, an Australian first for a property portfolio, and achieved ‘Carbon Neutral’ certification under the National Carbon Offset Standard (NCOS) for all of its NABERS rated buildings. In addition to these achievements, as part of their commitment to net zero carbon buildings, LGS is committed to achieving carbon neutral for all remaining assets by 2020.
Armstrong Fluid Technologies – A member of Canada Green Building Council, Armstrong Fluid Technologies is a leader and innovator in the design, engineering and manufacturing of intelligent fluid-flow solutions, committed to sustainability through its charter ‘Planet Proposition’. Across its operations in seven countries worldwide, the company commits to owning and occupying only buildings that are net zero carbon in operation by 2030, as well as providing solutions to the market through their products and services, and educating building owners on opportunities to reduce carbon emissions.
For these businesses, the Commitment forms one of three pathways to become a member of EP100, an initiative by The Climate Group in partnership with Alliance to Save Energy. It brings together energy-smart companies committed to using energy more productively, to lower greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) and accelerate a clean economy. The Commitment’s inclusion of energy efficiency as an essential component to a net zero carbon strategy, supports the improvement of energy productivity.
Cristina Gamboa, CEO, World Green Building Council states: “We are inspired by the leadership action demonstrated by the early signatories to the Commitment. Reaching this significant milestone of over 50 signatories demonstrates that businesses are recognising the value net zero buildings present to their operations; and policymakers are acting on the responsibility to their citizens to provide more efficient and healthier buildings for us to occupy every day. Our Green Building Councils are supporting their members to better understand how these targets can be applied in practice, and respond to the climate emergency facing us.”
Chris Trott, Partner, Head of Sustainability, Foster + Partners and report sponsor said: “We are proud to be the first architecture practice to sign up to the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment, and welcome the Advancing Net Zero Status Report 2019 by the World Green Building Council as a collection of market leadership.”
Saeed Al Abbar, Managing Director, AESG said: “We are delighted to sign the Commitment to advancing net zero, which is a milestone in our own journey of advocating thought leadership for a sustainable built environment. We hope that in providing a pathway to net zero on all of our projects, we will be able to help stimulate the transition to decarbonising the global economy in line with the Paris Climate Change agreement goals.”
Charles A Armstrong, Chairman and CEO, Armstrong Fluid Technologies said: “Armstrong is proud to contribute to this Net Zero initiative. A stated value of our founder 87 years ago was ‘Service to the world who by reason of such service will become your customer’. Armstrong continues to make service to the world core to our purpose by embracing a planet proposition. For the past 20 years we have been working on and broken through the economic barrier around efficiency and reduced GHG emissions. Improved performance does not have to come at a premium price. Reaching Net Zero and assisting our customers in meeting their own sustainability objectives is our primary work.”
Whilst the report highlights leadership action towards eliminating operational carbon emissions from buildings at scale, WorldGBC recognises that in order to limit global warming to a 1.5oC scenario, as set by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), it is essential for the buildings sector to fully decarbonise. This includes elimination of emissions associated with materials and construction at all stages of the building lifecycle. WorldGBC will release a call to action report to tackle embodied emissions in September 2019, during World Green Building Week (23 - 29 September 2019). The report will communicate the urgent need to address embodied emissions and set a global framework for actions at a voluntary and policy level to drive change.
Download Advancing Net Zero Status Report May 2019 [PDF: 7.17 MB]
Georgie Eldridge, Marketing & Communications Manager, World Green Building Council
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Angela Howarth, Marketing & Communications Director, World Green Building Council
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The report comes from Advancing Net Zero, WorldGBC’s global project to accelerate uptake of net zero carbon buildings to 100% by 2050. It marks two years since the release of the ground breaking call to action report from From Thousands to Billions, which called for coordinated action towards achieving the goals of all buildings to operate at net zero carbon from 2030 and all buildings, including existing, to operate at net zero carbon by 2050.
Advancing Net Zero is a global project from the World Green Building Council, aimed at accelerating uptake of net zero carbon buildings to 100% by 2050. The project works with the global Green Building Council network to develop tools and resources, including net zero carbon buildings certification schemes and training programmes, to support their advocacy work with their members and local governments, and build industry capacity.
The Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment, an initiative under the Advancing Net Zero project, was launched in September 2018 at the Global Climate Action Summit. It promotes and inspires leadership action on an advanced trajectory from business, governments and NGOs, to scale up responses to net zero carbon buildings through corporate and policy action.
About the World Green Building Council
The World Green Building Council is a global network of Green Building Councils that is transforming the places where we live, work, play, heal and learn. Our collective goal is to help reduce the building and construction sector’s CO2 emissions by 84 gigatonnes and ensure all buildings have net zero emissions by 2050. We believe green buildings can and must be at the centre of our lives. Our changing climate means we must reshape the way we grow and build, enabling people to thrive both today and tomorrow. We take action – championing local and global leadership and empowering our community to drive change. Together, we are greater than the sum of our parts, and commit to green buildings for everyone, everywhere. www.worldgbc.org
About The Climate Group
The Climate Group’s mission is to accelerate climate action to achieve a world of no more than 1.5°C of global warming and greater prosperity for all. The international non-profit achieves this by bringing together powerful networks of businesses and governments that shift global markets and policies. It focuses on the greatest global opportunities for change, taking innovation and solutions to scale, and building ambition and pace. In addition to EP100, which it delivers in partnership with the Alliance to Save Energy, The Climate Group leads the global business initiatives RE100 and EV100, to accelerate the switch to renewable electricity and electric transport respectively.