A strong voice for green building
CAGBC provides a voice for the green building sector in Canada. Our membership is made up of the people and businesses that design, construct and operate buildings. We work with our members to grow awareness of green buildings as a proven solution for emissions reductions and greater sustainability. However, to achieve the scale required to meet market demand and climate targets, we need the support of government at all levels.
We build support by providing governments with recommendations and insights that encourage the adoption of green building policies and by implementing solutions that reduce carbon emissions from buildings. Thanks our broad membership base and expertise, CAGBC can bring green building leaders together to advance the research, projects, and partnerships that shape Canadian policies and programs.
Carbon emissions from buildings are still above the 2005 level (86 MTCO2 eq in 2021), and government projections ask for a 33 MTCO2 reduction to respect Canada‘s goal of reducing GHG emissions 40 to 45% by 2030 (ECCC). To get there faster, CAGBC is focused on large commercial and institutional buildings, representing over 40% of the sector emissions. Over the long term, these buildings – 155,000 including new and existing – must be zero-carbon buildings to reach Canada’s climate targets.
Policies & regulations
CAGBC advocates for greater climate ambition and the implementation of three impactful policies: the Greening Government Strategy (led by the Treasury Board Secretariat – TBS), the Green Buildings Strategy (led by Natural Resources Canada – NRCan), and the Buy Clean Strategy (co-led by TBS and NRCan). CAGBC provides technical experts and recommendations towards regulations such as buildings codes that will include GHG operational emissions in 2025 and embodied in 2030.
Finance & incentives
Increasingly, governments are putting in place incentives to reduce GHG emissions. The federal government is working on a green taxonomy and ESG requirements will become increasingly stringent. CAGBC advises the government on various programs that could support the decarbonization of Canada’s buildings, such as the Canada Infrastructure Bank’s Building Retrofits Initiative which uses CAGBC’s IREE certification. CAGBC also helps government implements solutions to aid market adoption of zero-carbon buildings, by encouraging the use of guidelines for transitioning planning and the extension of cleantech Investment tax credit to technologies needed for high-performance envelopes.
If zero-carbon buildings are to become the new normal, Canada must have a low-carbon supply chain that includes structural materials such as cement, wood or steel, to low-carbon interior fittings. Through the work of CAGBC’s Sustainable Materials Accelerator and discussions with partners, CAGBC recommended a grant program for SMEs seeking EPDs/LCAs for materials. CAGBC continues to advocate for the government to use its procurement powers to demand more low-carbon materials for use in public buildings.