World Green Building Council drive to decarbonise company buildings across the globe gathers pace
Almost 100 companies, states, and organisations have now committed to ensuring their buildings emit zero carbon emissions by 2030 or sooner, with the number signed up to the pledge near doubling since last year, the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) announced today.
Launched in 2018, the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment has now attracted 95 signatories, with the actions they have pledged through the initiative expected to reduce CO2 emissions by 3.3 million tonnes, estimates the WGBC, which is spearheading the initiative.
New signatories over the past 12 months - who include Filipino developer Arthaland, residential developer Joseoph Homes, Finish retail developer Citycon, Finnish pension insurer Varma, and healthcare and real estate investment trust Assura - have pledged that all the buildings they own, occupy or develop will operate at net zero carbon emissions by 2030 or earlier.
Additionally, 28 cities, six states, and one region have signed the Commitment, which WorldGBC said "signalled a shift in political will towards net zero policy". They join existing firms signed up to the pledge such as AESG, Signify, and Kingspan.
"Buildings are our planet's largest consumers of energy," said WorldGBC CEO Cristina Gamboa. "Measures to reduce consumption and energy waste in buildings offer the fastest way to unlock carbon savings, but they are often overlooked and deprioritised. As we overcome the immediate and long-term impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, we must focus on resilience. Net zero building can benefit people, economies and the planet and must form a part of the bold and decisive action necessary to tackle the climate emergency."
The news came as the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) this week announced the next phase of its Accelerator Cities project, which is aimed at bringing together local authorities to help drive action on energy efficiency to upgrade the country's draughty housing stock.
The initiative - which has so far seen councils across Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, London, and the West Midlands sign up - has been set up to support towns and cities in developing their own home retrofit programmes and help share best practice between them, UKGBC said.
Other stakeholders backing the initiative include Green Alliance, UK100, Otley Energy, Bioregional, the Active Building Centre, and the Energy Saving Trust.
John Alker, director of policy and places at UKGBC, said improving the energy efficiency of UK homes was critical to improving health, cutting carbon emissions, and "creating long-lasting economic benefits".
"Home retrofit is a triple-win that supports all three goals," he said. "Although central government still holds many of the keys to unlocking this, cities and local authorities are stepping up to play a crucial leadership role."
The Accelerator Cities project, he explained, "will help city and local authorities as they grapple with issues such as householder engagement, skills and finance - helping to build an evidence base, learn lessons and share common approaches".
On September 30th BusinessGreen will host the world's first Net Zero Festival - a three day virtual summit committed to celebrating and advancing the net zero transition.
In support of the Race to Zero campaign we are offering one VIP pass for the digital event to any business or organisation that has a net zero target in place.
To apply for your VIP pass please send a link to your net zero pledge to [email protected] by Tuesday 9th June.
Business Secretary Alok Sharma also calls for 'global green recovery' as top government figures offer further signs the green economy could be set to benefit in economic stimulus plans
Party calls for green jobs blitz, as it launches month-long consultation that seeks views from businesses, industry groups, unions, workers, and campaigners on specific measures that can be taken to kick start a green recovery.
Plus all the top green business news from around the world this week
Engine marker pledges to boost low-carbon technology R&D and reach net zero across its operations by the end of the decade, as it announces plans to cut 3,000 jobs across the UK amid coronavirus crisis.