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Our mission

Who are we?

The World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) catalyses the uptake of sustainable built environments for everyone, everywhere. We are a global action network of over 70 Green Building Councils around the world.

What’s our mission?

Our mission is to transform the building and construction sector across three strategic areas — climate action, health & wellbeing, and resources & circularity.

How will we achieve it?

As members of the UN Global Compact, we work with businesses, organisations and governments to drive the ambitions of the Paris Agreement and UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development. Through a systems change approach, our network is leading the industry towards a net zero carbon, healthy, equitable and resilient built environment.

Why do we exist?

Buildings and construction account for 37% of energy related CO2 emissions.

What are our goals?

  • Climate Action – total decarbonisation of the built environment.
  • Health and Wellbeing – a built environment that delivers healthy, equitable and resilient buildings, communities and cities.
  • Resources and Circularity – a built environment that supports the regeneration of resources and natural systems, providing socio-economic benefit through a thriving circular economy.

Our Impact Areas

Collectively, the World Green Building Council network is transforming the building and construction sector across three impact areas — climate action, health & wellbeing, and resources & circularity.

For each of these impact areas, we have set ambitious 2030 and 2050 North Star Goals to help us achieve them.

Read our 2020–2022 strategy: ‘Sustainable Buildings For Everyone, Everywhere‘.

Climate Action:

  • For Climate Action, our North Star Goal is the total decarbonisation of the built environment.
  • To get there, by 2030 all new buildings, infrastructure and renovations must have 40% less embodied carbon, with significant upfront carbon reduction. And all new buildings must operate at net zero carbon.
  • By 2050 we need new buildings, infrastructure and renovations to have net zero embodied carbon, and all buildings, including existing buildings, to be net zero operational carbon.

Health & Wellbeing:

  • For Health and Wellbeing, our North Star Goal is to achieve a built environment that delivers healthy, equitable and resilient buildings, cities and communities.
  • By 2030, we want to see substantial improvement in public health & wellbeing through the development of a sustainable built environment, across all types of new and existing buildings, with a focus on quality housing for everyone.
  • By 2050, we need a built environment that provides transformative, restorative improvements in public health & wellbeing.

Resources & Circularity:

  • For Resources and Circularity, our ambition is a built environment that supports the regeneration of resources and natural systems, providing socio-economic benefits through a thriving circular economy.
  • By 2030 we want to see sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources within the built environment, achieving zero waste to landfill targets.
  • By 2050 we need a built environment with net zero whole life resource depletion, working towards restoration of resources and natural systems within a thriving circular economy.

Our story

In 1993, the first Green Building Council was founded – and a global movement was born.

The US Green Building Council (USGBC) was formed by Rick Fedrizzi, David Gottfried (previous CEO), and Mike Italiano, with a mission to promote sustainability-focused practices in the building and construction industry, and for the first time, bring together all actors across the built environment value chain to advance green building.

Around the world, other green leaders in the industry looked to the impact of the USGBC and decided that they too needed to start a similar movement in their own country, led by a Green Building Council.

The green building movement began generating more and more interest around the world, and individuals from across the globe were supported by the USGBC.

With this growing global interest, David Gottfried seeded and managed the formation of the “United Nations of the Green Building Councils” with the mission of supporting the development of Green Building Councils around the world, uniting them with a common voice and purpose.

And so began the World Green Building Council.

In 1999, the founding meeting of WorldGBC was held in California, US.

Three years later in 2002, WorldGBC was officially formed with Green Building Councils: Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, Japan, Mexico, Spain, and US.

In 2007, a Secretariat for WorldGBC was formally established in Toronto, Canada, and vital support was provided by the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA). Essential start-up funding of over $1 million dollars per year for 3 years was provided by the Province of Ontario Canada.

Since then, WorldGBC has seen tremendous growth and evolution in its focus and structure.

In 2009, WorldGBC launched five Regional Networks and three Green Building Council membership levels (Prospective, Emerging and Established) to facilitate the growing interest in membership globally.

In 2010 a Corporate Advisory Board was formed to deliver strategic insight directly from the industry to the WorldGBC Board. And by 2012, the number of member Green Building Councils had grown from 9 to 71.

In 2015, the WorldGBC Board agreed a three year strategy for the organisation with five key areas of focus: Membership; Regional Networks; Projects and Partnerships; Marketing, Communications and Influence; and Governance and Operations.

The WorldGBC began to play a more globally influential role by producing highly respected reports such as From Thousands to Billions – Coordinated Action Towards 100% Net Zero Carbon Buildings by 2050 in 2017 and Doing Right by Planet and People: The Business Case for Health and Wellbeing in Green Building in 2018.

In 2020, the WorldGBC launched a two year strategy, Sustainable Buildings for Everyone, Everywhere — to tackle the climate emergency, health and wellbeing, and resource efficiency issues in the built environment.

Since its formation, WorldGBC has grown into a global network of over 70 Green Building Councils around the world.

 

Founder: David Gottfried

Founding Chair: Che Wall

Previous Chairs: Che Wall; Kevin Hydes; Tony Arnel; Rick Fedrizzi; Bruce Kerswill; Tai Lee Siang; Lisa Bate; Tanya Cox

Current Chair: Ilari Aho

Previous CEOs: Andrew Bowerbank; Jane Henley; Terri Wills

Current CEO: Cristina Gamboa