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Australian Government launches net zero building standard with GBCA

The Australian Government has today officially launched new National Carbon Offset Standards (NCOS) for Buildings and Precincts following extensive collaboration with the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) and industry.

The Standards – which are in line with the principles set out in WorldGBC’s Advancing Net Zero project – enable building owners to calculate the emissions from their properties, reduce them as much as possible, and then purchase carbon offsets or carbon credits equivalent to any remaining emissions to achieve net zero carbon (or carbon neutrality).

Building owners can use GBCA’s Green Star – Performance certification or the NABERS Energy rating process as pathways to demonstrate compliance.

GBCA was one of the first Green Building Councils to commit to introducing a net zero carbon building certification following the COP21 climate change conference in Paris in 2015, and is participating in the Advancing Net Zero project.

Jorge Chapa, Head of Market Transformation at GBCA, said:

“Years of discussion and debate about what constitutes a carbon neutral building or precinct have been settled. We now have clear definitions of carbon neutral buildings and precincts in operation, and voluntary standards which can help owners to demonstrate their assets meet these definitions.

“We’ve achieved broad agreement from federal and state governments, voluntary rating systems and the property industry and now have a clear definition for carbon neutrality. This is a big win – and perhaps unprecedented internationally.”

The National Carbon Offset Standard for Buildings, and the Standard for Precincts, both set requirements for carbon neutrality based on a rigorous and transparent framework supported by international standards and tailored to the Australian context. Meeting the requirements of the Standards are essential steps towards certification under the National Carbon Neutral Program, in addition to the other standards available in the NCOS suite: Organisations, Products and Services, and Events.

For further information on the Standards, visit here.

GBCA is one of 14 Green Building Councils participating in Advancing Net Zero, and is the fourth GBC to launch a net zero carbon building standard following France, Canada and Brazil. To read more about the project, click here.