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Sydney Opera House and Natural Resources Defense Council Sign up to World Green Building Council’s Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment

The World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) has welcomed two non-profit organisations as new signatories to the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment. Launched last month at the momentous Global Climate Action Summit, the Commitment now has 42 signatories, made up of 15 businesses and organisations, 22 cities and five states and regions.

Sydney Opera House and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) have committed to ensure all the buildings they own, operate and develop are net zero carbon by 2030.

The Sydney Opera House is Australia’s number one tourist destination and busiest performing arts centre. Every year it welcomes more than 8.2 million visitors and hosts 1,800 performances attended by 1.45 million people. The Sydney Opera House is committed to leading by example and embedding environmental sustainability in everything it does. Through this latest commitment, it will reduce 17, 580tCO2e across its entire floor area of 59,090m2 by implementing energy efficiency measures and powering the building with renewable energy.

Emma Bombonato, Manager, Environmental Sustainability at Sydney Opera House said As a symbol of modern Australia, the Sydney Opera House has an important responsibility to inspire change in the community. Achieving Carbon Neutral certification five years early makes reaching this important milestone incredibly meaningful. We are proud to be part of the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment, and we look forward to being part of a community who continually work to lead by example for a sustainable future.”

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is a global environmental advocacy group with a mission to safeguard the earth. NRDC aims to inspire community to strive for the highest level of environmental standards and a sustainable future; and will now also demonstrate the potential of addressing their own buildings by eliminating 368 tonnes of carbon equivalent across its seven buildings.

Eileen Quigley, Sustainability Manager, NRDC commented: “NRDC’s Facilities Team’s guiding light is the philosophy that the built environment should act harmoniously with the natural environment.  We see achieving net zero building emissions as a step towards the ultimate goal of being net positive, aspiring to generate more environmentally and socially positive impacts than negative.  We are motivated by the other leaders making the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment and believe that all of our commitments are great progress on the roadmap towards widespread collective impact.”

Both non-profit organisations join the founding signatories who are collectively taking drastic action to prevent catastrophic climate change and create more comfortable, healthy and future proofed environments for their employees and residents to occupy.   The recent IPCC special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 °C has highlighted the need for action and a strengthened global response now.

The Commitment drives the scale and pace of action necessary to reduce carbon emissions and requires a transformation in the way we design, build and operate buildings.

Terri Wills, CEO of the World Green Building Council, said: “We are delighted to welcome Sydney Opera House and the Natural Resources Defense Council to be part of the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment. Their leadership and pledge to take action will inspire and motivate more companies and organisations to join us in the challenge to reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions in the fight against climate change.  Only by working together can a net zero emissions future become a reality if we all work together to overcome the challenges.”

The Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment has been developed in partnership with a wide stakeholder group including Green Buildings Councils, The Climate Group and C40. The Commitment forms part of EP100, a global corporate leadership initiative for energy-smart companies, delivered by The Climate Group in partnership with the Alliance to Save Energy. Businesses signing the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment become EP100 members.

Find more information on the Commitment, visit