Almost 40% of the world’s energy consumption comes from buildings, but by using green building principles and smarter, more efficient materials, the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) believes we have the power to reduce that percentage to 0%.
That’s why we’re working towards 100% net zero carbon buildings by 2050, and it’s also why the focus of this year’s Word Green Building Week (WGBW) is homes. Reducing the energy consumption of buildings isn’t just a policy issue for governments – it’s a change we’re all empowered to make. Our homes are where we sleep, eat and build our lives, so it makes sense that they’re also the first place most of us can have our biggest impact.
We’re using World Green Building Week to drive a significant reduction in the carbon footprint of our homes. If we all reduced our home’s energy consumption by 20%, that would deliver a savings of just over half a metric ton of CO2 per household, that’s the equivalent of 1,277 miles of driving, or 21.5 propane cylinders used for home barbecues.
Now over half way through WGBW, our movement of corporate partners, Green Building Councils and their members are seeing a surge in support for net zero buildings and homes. The campaign is truly global with over 300 activities happening this across the world this week. Here’s two of the highlights so far.
Green Mortgages an option for homebuyers
To kick off WGBW, we launched a new report: Creating an Energy Efficient Mortgage for Europe: Towards a New Market Standard sets out a vision for how mortgage lenders and borrowers can come together to help tackle climate change by improving millions of properties across Europe. The report outlines the powerful business case for energy efficient mortgages, explaining how applying the proposed standards reduces risks for both borrowers and lenders by lowering energy bills. Therefore, borrowers have more financial freedom to meet mortgage repayments and protection against the future devaluation of inefficient buildings in an increasingly carbon-conscious society.
Committing to Net Zero Carbon Buildings
Just two weeks ago, we launched our Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment, with an initial coalition of 12 businesses, 22 cities, and four states and regions at the Global Climate Action Summit. The summit sparked a lot of interest from businesses ready to take climate action – watch this space for new signatories! So, while a goal of 100% net zero carbon buildings by 2050 may seem ambitious, it is achievable – and every individual has a role to play in getting us there. Through our campaign, we’re asking people to make a #HomeGreenHome Promise to take action and make a change whilst spreading the word to be part of the solution for a more sustainable built environment.
And the momentum continues with the Sydney Opera House reaching its carbon neutral goal and all the events of Climate Week in New York with more pledges to take climate action.
So, while a goal of 100% net zero carbon buildings by 2050 may seem ambitious, it is achievable – and every individual has a role to play in getting us there. Through our campaign we’re asking people to make a #HomeGreenHome Promise to take action and make a change whilst spreading the word to be part of the solution for a more sustainable built environment.
Angela Howarth is Marketing Communications Director at the World Green Building Council