On 15 November 2023, the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) launched an innovative publication, ‘Building a water-resilient future’, outlining the role of the building and construction sector in tackling the global water crisis.
It is predicted that by 2030, there will be a 40% gap between global fresh water supply and demand (1), with the built environment being responsible for around 15% of freshwater use (2).
At the UN Climate Summit COP28 in Dubai, UAE, (30 November–12 December 2023), the role of the built environment will be spotlighted in addressing how we can secure an equitable and resilient future for everyone. This work will be showcased at COP28 to demonstrate how the built environment provides one of the greatest opportunities in helping the world transition to zero carbon, meet the Paris Agreement set target of 1.5°C and tackle the water crisis. The paper is aimed at the building and construction sector, and has been developed with extensive collaboration from WorldGBC’s global network and industry experts. It lays out the magnitude of the challenge — and what we can do to change course.
This paper has been developed by WorldGBC in collaboration with a network of 26 Green Building Councils around the world, as well as our partners Arup, Brightworks Sustainability, CBRE, Foster + Partners, WSP, Kingspan and ARKANCE (formerly VinZero), and a network of over 30 individual experts. This position paper is the latest publication from WorldGBC’s global Circularity Accelerator programme, which earlier in 2023 released the ‘Circular Built Environment Playbook’. The Playbook outlines how the building and construction sector can implement circular economy and resource efficiency principles throughout the entire lifecycle of a building.
- World Economic Forum (2023) Global freshwater demand will exceed supply 40% by 2030, experts warn: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2023/03/global-freshwater-demand-will-exceed-supply-40-by-2030-experts-warn/
- Ding, G. K. C. (2014). Life cycle assessment (LCA) of sustainable building materials: an overview. Eco-efficient Construction and Building Materials, Woodhead: 38-62.