Nearly 100 corporations and organisations sign global commitment to make buildings net zero by 2030 or sooner
World Green Building Council releases 2020 Advancing Net Zero Status Report and announces new call for government action on climate change
LONDON – 5 June 2020 – Today, on World Environment Day, the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) announced that 95 signatories are now part of the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment (the Commitment), which aims to see 100 percent uptake of net zero carbon buildings by 2050, nearly doubling participation in the programme in the last year.
The new companies and organisations are now committed to ensuring that all buildings they own, occupy and/or develop will operate at net zero carbon by 2030, or earlier. They include: Filipino developer Arthaland, Finnish retail developer Citycon, provider of zero carbon heating and solutions Excool Group, Finnish pension insurer Varma, retail centre developer Wereldhave, real estate investment firm FORE Partnership, residential developer Joseph Homes, building services engineering and sustainability consultancy Max Fordham, infrastructure and managing services consulting firm Surbana Jurong, real estate sustainability consultancy EVORA Global, environmental design consultancy Atelier Ten, leading healthcare real estate investment trust Assura, and the educational institute Adventist Education Southern Brazilian Union who will be retrofitting 78 schools to operate at net zero energy by 2030 and designing all new buildings to net zero energy standards.
“Buildings are our planet’s largest consumers of energy,” said CEO of the World Green Building Council, Cristina Gamboa. “Measures to reduce consumption and energy waste in buildings offer the fastest way to unlock carbon savings, but they are often overlooked and deprioritised.” She continued, “As we overcome the immediate and long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, we must focus on resilience. Net zero building can benefit people, economies and the planet and must form a part of the bold and decisive action necessary to tackle the climate emergency.”
Sixty-one of the 95 Commitment participants are businesses and organisations, and collectively their action alone will reduce more than 3.3 million tonnes of carbon emissions. Additionally, 28 cities and 6 states and regions have signed the Commitment, signalling a shift in political will towards net zero policy.
“Now more than ever it is crucial for us as a profession to work together to have a positive impact on the world around us,” said new Commitment signatory, environmental design firm, Atelier Ten, Director Paul Stoller. “The barriers to a no-carbon future are no longer technological or economic.”
For eligible businesses, the Commitment is one of three pathways to become a member of EP100 from The Climate Group. The 2020 Advancing Net Zero Status Report includes the full list of Commitment signatories, updates on key progress that has been made by companies including AESG, Signify and Kingspan, action from Green Building Councils including the launch of new net zero building certification schemes, and design and investor community insights from Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and EVORA Global.
Bianca Wong, Global Head of Sustainability at Kingspan, sponsor of the ANZ project and Commitment signatory as part of their Planet Passionate programme said: “We are proud to support and be a part of the WorldGBC’s critically important Advancing Net Zero project and welcome the latest status support. Only through collective action can we achieve our ultimate goal of a decarbonised built environment by 2050.”
As more companies advance the net zero movement, WorldGBC is pleased to announce its next call for action – aimed at governments – will kick off during its 11th annual World Green Building Week event, 21 to 25 September 2020. The signature awareness event is focused on global advocacy for a greener built environment and this year will galvanise governments to take concrete action for the decarbonisation of buildings using the theme of #ActOnClimate. More information on the week, can be found at www.worldgbc.org/worldgreenbuildingweek.
Harvey Jones, Marketing and Communications Manager, World Green Building Council
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About the World Green Building Council
The World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) is a global network leading the transformation of the built environment to make it healthier and sustainable.
Collectively, with our Green Building Councils (GBCs) in around 70 countries, we drive action to deliver on the ambition of the Paris Agreement and UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development. Through a systems change approach, working across sectors, we are aiming to transform the building and construction industry towards a net zero carbon and sustainable built environment.
We are committed to green buildings for everyone, everywhere to build a better future.
About Advancing Net Zero
Advancing Net Zero is a global project from the World Green Building Council, aimed at accelerating uptake of net zero carbon buildings to 100% by 2050. The project works with the global Green Building Council network to develop tools and resources, including net zero carbon building certification schemes and training programmes, to support their advocacy work with their members and local governments, and build industry capacity.
The Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment (the Commitment), an initiative under the Advancing Net Zero project, was launched in September 2018 at the Global Climate Action Summit. It promotes and inspires leadership action on an advanced trajectory from business, governments and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), to scale up responses to net zero carbon buildings through corporate and policy action.
It currently has 95 signatories: 61 businesses and organisations, 28 cities and 6 states and regions. More details of the specific actions being taken by the signatories can be found in their action plans.
For eligible businesses, the Commitment is one of three pathways to become a member of EP100, an initiative by The Climate Group in partnership with Alliance to Save Energy. It brings together energy-smart companies committed to using energy more productively, to lower greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) and accelerate a clean economy. The Commitment’s inclusion of energy efficiency as an essential component to a net zero carbon strategy supports the improvement of energy productivity.