The World Green Building Council marks its 10th annual Word Green Building Week with new additions to the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment, signaling global industry leadership towards decarbonising the built environment to combat the climate crisis
25 September 2019 – New York, USA – Today, the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) announces 63 signatories have now added their names to the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment (the Commitment), launched in September 2018.
These organisations have pledged to take urgent action to ensure their own portfolios of buildings operate at net zero carbon by 2030. Additionally, some cities, states and regions have pledged to enact regulations to ensure all new buildings operate at net zero carbon from 2030, and all buildings, including existing, operate at net zero carbon by 2050.
The Commitment is unique in positioning energy efficiency as a central component to achieving decarbonisation across global building portfolios, in addition to generating and procuring renewable energy to meet reduced energy demand. This represents the most cost effective, best practice approach to ensuring buildings are fit for purpose, future-proofed against climate impacts and, provide healthy and comfortable environments.
The full list of the Commitment signatories comprises 31 businesses and organisations including developers, real estate investment and property funds, manufacturers and global design firms. There are six states and regions as well as 26 cities, with Oslo and Heidelberg as announced by C40 and Melbourne as the latest to sign up.
New signatories to the Commitment announced today are:
Bennetts Associates – An award-winning architectural practice advocate for net zero buildings to their clients, which they are currently committed to do via advocating whole life carbon assessments, design for performance, and post-occupancy.
Bionova – As the developer of world-leading ‘One Click LCA’ lifecycle metrics software, Finnish company Bionova’s mission is to make sustainable design and construction easy, making the delivery of sustainable buildings the norm. Their commitment to decarbonising their own workspaces extends to enabling industry action on reducing embodied emissions.
City of Melbourne – Australia’s second largest city and the capital of Victoria.
Commonwealth Bank of Australia – An Australian multinational bank with businesses across New Zealand, Asia, the USA and the UK.
EcoReal Oy – A real estate services company supporting their customers to reduce carbon emissions through optimising projects to save energy and reduce energy costs across a broad range of building typologies, and working actively with industry to drive efficiency.
JLL UK – A leading professional services firm helping more than 4,000 clients achieve their business ambitions. JLL UK is committed to achieving net zero operational carbon emissions in its own workplaces by 2030, to integrating zero carbon into service offerings by 2021 to support client uptake, and to educating and influencing to make net zero mainstream.
Kingspan – Operating in over 70 countries, Kingspan’s mission is to challenge traditional building methods and materials to accelerate a more sustainable built environment. In 2011, Kingspan made the ambitious commitment to become a Net Zero Energy company by 2020. Now, in 2019, Kingspan is on track to meet this target, and has just announced a new 10-year programme to achieve Net Positive Energy and Carbon manufacturing by 2030, among other commitments.
Monash University – The first educational institution to join the Commitment. As an owner and developer of a portfolio of 170 buildings across four Australian campuses, Monash’s Net Zero Initiative commits to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2030. This will be achieved through measures including energy efficiency improvements, performance standards for new builds, campus electrification and deployment of renewable energy.
Multiplex Global – As members of four Green Building Councils and represented on WorldGBC’s Corporate Advisory Board, Multiplex have committed to develop a decarbonisation roadmap trajectory for owned and occupied assets. In addition to the measures Multiplex is undertaking to reduce its impact on carbon emissions, the business collaborates with peers, supply chain partners and clients to call the industry to action.
Cristina Gamboa, CEO, World Green Building Council said: “We are thrilled to welcome more signatories to the Commitment, in recognition of their pioneering market leadership and dedication to market transformation. Every action from these organisations counts. Our Green Building Councils are supporting their members to better understand how these targets can be applied in practice and respond to the climate emergency facing us.”
Councillor Cathy Oke, Chair of the City of Melbourne’s Environment Portfolio said:
“These declarations are a way to show leadership on the changes we need across public and especially private sector buildings to achieve emissions reductions. It takes action from everybody to make a difference, particularly from all levels of government. There is a clear business case for green buildings in terms of limiting global warming, but also when it comes to staff attraction and retention. Staff that work in healthy and well-designed environments are more likely to be happy, productive employees.”
Panu Pasanen, CEO, Bionova said: “WorldGBC’s Commitment refocuses the industry to achieve net zero carbon in construction with a lifecycle perspective. We not only commit to achieve this in our facilities, but also support the broader industry in doing the same.”
Jennifer Saiz, Executive General Manager, Group Property and Security at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia said: “We’re proud to support Australia’s transition to a low-carbon economy and are committed to reducing our environmental footprint. Every year we implement a wide range of efficiency initiatives to reduce our energy consumption and source renewable energy for our portfolio.”
Juho Mäkelä, CFO, EcoReal Oy said: “The climate crisis requires definite action from everyone. Joining the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment is at the core of EcoReal’s business as we aim to increase, together with our customers, carbon handprint. A zero carbon future is possible only when we reduce the human-caused environmental impact everywhere.”
Sophie Walker, Head of Sustainability, JLL UK said: “With over 4,000 clients and over 4,500 buildings under management in the UK, JLL has a significant opportunity to make net zero carbon buildings mainstream across the UK. By signing the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment, we are responding to the climate crisis with urgency and practical action for our clients and our sector.”
Gene Murtagh, CEO, Kingspan said: “We are delighted to sign the Commitment, joining like-minded organisations combatting climate change. The built environment has an important part to play and therefore we at Kingspan pledge to take the lead by challenging industry traditions to accelerate to a more sustainable future. We know we need to transform our industry for the better and our commitment to sustainability is instilled at every level of the Kingspan, at every step in the process. As such, we are on track to become a net zero energy business by 2020.”
Dr Rob Brimblecombe, Manager Engineering and Sustainability, Buildings and Property Division, Monash University said: “Monash is committed to achieving net zero emissions for our campuses to not only reduce our impact on the biosphere but to set an expectation in our students that 100% renewable powered workplaces are something they should expect from their future employers. Towards this goal, Monash is proud to become a signatory to WorldGBC’s Commitment. We hope that in the near future there will be plenty of net zero carbon buildings for our graduates to work in.”
Ashley Muldoon, CEO – Europe, Middle East & Canada, Multiplex said: “In the face of the global challenge to decarbonise construction and combat the climate crisis, Multiplex sees the need to take a credible and evidence-based approach that accepts our responsibilities and gets things done. The goals of the WorldGBC’s Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment align with our own ‘positive impact’ core business principle, which focuses on our greatest impacts and largest areas of future potential. We will work with other signatories, business partners and our peers to support the urgent action needed.”
For Bennetts Associates, JLL-UK, Multiplex and Kingspan, joining the Commitment is a pathway to becoming members of EP100 – a global corporate leadership initiative for energy-smart companies, delivered by The Climate Group in partnership with the 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.
Profiles outlining the action plans for each of the above organisations to deliver against their Commitment are published online.
WorldGBC recognises that in order to limit global warming to a 1.5oC scenario, as set by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), it is essential for the buildings sector to fully decarbonise. This includes elimination of emissions associated with materials and construction at all stages of the building lifecycle, as well as the operational carbon emissions addressed through the Commitment.
This announcement comes as WorldGBC celebrates World Green Building Week and the release of its latest report: Bringing embodied carbon upfront to tackle embodied emissions, communicating the urgent need to address embodied emissions and setting a global framework for actions at a voluntary and policy level to drive change.