WorldGBC also announces a partnership with RESET on a Plant a Sensor campaign collecting crucial air quality data from across the world
8 July 2019, London – Today the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) is delighted to announce a partnership with the Earth Day Network that will support some of its flagship 50th anniversary campaigns with awareness raising and action, including a key citizen science initiative on air quality.
Earth Day Network, which coordinates the largest environmental alliance in the world for the annual Earth Day events, aims to mobilize over 3.5 billion people in 2020 under the overarching theme of climate change.
Among its initiatives are:
- #VoteEarth – a campaign to encourage especially young people to exercise their democratic rights by voting for candidates with strong climate policies in the over 100 national elections occurring between now and the end of 2020
- The Great Global Cleanup – a worldwide engagement of citizens, communities, cities, companies and governments aimed at turning the tide on waste that will occur in April 2020
- Earth Challenge 2020 (EC2020)—a global citizen science initiative whose three principle partners are EDN, the Wilson Center and the US State Department: it aims to gather data from the public worldwide that will feed into existing large-scale scientific, monitoring and environmental assessment projects
Under EC2020, the public are being asked to contribute to data collection about six key research questions, including one on the quality of local air.
In a further partnership, also announced today, WorldGBC will work with a leading healthy building standards and certification body RESET on a Plant a Sensor campaign that aims to champion the roll out of air quality monitoring devices inside and outside buildings.
The Plant a Sensor campaign, to be developed in collaboration with the Wilson Center and the Earth Challenge 2020 partners, will promote action to reduce air pollution from buildings by increasing awareness of air quality, therefore raising awareness of the urgency of a sustainable built environment around the globe. The data collected from Plant a Sensor will be contributed to the EC2020 database. According to the World Health Organisation, 91% of the world’s population lives in places where air quality exceeds their guidelines.
Cristina Gamboa, CEO, World Green Building Council commented: “We’re excited to enter into this partnership with Earth Day Network and launch the Plant a Sensor campaign. We believe that the data collection consolidated by Earth Challenge 2020 will facilitate a global boost in awareness about the extent of the air pollution crisis. We hope this knowledge will empower action on the urgency of securing a sustainable built environment and combating the pollution that is causing climate change and impacting the health of millions of people while triggering necessary responses from citizens, the private sector and policy makers.”
Kathleen Rogers, CEO, Earth Day Network said: “2020 is a crucial year for a range of pressing environmental issues including the existential threat posed by climate change. Everyone everywhere needs to up their game if we are to solve the challenges and unleash the opportunities. EC2020 is about mobilising the public with purpose to collect quality data that will lead to scaled-up action and foster decisive and defining solutions including on air pollution. We are delighted to have joined forces with WorldGBC to boost our collective success in our 50th anniversary year”.
Raefer Wallis, CEO, RESET said: “We cannot improve what we cannot measure is one of the guiding principles of the Plant a Sensor campaign and is particularly true for an invisible airborne threat. The size, urgency and threat of environmental issues needing to be solved by our current and future generations is beyond the ability of any single organization or government to address. Decisions and actions at all levels need to be based on facts. For this, good quality data must be easily made accessible and easily shared. Our partnership with WorldGBC serves as an international catalyst for all those goals.”
Notes to Editors
Earth Challenge 2020
In recognition of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, Earth Day Network, the Eco-Capitals Forum, and the Wilson Center launched Earth Challenge 2020 (EC2020)– a global citizen science initiative that will demonstrate how small digital acts of science can add up to global change. Using mobile technology and an open source citizen science data infrastructure, EC2020 will get a pulse on our environment and empower people around the world to help monitor and improve environmental and human health. EC 2020 will mobilize the existing citizen science community while building capacity for individuals around the globe to collaboratively address the world’s most pressing challenges. For more information, visit earthchallenge2020.org and follow @Earth_Challenge
The Plant a Sensor campaign is part of WorldGBC’s global Better Places for People project, to support Green Building Councils (GBCs) and their members to increase the demand and supply of green buildings which are supportive of the health, wellbeing and productivity of the people within them.
In collaboration with national GBCs, the Plant a Sensor campaign will engage the global green building network to contribute data towards the Earth Challenge 2020 citizen science programme in celebration of the upcoming fifty-year anniversary of Earth Day
Air pollution is a localised but highly dangerous hazard to human health and responsible for approximately seven million deaths annually. The UN now ranks air pollution as the largest environmental threat to human health.
The impact of air pollution on a global scale is directly contributing to global warming with experts estimating its currently 45%. Buildings are responsible for 39% energy related carbon emissions plus a host of other greenhouse gases demonstrating the importance of mitigating pollution from this sector.
For more information about Plant a Sensor, including opportunities to get involved please see worldgbc.org/clean-air-buildings
About the World Green Building Council
The World Green Building Council is a global network of Green Building Councils in almost 70 countries. Collectively we are committed to reducing the building and construction sector’s CO2 emissions to reach net zero by 2050: to ultimately help limit global temperature rises to 1.5 degrees Celsius. This goal will help deliver on the ambition of the Paris Agreement. We are building a better future, and are committed to green buildings for everyone, everywhere.
Angela Howarth, Marketing Communications Director, World Green Building Council
firstname.lastname@example.org +44 (0) 7976312060
Nick Nuttall, International Strategic Communications, Director Earth Day Network