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WorldGBC celebrates first three signatories of Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment

Today, the World Green Building Council opened a new Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment as part of Building Lasting Change 2018 with WorldGBC Congress Canada in Toronto and called on market leaders to join as signatories.

The Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment challenges businesses and organisations across the world to take advanced climate action by setting ambitious targets to eliminate operational carbon emissions from their building portfolios by 2030 in order to meet the Paris Agreement ambition of below 2 degrees of global warming.

Commitment signatories will track, verify and report publicly on building performance metrics with a focus on energy use and associated emissions. They will also advocate across their supply chain for all suppliers and partners to follow their own commitment to reach net zero by 2030. The aim is to generate the next wave of high momentum able to cut down global greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 and inspire national governments to step up national climate action plans over the next two years.

The Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment has the power to radically transform the building and construction industry by spearheading a global shift towards aggressive energy efficiency as well as a complete change from fossil fuel based power to renewables. In 2015, 82% of final energy consumption in buildings was supplied by fossil fuels – whereas to meet the Paris Agreement, this must become 0%.

As part of the announcement, WorldGBC celebrated the first three founding signatories of the commitment:

Majid Al Futtaim – a pioneer in shopping mall, retail and leisure destinations in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) – has committed to eliminating operational carbon emissions from all its assets across 15 countries by 2030, including more than 12 malls and shopping centres, 12 hotels and 3 mixed-use living communities.

Integral Group – a global engineering firm specialising in delivery of net zero buildings – have committed to Zero Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2020 across its 15 global office locations, and actively promotes opportunities for net zero on every project they are engaged on, removing technical, financial and perceptual barriers to uptake.

Signify – formerly known as Philips Lighting – is the world leader in lighting and the lighting company for the Internet of Things. With a presence in over 70 countries, Signify has committed to net zero carbon for all its buildings, currently over 300.

To achieve the Paris Agreement, the global building sector must operate at net zero carbon emissions by 2050. In 2016, WorldGBC launched its global campaign Advancing Net Zero to inspire action from the Green Building Council network and its members towards this transition. The Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment is the next major milestone in this campaign; creating a tangible call to action for the global building and construction sector.

Terri Wills, CEO of the World Green Building Council, said:

“This new Commitment is a huge step forward on the path towards net zero. Our vision is ambitious, but we know that the building industry has the knowledge, the technologies and the capability to deliver. The Commitment will help to create unprecedented demand for green design and construction, stimulating the market to deliver net zero carbon buildings at scale.

“Having three of our corporate partners, Majid Al Futtaim, Integral Group and Signify, as the first founding signatories to the Commitment is both significant and symbolic. Through Majid Al Futtaim’s shopping malls, hotels and properties across MENA; Integral Group taking their own ambitions into their projects, offering clients the knowledge and insight into designing their buildings to net zero; and Signify using their products and own carbon neutrality ambitions to improve and enrich lives. This kind of leadership is the future.”

The Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment has been developed in partnership with a wide stakeholder group including The Climate Group and C40. It forms part of EP100, a global corporate leadership initiative for energy-smart companies, delivered by The Climate Group in partnership with the Alliance to Save Energy. This means the Commitment will benefit from the knowledge of existing campaigns and will provide a tailored offering for the global real estate sector.

The Commitment will be publicly launched at the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco in September.

Patricia Espinosa, GCAS Co-Chair and UN Climate Change Executive Secretary, said:

“The 2018 Summit will celebrate the wealth of action underway, challenge everyone to go higher and end with a call to action to all sectors of society to make the next two years a pivotal moment for stepped-up ambition. So we welcome the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment as a catalyst towards rapidly greening our homes and the places where we work and play”.

For further information on the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment, contact Victoria Burrows at

*The WorldGBC definition of a net zero carbon building is a building that is highly energy efficient and fully powered from on-site and/or off-site renewable energy sources.