Our approach to sustainability in the built environment incorporates numerous focus areas to provide a holistic scope that aligns with the targets of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
Any building can be a sustainable building, but not all sustainable buildings are the same. Different countries and regions have distinctive climatic conditions, unique cultures and traditions, diverse building types and ages, or wide-ranging environmental, economic and social priorities. This diversity shapes the variety of approaches to sustainable building.
However, the following principles are consistent standards of best practice in sustainability in the built environment across all geographies:
Accelerating climate action through:
- Energy efficiency, by reducing demand for energy through highly efficient built assets
- Net zero whole life carbon, working to eliminate carbon emissions across the lifecycle of all buildings and mainstream the utilisation of renewable energy sources
- Resilience and adaptation to climate change, by future proofing homes and communities, enhancing their ability to respond to environmental, social & economic change – with a focus on current and future climate change impacts
- Driving the clean energy transition, by supporting the phase-out of fossil fuels and the transition to a highly efficient, renewable energy-powered, all electric grid
Protect and enhance health, equity and resilience through:
- Health and wellbeing, by tackling energy poverty, indoor environmental quality and pollution
- Positive social impact, by maintaining equity across all stages of the supply chain, and recognising community values (including cultural heritage and indigenous knowledge)
- Just transition, prioritising an equitable phase towards green jobs and mobilisation of sustainable finance and economies
Regenerate resources and advance circularity through:
- Minimising material use and waste through a circular economy, with a focus on asset reuse and retrofit
- Regenerating nature and ecosystem services – with a focus on water
- Taking a systems-based approach, recognising the role of infrastructure and community and city level action in circular, sustainable business models
Through these core principles, WorldGBC advocates for a holistic, systemic approach to sustainability in the built environment, and supports its member Green Building Councils to pursue approaches that are best suited to their own country and markets.