Wow! What a week. From last Monday until yesterday, Green Building Councils, their members and many more organisations and individuals around the globe participated in World Green Building Week 2016!
A number events and initiatives took place over the seven days, ranging from conferences and seminars to green walks and building tours, in cities as diverse as Shanghai and London, Sydney and Noida, India… all to help change perspectives on green buildings!
The Green Building Council of Australia produced a great video about how their members across the country are seeking to change perspectives through green hospitals, offices, homes and universities. Canada Green Building Council published a report which adds more weight to the business case for green building, showing that green building can cut 19.4 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions while boosting the economy by $32.5 billion. An in-depth analysis on the UAE’s hospitality sector, published by Emirates Green Building Council, found that the country’s hotels have the potential for significant energy and water savings using viable and affordable existing technologies. The US Green Building Council blogged about the importance of the week and its involvement within it, ahead of Greenbuild this week. New Zealand Green Building Council showcased some of its high performing green buildings, while the Kenya Green Building Society hosted a Twitter Q&A. There were of course many more initiatives that took place over the week.
Member companies of Green Building Councils – too many to mention individually – also got involved in the week. But Cundall Global hosted a staggering 17 events in 17 different cities on health and wellbeing in buildings, attracting over 500 people.
There was also plenty of activity from WorldGBC itself. We kicked off the week with Terri Wills, our CEO, blogging for Ecobuild (the London event organised by our Corporate Advisory Board member UBM) on the ‘Change your Perspective’ theme. Terri also appeared on UK business radio station Share Radio to talk about the benefits of green building with finance broadcaster Sarah Pennells. You can listen again here.
We announced that Maroš Šefčovič, the Vice President of the European Commission, was the Patron for World Green Building Week 2016 in Europe, helping to highlight the role that green building can play in combatting climate change and reducing energy bills. Mr Šefčovič filmed a special video for us, which you can watch here.
We were delighted to welcome global paints and coating firm AkzoNobel and the global financial services firm JPMorgan Chase & Co. onto our Corporate Advisory Board. AkzoNobel produces innovative products such as solar-reflective paint that keep buildings cool and reduce energy costs, as well as coatings that purify indoor air. JPMorgan Chase & Co. strives to manage its global real estate and physical operations in an efficient and sustainable manner, and the company has committed to reduce its operational greenhouse gas emissions by 50 per cent by 2020, compared with a 2005 baseline.
We also unveiled details on the refurbishment of the new UK Green Building Council and WorldGBC office in London, which we move into this week. Richard Griffiths from UK-GBC blogged about the sustainability features, including the centerpiece living wall with over 1,500 plants of 12 different species!
Ed Mazria, Founder and CEO of Architecture 2030, provided his thoughts on the progress of our Advancing Net Zero project following a workshop in New York during Climate Week NYC, last month. It’s great to hear how Ed is encouraged by the work of our 10 Green Building Councils which are leading this important effort towards meeting the Paris Agreement through net zero buildings.
And members of our Corporate Advisory Board also got firmly behind the week. Philips released a white paper on living buildings, part of its bigger report on smart buildings and offices. Shaw Contract group filmed a series of videos from around the world about how they are working to reduce emissions and water use, use renewable energy, and reclaim and recycle carpet. Majid Al Futtaim announced that it had received “Green Star” status from the Global sustainability benchmarking scheme GRESB for the third year in a row, and highlighted the design and sustainability performances of its latest shopping malls. UBM unveiled details for the 2017 Ecobuild show, which will see ExCeL London transformed into an immersive ‘city’, complete with main street, distinct destinations and special feature attractions, and which both WorldGBC and UK-GBC will be involved in. And our Europe Regional Network Partner Knauf Insulation also previewed its new sustainability report, due out later this month.
On social media alone, World Green Building Week reached over one million people using the hashtags #WGBW16 and #betterbuildgreen! (You can recap on all the action by following those hashtags.)
WorldGBC would like to thank everyone involved for making World Green Building Week 2016 such a huge success!