Major businesses back global project to ensure all buildings are net zero emissions by 2050
Three major global businesses have backed the World Green Building Council’s ambitious long-term target to ensure that all buildings are net zero carbon emissions by 2050, as official sponsors of the Advancing Net Zero project.
Engineering firm Integral Group, international property and infrastructure group Lendlease, and the product manufacturer the ROCKWOOL Group have all joined the groundbreaking project, which aims for every single building – both new and existing – to operate at zero carbon emissions by 2050, or sooner.
They are joined by the new funder Blackstone Ranch Institute, which supports high impact environmental projects that seek change on an international scale. The Rockefeller Brothers Fund and ClimateWorks Foundation have also previously supported the project.
Advancing Net Zero launched in late June 2016 and calls upon national Green Building Councils which own or operate certification schemes to introduce or adopt a net zero certification scheme for their market, with a pilot version ready for January 2018. As of today, 11 Green Building Councils are participating in the project, including countries with some of the largest and fastest growing building markets.
Additional Green Building Councils in the WorldGBC network, including those who do not operate certification programmes in their market, will be participating in other aspects of the global project throughout 2017.
Terri Wills, CEO of the World Green Building Council, said: “Our Advancing Net Zero project continues to grow and expand its international impact day by day.
“The support of major companies such as Integral Group, Lendlease and ROCKWOOL demonstrates the huge appetite amongst businesses to design, build, invest in and operate net zero buildings. We’ve started to pave the path towards net zero and there’s no turning back until every building gets there before 2050.”
The goal to achieve a net zero emissions global building stock by 2050 is the means by which the building sector will help to deliver on the Paris Agreement, forged at COP21 in December 2015. It was in Paris that WorldGBC, its 74 Green Building Councils and their 32,000 member companies committed to reduce CO2 emissions from buildings by 84 gigatonnes by 2050 – what the International Energy Agency say is needed from the sector to keep global temperature rises to within 2 degrees.
As a global, deep green engineering consulting firm, Integral Group has designed over 65 net zero projects, several of which have been independently certified net zero through metered verification, producing more renewable energy each year than consumed. Integral Group have had the opportunity to deliver net zero projects in many typologies (from new build or retrofitted offices, to laboratories) at campus and city scales.
Kevin Hydes, CEO of Integral Group, said: “The global green building community has worked hard to get us this far, but our work is not done. Net zero represents the next big leap for green buildings and we’re proud to sponsor WorldGBC’s latest initiative to make this a reality as soon as possible.”
Lendlease’s vision is to create the best places; places that improve the liveability of our cities and enrich the lives of people around the world. As a recognised leader in green buildings and sustainable development internationally, this includes a commitment to lowering emissions in the built environment with the sense of urgency needed to achieve the 2 degree target on temperature rise.
Geoff Dutaillis, Group Head of Sustainability at Lendlease, said: “We are proud to be at the forefront of positioning both our funds and development projects to meet investor and tenant demand for high performance green buildings. Large-scale ‘Climate Positive’ developments like Barangaroo South in Sydney and Elephant & Castle in London, are using innovation and technology to demonstrate that the built environment can play a leading role in delivering real action on climate change and the transition to a zero carbon future.”
The ROCKWOOL Group
ROCKWOOL stone wool insulation has a large impact on achieving energy savings in buildings. By keeping out or retaining both heat and cold in buildings, ROCKWOOL insulation reduces the need for additional heating and cooling, saving energy and consequently reducing energy demand, significantly impacting emissions.
A high level of energy efficiency is a prerequisite for net zero buildings. The ROCKWOOL Group has actively contributed to the construction and renovation of highly energy efficient buildings globally for decades.
The Cornell Tech High Rise in New York is one example where we have contributed to large CO2 savings. When compared to a conventional high-rise, this building will consume between 60 and 70 per cent less energy.
Mirella Vitale, SVP Group Marketing Communications & Public Affairs at ROCKWOOL Group, said: “The energy savings opportunity in the building sector is immense, it is profitable, and the required technologies are already in place. Specifically, there is a major opportunity in the existing building stock. With an increased focus on renovation, we could reduce energy demand from existing buildings between 50-80 per cent and drive efforts to accelerate the transition to net zero buildings while protecting our resources and significantly reducing CO2 emissions.”
WorldGBC will publish a report in Spring 2017 highlighting the specific actions businesses, governments and NGOs (including Green Building Councils) must take in order to achieve 100 per cent net zero buildings by 2050.
Notes to editors
A total of 11 Green Building Councils are now involved in Advancing Net Zero. These are from: Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, the Netherlands, South Africa, Sweden, United Arab Emirates, and the United States.
The non profit organisation Architecture 2030 is the Lead Partner to WorldGBC for the project.
Buildings are responsible for over 30 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions – but represent one of the most cost effective ways to reduce emissions though energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy.