The World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) launched its new Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment June 6 and called on market leaders, including those in the construction industry, to join as signatories.
The Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment challenges businesses and organizations 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 staying 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 challenge is the latest initiative unveiled in advance of the Global Climate Action Summit taking place in San Francisco in September where states and regions, cities, businesses and investors come together to fight climate change.
According to the WorldGBC, 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 percent of energy consumption in buildings was supplied by fossil fuels, whereas to meet the Paris Agreement, this must drop to 0 percent.
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), Majid Al Futtaim 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 three mixed-use living communities. Their net-positive corporate strategy drives emission reductions through every aspect of the business, for example, by requiring green energy leases for mall retail units.
Integral Group: a global engineering firm specializing in delivery of net zero buildings, Integral Group has 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 it is engaged on.
Signify: formerly known as Philips Lighting, Signify is a leader in lighting. With a presence in over 70 countries, Signify has committed to net zero carbon for all its buildings, currently over 300.
“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,” Terri Wills, CEO of the World Green Building Council, says. “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.”