More Companies Join WorldGBC’s Net Zero Buildings Pledge

Net Zero Buildings

(Credit: Pixabay)

by | May 25, 2022

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Net Zero Buildings

(Credit: Pixabay)

Cannon Design says it will eliminate all of its embodied carbon by 2030, and Schneider Electric has 150 buildings that are net zero and aims to continue to improve building energy efficiency to reach net zero throughout its whole supply chain by 2050; these are part of the pledges they made as they join the World Green Building Council’s updated Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment. In total, seven new companies have joined the commitment, with plans to reduce their overall operational emissions and to maximize carbon emissions reductions in new developments and renovations.

The seven businesses that have made the commitment with the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) are CannonDesign, Deutsche Bank, GI Quo Vadis, Grab, Lamington Group, QIC Real Estate and Schneider Electric. The Net Zero Buildings Commitment now includes 135 businesses and organizations with a portfolio of more than 7.2 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions and an annual turnover of $415 billion.

The commitment was originally launched in 2018 and updated last year to include tougher standards on energy efficiency improvements and sustainable building practices. The pledge calls for maximizing embodied carbon emissions reductions in new construction and major renovations by 2030 and compensating for any remaining residual upfront carbon emissions using a lifecycle approach, WorldGBC says.

WorldGBC says 10% of the world’s carbon emissions are from materials and practices needed to construct and renovate buildings, called embodied carbon. By 2050, the organization estimates, more than half the building industry’s emissions will be because of embodied carbon.

Australia’s QIC Real Estate has reduced energy intensity in its buildings by 32% since 2015 and plans to disclose energy consumption and carbon emissions through a third party, and Southeast Asia’s Grab plans to only use net zero buildings by 2030 and disclose its Scope 1 and 2 emissions, as other samples of the commitments to the WorldGBC effort.

With emissions being a concern in the building industry — when operations are included they can be as much as 40% of the world’s emissions — other efforts have sought to make improvements as well. Architecture 2030 sent a letter representing 60 organizations to leaders at COP26 as it aims for a standardized approach to decarbonization in the industry by 2040.

The World Economic Forum also released a framework for net zero buildings early in 2022 that focuses on smart systems and distributed renewable energy technologies. Sustainable materials, such as using silicone to eliminate the carbon needed to produce polymers, are also being used more often in construction.

Companies that have signed the WorldGBC commitment will show their annual progress with their building emissions efforts through reporting and verification protocols, according to the organization.

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