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The World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) announced that 63 signatories have now added their names to the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment (the Commitment), launched in September 2018.

These organisations have pledged to take urgent action to ensure their own portfolios of buildings operate at net zero carbon by 2030. 

Additionally, some cities, states and regions have pledged to enact regulations to ensure all new buildings operate at net zero carbon from 2030, and all buildings, including existing, operate at net zero carbon by 2050.

Cristina Gamboa, CEO of the World Green Building Council, said: “We are thrilled to welcome more signatories to the Commitment, in recognition of their pioneering market leadership and dedication to market transformation.

“Every action from these organisations counts. Our Green Building Councils are supporting their members to better understand how these targets can be applied in practice and respond to the climate emergency facing us.”

How to achieve decarbonisation

The Commitment is unique in positioning energy efficiency as a central component to achieving decarbonisation across global building portfolios, in addition to generating and procuring renewable energy to meet reduced energy demand.

This represents the most cost-effective, best practice approach to ensuring buildings are fit for purpose, future-proofed against climate impacts and, provide healthy and comfortable environments.

The full list of the Commitment signatories comprises 31 businesses and organisations including developers, real estate investment and property funds, manufacturers and global design firms. 

There are six states and regions as well as 26 cities, with Oslo and Heidelberg as announced by C40 and Melbourne as the latest to sign up.

Who are the new signatories to the Commitment?

Bennetts Associates – An award-winning architectural practice advocate for net-zero buildings to our clients, which we are currently committed to doing via advocating whole-life carbon assessments, design for performance, and post-occupancy.

Bionova – As the developer of world-leading ‘One Click LCA’ life-cycle metrics software, Finnish company Bionova’s mission is to make sustainable design and construction easy, making the delivery of sustainable buildings the norm. Their commitment to decarbonising their own workspaces extends to enabling industry action on reducing embodied emissions.

City of Melbourne – Australia’s second-largest city and the capital of Victoria. 

Councillor Cathy Oke, Chair of the City of Melbourne’s Environment Portfolio, said: “These declarations are a way to show leadership on the changes we need across public and especially private sector buildings to achieve emissions reductions. It takes action from everybody to make a difference, particularly from all levels of government.”

Commonwealth Bank of Australia – An Australian multinational bank with businesses across New Zealand, Asia, the USA and the UK. 

EcoReal Oy – A real estate services company supporting their customers to reduce carbon emissions through optimising projects to save energy and reduce energy costs across a broad range of building typologies, and working actively with industry to drive efficiency.

JLL UK – A leading professional services firm helping more than 4,000 clients achieve their business ambitions. JLL UK is committed to achieving net zero operational carbon emissions in its own workplaces by 2030, to integrating zero carbon into service offerings by 2021 to support client uptake, and to educating and influencing to make net zero mainstream.

Kingspan – Operating in over 70 countries, Kingspan’s mission is to challenge traditional building methods and materials to accelerate a more sustainable built environment. In 2011, Kingspan made the ambitious commitment to become a Net Zero Energy company by 2020. Now, in 2019, Kingspan is on track to meet this target, and has just announced a new 10-year programme to achieve Net Positive Energy and Carbon manufacturing by 2030, among other commitments.

According to Kingspan’s CEO, Gene Murtagh, the built environment has an important part to play TO accelerating to a more sustainable future. “We know we need to transform our industry for the better and our commitment to sustainability is instilled at every level of the Kingspan, at every step in the process. As such, we are on track to become a net-zero energy business by 2020.”

Monash University – The first educational institution to join the Commitment. As an owner and developer of a portfolio of 170 buildings across four Australian campuses, Monash’s Net Zero Initiative commits to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2030. This will be achieved through measures including energy efficiency improvements, performance standards for new builds, campus electrification and deployment of renewable energy.

Dr Rob Brimblecombe, manager engineering and sustainability, buildings and property division, Monash University said: “Monash is committed to achieving net-zero emissions for our campuses to not only reduce our impact on the biosphere but to set an expectation in our students that 100% renewable-powered workplaces are something they should expect from their future employers.”

Multiplex Global – As members of four Green Building Councils and represented on WorldGBC’s Corporate Advisory Board, Multiplex has committed to developing a decarbonisation roadmap trajectory for owned and occupied assets. In addition to the measures Multiplex is undertaking to reduce its impact on carbon emissions, the business collaborates with peers, supply chain partners and clients to call the industry to action.

Read more about carbon footprint

Initiative for energy-smart companies

For Bennetts Associates, JLL-UK, Multiplex and Kingspan, joining the Commitment is a pathway to becoming members of EP100 – a global corporate leadership initiative for energy-smart companies, delivered by The Climate Group in partnership with the Alliance to Save Energy.

It brings together energy-smart companies committed to using energy more productively, to lower greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) and accelerate a clean economy.

The Commitment’s inclusion of energy efficiency as an essential component to a netzero carbon strategy supports the improvement of energy productivity.

Profiles outlining the action plans for each of the above organisations to deliver against their Commitment are published online.