Support the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment

Originally posted by USGBC.

Join us in working to decarbonize the building and construction sector.

USGBC is encouraging members to support the World Green Building Council’s Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment. This article is shared from the commitment homepage with edits.

This commitment calls on the building and construction sector to take action to decarbonize the built environment, inspire others to take similar action and remove barriers to implementation. It recognizes leadership action to reduce the impacts of the sector, which is globally responsible for 36% of energy consumption, 38% of energy-related carbon emissions and 50% of resource consumption. The total footprint is expected to double by 2060.

What the commitment means
The Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment recognizes leadership action by businesses, organizations, cities and subnational governments in tackling operational and embodied carbon emissions from the building and construction sector.

The commitment requires that by 2030:

  • Existing buildings will reduce their energy consumption and eliminate emissions from energy and refrigerants, removing fossil fuel use as quickly as practicable (where applicable). Where necessary, we will compensate for residual emissions.
  • New developments and major renovations will be built to be highly efficient and powered by renewables, with a maximum reduction in embodied carbon and compensation of all residual upfront emissions.

A reduction-first, outcomes-based approach to decarbonization

The commitment promotes a reduction-first, outcomes-based approach—allowing the flexibility for signatories to develop a custom action plan for their specific portfolio profile that is based on best practices reducing both consumption and emissions, with annual reporting of verified progress toward decarbonization goals.

Through gathering data to inform low-carbon choices, relevant benchmarks and targets can be set, best practices incorporated, associated costs reduced and greater uptake enabled—accelerating market transformation and leading to significant sector emissions reductions.

WorldGBC advocates for halving emissions of the building and construction sector by 2030 and totally decarbonizing the sector by 2050. As we transition, we also recognize the value of offsets as a means to compensate for and neutralize the impacts of the sector, and to facilitate positive social and environmental impact in pursuit of overall net zero emissions.

In recognition of the link to improving energy productivity in buildings, the commitment is a pathway to membership in the Climate Group’s EP100 initiative for eligible businesses. Signatories must opt in, and there is a fee associated with membership. We invite progressive USGBC member companies to participate in this leadership opportunity and connect with a global climate platform.

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