What is it about?
WorldGBC has developed the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment to recognize and promote advanced climate leadership from business, organizations, cities, states and regions in decarbonizing the built environment, to inspire others to take similar action and remove barriers to implementation. It aims to maximize the chances of limiting global warming to below 2°C and to reduce operating emissions from buildings (currently 40% of energy-related CO2 emissions1 ) by calling on industry to reach net zero operating emissions in their portfolios by 2030, and to advocate for all buildings to be net zero carbon in operation by 2050. Since this is a global challenge, the five components of the Commitment framework are prescriptive where necessary while allowing for creative and flexible solutions at asset and portfolio level, as outlined within this document: commit, disclose, act, verify and advocate. The Commitment has been developed under the EP100 campaign, led by The Climate Group, and is recognized as a new pathway to EP100 membership (business only). It was officially launched at the Global Climate Action summit (GCAS) in San Francisco on 13 September 2018. The Summit brought together leaders who showcased climate action taking place around the world, and aimed to inspire deeper commitments from industry and national governments in support of the Paris Agreement.
Who can sign up for the Commitment?
Entities seeking to become a signatory must demonstrate a level of ambition and impact equivalent to the leadership required by this Commitment. Signatories may demonstrate this ambition and impact through:
- international presence to stimulate global markets
- significant presence in their country
- significant capacity to influence the built environment
- high level of carbon emissions within their sector relative to an average entity, and/or
- high potential for advocacy to increase uptake within industry
Eligibility will be assessed by local GBCs (where possible) and finalized by the Advancing Net Zero team of WorldGBC during the recruitment process. Where necessary, eligibility will be further determined by members of the Taskforce of the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment.
Please note: Entities must sign the Commitment for every component of all streams (ie cities, states and regions, owner, tenant, developer) as relevant to entity operations and must include all assets within their portfolio under their direct control (see definitions section).
Benefits of being a part of the Commitment
The Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment demonstrates proactive climate leadership to ensure the carbon emission reduction goals of the Paris Agreement are achieved through urgent and immediate action. It provides business, organizations, cities, states and regions with the opportunity to future proof their operations and creates a unique platform for vocalized action. By setting ambitious ‘absolute’ targets, the Commitment gives a framework for entities to develop globally ambitious yet locally relevant, flexible and universally viable solutions for their assets and portfolio to both reduce energy demand and achieve net zero carbon emissions. By becoming a signatory and leveraging the vast experience of The Climate Group, C40 Cities, World Green Building Council and member Green Building Councils, participants can demonstrate to industry the level of action required to achieve decarbonization, and stimulate wider uptake.
The Commitment has been designed to facilitate genuine action towards decarbonization of the built environment. Signatories must therefore commit to several fundamental principles, including:
You can’t manage what you can’t measure. Measurement from both public disclosure of building performance metrics and verified reporting helps to create transparency across both asset and portfolio levels. Measurement of performance helps to identify data and performance gaps and potential solutions for decarbonizing an entity’s assets and portfolio. Through verified reporting, entities are showing they are meeting their Commitment milestones and demonstrating climate leadership.
Energy efficiency and renewables = net zero carbon
The Commitment is the first in the world to require both reduction in energy demand via energy efficiency and the procurement of zero carbon electricity at a global portfolio level. Energy efficiency measures could contribute a 48% reduction in global emissions by 2030, with 43% of those coming from buildings2. They also are a significant source of cost reductions while contributing to increased resilience, durability and productivity. In conjunction with renewable energy, the largest growing energy power source globally, and offset programmes where appropriate, these components represent the solution to achieving net zero carbon at both an asset and portfolio level
Organizations seeking to become signatories must demonstrate an equivalent level of ambition, impact and leadership as required by the Commitment. Eligibility will be assessed against this and other select criteria during the sign-up process. The Commitment is a framework with five components, intended to ensure it drives real results and requires signatories to:
WorldGBC have produced a DetailedGuidance document which delves deeper into the technical aspects of the Commitment and covers areas including:
- Eligibility requirements
- Scope of emissions
- Renewable energy procurement
- Energy efficiency measures
- Performance gaps
- Offset requirements
- Third party verifications
- Disclosing procedure
- Building measures to decarbonize grid
© World Green Building Council 2016-2021