The World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) has announced that five world-leading companies joined the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment (the Commitment). These new additions bring the total number of signatories to 100, which is a doubling of participation in the programme in just over one year.
Since inception, businesses and organisations signed up to the Commitment now cover nearly 6,000 assets, over 32 million m2 total floor area and $100 billion USD in annual turnover. By 2030, this means that the operational portfolio emissions of these Commitment signatories will be at net zero, affecting approximately 3.4 million tonnes of CO2 (tCO2e).
With the rapid growth and willingness to advance the net zero movement from private sector, WorldGBC calls for governments to #ActOnClimate as part of the 11th annual World Green Building Week event, happening 21 to 25 September 2020.
This steep rise signals a shift in momentum, ambition and leadership towards decarbonising the built environment as a way to combat the climate crisis.
These signatories range from small and medium enterprises to large, multi-national corporations, and span engineering, design and consultancy services to real estate owners and manufacturing. Their participation in the Commitment demonstrates that leadership towards net zero carbon buildings can be taken by any type of organisation across the world.
“Achieving this milestone, in less than two years since the launch, demonstrates the growing importance of net zero carbon buildings to governments, businesses and mayors”, said Cristina Gamboa, CEO, World Green Building Council. “As countries look to recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19, there is an opportunity for net zero buildings to provide benefits for people, the planet and economies. By positioning net zero carbon buildings at the core of these recovery efforts, governments and policymakers can harness the incredible potential of net zero buildings to build back better and enable a green recovery”.
She continued, “I congratulate our new signatories on their commitment and for demonstrating the level of ambition and leadership required by both public and private sector actors going forward”.
The new companies and organisations are committed to ensuring that all assets they own, occupy and/or develop under their direct control will operate at net zero carbon by 2030, or earlier.
The Commitment is unique in positioning energy efficiency as a central component to achieving decarbonisation across global 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 able to provide healthy and comfortable environments.
The new corporate signatories to the Commitment are:
Mott MacDonald: The global engineering, management, and development consulting firm based in the United Kingdom is focused on guiding clients through many of the planet’s most intricate challenges. With over 216 buildings operating across 57 countries, they are also focused on their carbon impact and are committed to being a Carbon Neutral company across their own operations by the end of 2020; and to only occupy net zero carbon assets by 2030. To achieve this, they are planning a package of measures to improve energy efficiency, purchase renewables and initiate other carbon offset projects.
QIC Global Real Estate (QIC): One of the world’s leading diversified alternate investment firms, QIC seeks to design, execute, and deliver town centres that reflect the values and aspirations of the communities they serve. QIC is delivering a range of carbon-reducing initiatives for its core managed portfolio of Australian retail assets, which total almost 1 million square metres of floor space, including smart investment, energy efficiency measures and maximising on-site energy generation across all assets.
United Metal Coating LLC: United Metal Coating (UMC) is a Dubai-based Pre-Painted Aluminium and Steel coils manufacturer who is striving towards creating a net positive manufacturing factory environment for its state of art production facility. UMC will undertake improvements including energy efficiency measures as well as on-site and off-site renewable energy procurement to achieve net zero carbon by 2030. While addressing operational emissions, UMC has a vision to achieve net-zero embodied carbon emissions for its Pre-Painted Aluminium and Steel product range.
Bioconstrucción y Energía Alternativa: Bioconstrucción y Energía Alternativa (BEA) is a leader and pioneer consultancy firm in LEED® certification and sustainable building services. From early design support, through certifications and advanced studies, to sustainable real estate portfolios, BEA guarantees world-class professional solutions. They are committed to leading by example and will only own or occupy net zero assets by 2030, whilst helping others achieve the same.
Tritax Big Box: Tritax Big Box REIT plc is the UK’s leading investment company focused on larger scale logistics real estate. They invest in and actively manage existing income-producing assets, land suitable for Big Box development and pre-let, forward-funded developments. With an unmatched portfolio and customers including some of the biggest names in retail, logistics, consumer products and automotive, Tritax Big Box commits to continuing to only owning and occupying net zero assets, alongside only developing new assets that are also net zero carbon in construction from 2020.
The Climate Group’s Corporate Partnerships Director, Mike Peirce, said: “Congratulations to World Green Building Council on passing this exciting milestone. Faster business and government action to clean up the built environment is critical to achieving net zero emissions by 2050. We applaud all of the signatories leading by example and welcome the latest EP100 members. Smarter energy use will help them achieve net zero carbon buildings and generate substantial financial savings annually — it’s no wonder more and more companies are seizing this huge business opportunity.”
Mott MacDonald’s Executive Director for External Engagement, Denise Bower, said: “Climate change is among the biggest threats facing humanity. The science is clear on the imperative to contain greenhouse gas emissions and keep global warming below 1.5°C. Governments and businesses around the world are working towards greenhouse gas neutrality. We too have decided to take a position of leadership — to use our knowledge, ingenuity and influence to help the world successfully transition to a low-carbon future.
Our support to the World Green Building Council Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment is a key milestone and a promise that we want to progress on this journey together with our clients.”
QIC Global Real Estate Managing Director Michael O’Brien, said: “Strong environmental initiatives are important to investors, retail partners and the community in which the company operates. Our proactive and data-driven approach to achieving net zero carbon emissions will implement real changes to improve the environmental performance of our assets, to ensure they remain valuable and relevant in an increasingly sustainability-focused future.”
United Metal Coating LLC Technical Manager, Mr. Sridharan, said: “The best way to predict the future is to make changes to influence it now. UMC is leading the industry with this commitment to set ambitious net zero carbon emission targets.”
Bioconstrucción y Energía Alternativa’s Director General, Ulises Treviño, said: “Our firm’s vision and mandate befittingly aligns with WorldGBC’s Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment. Starting with our own premises, and from now on, every building project we work on shall become aware of its carbon impacts and corresponding improvement measures. We commit to serving our clients to devise their own ‘Zero Carbon 2030-2050 roadmap’.”
Tritax Big Box, Helen Drury, Sustainability Lead, said: “The property sector has a significant responsibility with regard to combating the climate crisis and reducing carbon emissions. As the UK’s leading owner of Big Box logistics assets, we are pleased to have become net zero carbon in our operations. Our pledge to the World Green Building Council Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment and our commitment to becoming net zero carbon in construction is a crucial next step and integral to ensuring that we create value for all our stakeholders in the long term”.
The diversity of these new signatories continues a long-standing legacy of increased participation from varying regions and countries, wider engagement across sectors and more momentum towards a critical mass. The full list of the Commitment signatories comprises 68 businesses and organisations including developers, real estate investment and property funds, manufacturers and global design firms, 28 cities including London, New York and Tokyo, and six states and regions including California and Scotland.
Businesses, governments, organisations and individuals are encouraged to sign the World Green Building Week’s Call to Action Statement which will galvanise governments to take urgent action for the decarbonisation of buildings. More information on the week, can be found at www.worldgbc.org/worldgreenbuildingweek.