Advancing Net Zero

Inspired by the WorldGBC campaign, we have launched a major new programme in the UK to drive the transition to a net zero carbon built environment.
Net Zero

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October 18, 2018

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Policy & Advocacy, Research & Innovation

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The Paris Climate Agreement represented a turning point in efforts to tackle climate change, with a commitment to limit increases in global temperatures well below 2ºC and decarbonise the global economy by the second half of this century. To meet this challenge the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) launched the global Advancing Net Zero Campaign which has set targets for all buildings to be net zero carbon in operation by 2050 and all new buildings to meet this standard by 2030.

UKGBC has launched an Advancing Net Zero programme to help drive the transition to a net zero carbon built environment in the UK. The programme will develop consistent approaches for the measurement, mitigation and reporting of in-use energy performance and whole-life carbon emissions. This will involve facilitating consensus across the industry on what are appropriate methods for rapidly advancing towards genuinely net zero emissions and then advocating their use to the wider industry and government bodies.

This will be a multi-year programme aiming to lead the agenda on eliminating emissions from the construction and operation of the built environment. In the initial 18-month programme, we will be focusing on five main projects and activities.

Industry-led definition for Net Zero Carbon Buildings

UKGBC is bringing together a broad range of industry stakeholders to build consensus on a framework for net zero carbon buildings in the UK market. The primary focus is on achieving net zero for operational emissions (in-use energy consumption) but also taking account of whole life carbon assessments to avoid unintended consequences. This will be achieved through an industry task group and stakeholder workshops between November 2018 and March 2019.

Guidance on accounting for whole-life emissions in Scope 3 reporting

This project will produce a focused guidance document for companies who own and develop commercial real estate, with a standard process for reporting Scope 3 emissions which accounts for the whole life impact of developments. The guidance will seek to align with the RICS Professional Statement on Whole life carbon assessment for the built environment. The guidance will be developed through workshops and industry engagement in the first half of 2019.

Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment

The Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment was launched at the Global Climate Action Summit in September 2018. The commitment was developed by WorldGBC in partnership with the We Mean Business coalition and the Climate Group. UKGBC will undertake a range of engagement activities with businesses and city authorities to encourage uptake of the commitment.

European Advancing Net Zero summit

UKGBC are one of seven Green Building Councils currently participating in the global Advancing Net Zero campaign. This European summit will aim to share national approaches and stimulate collaboration between participating countries, as well as increase the number of countries involved. The summit will take place in the second half of 2019.

Net zero carbon case studies

UKGBC will collect and collate best practice examples of organisations and businesses that have taken significant steps to net zero carbon. This will provide businesses with practical examples of the approaches needed to encourage and deliver a net zero carbon built environment.

Please contact Richard.Twinn@ukgbc.org for more information about the programme.