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.


October 18, 2018


Policy & Advocacy, Research & Innovation



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 is developing consistent approaches for the measurement, mitigation and reporting of in-use energy performance and whole-life carbon emissions. This involves 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 is a multi-year programme aiming to lead the agenda on eliminating emissions from the construction and operation of the built environment. The initial 18-month programme will focus on five main projects and activities.


Industry-led definition for Net Zero Carbon Buildings

From November 2018 to March 2019, UKGBC brought together an extensive range of industry stakeholders, including a task group, to build consensus on a framework definition for net zero carbon buildings in the UK market.

The final report ‘Net Zero Carbon Buildings: A Framework Definition’ was launched at the Houses of Parliament on 30 April 2019. The primary focus is to set in place a framework on how to achieve net zero carbon buildings in both construction and operation (in-use energy consumption), whilst beginning to provide direction for addressing whole life carbon in the industry.

Download the framework here

The framework aims to set the industry on a consistent pathway towards achieving a  net zero carbon built environment. UKGBC will take a lead in updating the framework to increase robustness and tighten minimum requirements over time, but cannot do this work without active collaboration with other industry organisations

For more information or to become involved, please contact


Case Studies

UKGBC are compiling a catalogue of net zero carbon case studies, profiling projects that either achieve net zero carbon for construction or operational energy, or involve approaches which align with the framework.

This will provide businesses with practical examples of the approaches needed to encourage and deliver a net zero carbon built environment.

Exemplar projects might feature innovative approaches to specific elements of the framework, such as in-use energy performance or whole life carbon.

If you have a relevant case study to share, please contact Philip Box.


Guidance on scope 3 reporting for commercial real estate

UKGBC is aiming to improve the commercial real estate sector’s knowledge and understanding of scope 3 emissions reporting. A series of industry engagement activities have been undertaken as part of this process.

Following on from this, a new scope 3 guidance document is being launched at an event on 23 July – full details are available here.

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 eight European 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 late 2019.