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.


September 18, 2019


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. This multi-year programme is aiming to lead the agenda on eliminating emissions from the construction and operation of the UK’s built environment.

The initial 18-month programme will focus on five main projects and activities, listed below.

Climate Commitment Platform and Leadership Model

To coincide with its support for the Global Climate Strike, on 20th September 2019 UKGBC launched an industry resource to catalyse built environment action on the climate crisis. The Climate Commitment Platform profiles the headline commitments and carbon targets of UKGBC Members and encourages further ambition with a supporting resource, the Climate Leadership Model.

Click here to see the platform and model in action.

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 in 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.

The framework aims to build industry consensus 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. 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 building case studies, profiling projects that either achieve net zero carbon for construction or operational energy, or include approaches which align with the net zero carbon buildings framework.

This will provide organisations 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.

Scope 3 Reporting in Commercial Real Estate

UKGBC’s ‘Guide to Scope 3 Reporting in Commercial Real Estate’ has been developed to support commercial real estate companies with scope 3 reporting and improve the overall understanding of scope 3 emissions within the sector. The sector-specific guidance was developed through a multi-stakeholder engagement process in the first half of 2019, including building developers, owners, operators and investors.

The guidance was launched in July 2019 and is intended to improve the accuracy and robustness of scope 3 reporting in the sector by building consensus on consistent approaches. We welcome input from practitioners applying the guidance to help achieve this aim.

If you have any questions on the guidance or would like to provide feedback, please email

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 is one of eight European Green Building Councils currently participating in the global Advancing Net Zero campaign. A European summit took place on 4 December 2019, sharing national approaches to help stimulate collaboration between participating countries, as well as increase the number of countries involved. More information is available here.

Universities Research Forum 

On Thursday 18th July 2019 a group of academics and industry representatives met at the UKGBC offices to discuss research being conducted on decarbonising the built environment. A write up of the event is available here.