Net zero carbon: energy performance targets for offices

UKGBC has published new energy performance targets for commercial offices that are aiming to achieve net zero carbon in operation.
Image of Manchester skyline to reflect their commitment to going net zero carbon by 2030


January 14, 2020


Policy & Advocacy, Research & Innovation



Following direct engagement with industry and analysis of the projected zero carbon energy capacity of the UK, UKGBC is recommending that the offices sector should reduce energy demand by an average of 60% by 2050 to help the UK achieve net zero.

The targets were developed as an addition to UKGBC’s landmark 2019 report ‘Net Zero Carbon Buildings: A Framework Definition’, which sets out guidance for buildings seeking to achieve net zero for construction and operational energy. They have been developed in collaboration with Verco, Better Buildings Partnership and BPF, with support from Arup, Carbon Intelligence, JLL UK and TfL.

The new energy targets represent more stretching requirements for commercial offices claiming net zero in operation and set out a trajectory of tightening energy performance requirements over the next fifteen years. Offices seeking zero carbon for operational energy should first meet the energy performance targets, then meet demand as far as possible through renewable energy and finally offset any remaining carbon. This data should then be independently verified and publicly disclosed on an annual basis to demonstrate how the net zero balance has been achieved.

If you have any questions on these targets or would like to provide feedback, please email