Race To Zero

As an Accelerator to the UN-backed Race to Zero campaign, UKGBC calls on all its members to make strong and credible science-based climate commitments, and to take immediate action towards net zero carbon.


April 22, 2021


Policy & Advocacy, Membership & Networks



UKGBC is calling for all its members to join the UNFCCC-backed Race To Zero campaign

In June 2020, the UN Climate Change High-level Champions launched Race to Zero as a global campaign rallying non-state actors – including companies, cities, regions, financial and educational institutions – to take rigorous and immediate action to halve global emissions by 2030 and deliver a healthier, fairer zero carbon world in time.

All members of Race to Zero are committed to reducing emissions across all scopes swiftly and fairly in line with the Paris Agreement, with transparent action plans and robust near-term targets. To ensure integrity and accelerate meaningful progress towards halving global emissions by 2030, Race to Zero sets out robust criteria for all members to meet, which undergo annual review.


UKGBC became the first official Race to Zero Accelerator in early 2021, with the role of enhancing the credibility of the campaign and helping grow its membership. In May 2021 UKGBC introduced new requirements of membership:

  • All UKGBC members must, at minimum, commit at the head-of-organisational level to take action that contributes towards the global effort needed to limit warming to 1.5C by 2050. All members are strongly encouraged to align their commitment with the Race to Zero criteria, and to formally join the campaign through one of its Partner Initiatives.
  • UKGBC Gold Leaf members are required to demonstrate their ambition and commitment by formally joining the Race to Zero campaign and aligning their activities with its criteria.


Race to Zero criteria can be accessed here. Criteria are delineated in two categories:

  • Starting line’ criteria – common procedural requirements that all individual members must meet if they wish to join and remain in the campaign. Known as the 5 P’s, these criteria require members to: Pledge, Plan, Proceed, Publish, Persuade.
  • Leadership practices’ – example pathways for leading entities to light the way to a net zero economy.

Race to Zero members are expected to meet the starting line, and to strive to adopt as many leadership practices as possible. Criteria are supported by two complementary documents:


Race to Zero Partners are funnels through which individual organisations can join as members of the campaign. Partner initiatives also provide support and guidance on how to commit to credible climate targets and take meaningful action.

A list of current Race to Zero Partner initiatives can be found here. Common initiatives applicable to UKGBC members are:


Collaboration Cafés – UKGBC is running monthly Collaboration Café events for sub-sectors of its membership to knowledge-share about the practicalities and implications, and challenges of becoming net zero businesses. To find an upcoming Café relevant to you please see here.

Across the UKGBC website we also have various other resources and insights to help you better understand the Race to Zero. Here is a selection:

Why Race to Zero? Insights from UKGBC Signatories

In this deep dive, UKGBC interviews representatives from a range of our members to give insight into why they joined the Race to Zero campaign and how it can help drive the industry towards (net) zero emissions.

Read here

But how can I join the Race to Zero?

In this blog, learn more about the different routes to the Race to Zero, how other UKGBC members have joined and what the different options provide. 

Read here

The Top 3 Priorities for Climate Action - why you should join the Race to Zero

As the window for Climate Action begins to close, this blog explains what we should focus on and how the Race to Zero fits in with these priorities.

Read here

Scaling climate change mitigation: Where do net zero buildings fit in?

What if you're up to speed on the Race to Zero, but are unclear on how it relates to other Climate targets? This blog takes you from Global agreements, right down to individual buildings.

Read here

Race To Zero – It’s high time for climate courage, ambition, and ACTION!

But why did UKGBC become a Race to Zero Accelerator? This is the article we shared in April 2021 when we announced that Gold Leaf Members would now need to join the Race.

Read here