World Green Building Week 2020 Taking action on climate change
Today is the final day of World Green Building Week so we wanted to take a look at exactly why sustainability is so important to us and why it’s vital that we reduce our carbon footprint as a business.
The built environment contributes around 40% of the UK’s total carbon footprint, with almost half of that coming from the energy used in buildings. We need to focus on not only embedding sustainability at the core of our new developments, but also decarbonising our existing buildings.
Of course, sustainability has always been important to Bruntwood. From the early days when our founder, Michael Oglesby bought old, unwanted buildings and restored and transformed them into spaces that worked for everyone, to now as we work on key sustainability projects, such as our plans at Didsbury Technology Park, which will be a game changer for sustainable developments.
Now is the time for us all to make serious changes. Countries across the world, including the UK have declared a climate emergency and committed to bringing their carbon emissions to Net Zero carbon. Even China shocked many this week by declaring their goal to become Net Zero Carbon by 2060. Although whether that target goes far enough is to be debated. 2060 may be too late.
In 2019, Theresa May declared a climate emergency in the UK, and set 2050 as the target for our country to become Net Zero Carbon. However some of our regions are aiming to get there sooner, such as Manchester which has a target of 2038.
This urgent need for change is welcomed at such a high level, but we also need to look at more micro levels, too. Businesses, organisations and individuals must all look to play their part in fighting climate change.
The earth is warming faster than what is natural, largely due to the burning of fossil fuels (coal, oil and gas) which release carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. These trap heat in our atmosphere, making them the primary contributors to global warming and climate change.
So far, we’ve seen a 1°C increase in temperature since the Industrial Revolution. And we’ve seen the extreme weather this has brought with it, bringing damage to people and nature.
We know that any increase over 1.5° will have disastrous consequences across the globe. However, based on our current carbon footprint worldwide, we’re likely to hit 3° by the end of the century, unless we step up action immediately.
That’s why we have dedicated sustainability teams delivering a number of projects to help our business reach its sustainability targets. But we need you to come on this journey with us and make your own commitments to reducing your carbon footprint.
Creating greener developments and greener environments is going to be part of everyone’s role at Bruntwood. Whether that’s following more sustainable practices while working in our spaces, or working on large-scale sustainable developments. To go back to an old iteration of our vales, even the little things can make a big difference.
We cannot achieve our purpose of Creating Thriving Cities unless sustainability is at our core.