This week (21st - 25th September) is World Green Building Week, organised by the World Green Building Council. The annual campaign aims to empower the building and property sector, policymakers and government to take urgent action to deliver net zero buildings.
We were the first property business in the UK to sign up to the UK Green Building Council’s (the UK arm of WGBC) Net Zero Carbon commitment and we are also working with the local government in our regions to create change, influence other businesses and meet regional targets.
We believe, in line with the aims of the World Green Building Council, that we must support greener building development and operation for our communities, for our economies and for our planet.
By creating net zero carbon buildings, we aim to support a healthier and more sustainable built environment, which will enable us to fulfil our purpose of creating thriving cities.
But, of course, it is far bigger than that. Buildings and construction is responsible for 39% of global energy-related carbon emissions. It’s vital we prioritise net zero buildings today to protect our planet and future generations.
As a business, the emissions that we create come from our day-to-day energy usage (operational carbon emissions) and through the manufacturing, transportation of materials, and actual construction process when developing our buildings.
While sustainability has always been a huge part of our approach as a business, the commitments we have made represent a real step change in our efforts to reduce our environmental impact.
By investing in the creation of net zero carbon buildings, we will also be helping to build back better, as we support a green recovery from the pandemic. The work that is needed in order to develop new net zero carbon buildings, and upgrade existing buildings to operate at net zero carbon, will help to boost innovation, stimulate supply chains and create jobs.
This is deeply important to us because we know the future of not only our business, but the planet, depends on a global effort to reduce carbon emissions.
We have committed to ensuring that our new buildings are net zero carbon by 2030, and all buildings, including existing developments, are net zero carbon by 2050.
We’ve also put substantial targets in place to reduce our energy usage, waste, water consumption, as part of our plan to hit our NZC commitments.
Over World Green Building Week, we’ll be taking a look at what we’ve learnt from the pandemic and how this will help inform how we reduce our carbon emissions; the sustainability projects we’ve been working on so far this year; and the sustainability projects we’re looking forward to.