The UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) has launched an ambitious programme of work that will see construction and property businesses work together to lead the transition to a net zero carbon built environment.
The news comes just a week after the IPCC report on the dramatic consequences of global warming beyond 1.5ºC made headlines around the world. The report set out the urgent need for all sectors of the global economy to decarbonise at speed and at scale.
UKGBC’s Advancing Net Zero programme is being made possible thanks to the support of a select group of forward-thinking organisations: lead partner Redevco Foundation, and partners BAM, Berkeley Group and Hoare Lea.
The UK programme forms part of a global campaign led by the World Green Building Council to create a built environment that is in line with the aims of the Paris Agreement. It will align closely with UKGBC’s advocacy activity with central and local governments and seek to foster international collaboration on achieving net zero carbon.
A number of UKGBC’s members are already showing leadership by signing the WorldGBC Net Zero Carbon Commitment, which launched at the Global Climate Action Summit last month. Today, Bruntwood has become the first UK commercial property firm to do so, joining residential developer and founding signatory Berkeley Group.
UKGBC’s Advancing Net Zero programme is launching with an industry task group that will develop a definition for net zero carbon buildings in the UK market. It will bring together businesses, policymakers and industry bodies to build consensus on a way forward for new building standards. Further work in 2019 will focus on improving Scope 3 emissions reporting and sharing expertise on net zero carbon from across Europe.
Interested parties are encouraged to sign up to receive updates on the programme including details of upcoming events and workshops. UKGBC is also recruiting for a dedicated projects manager to work on the programme, as well as a project co-ordinator.
Bev Taylor, Director of Energy and Environment at Bruntwood said:
“We're delighted to be announced as the first commercial property partner to join the Net Zero Carbon Commitment, and are dedicated to achieving a zero carbon future. Although sustainability has always been a huge part of our approach, this pledge represents a step change in our efforts to reduce our environmental impact and we hope to inspire, encourage and support others to do the same.
“In addition to today's commitment, we will also become an accredited Gold Standard Low Carbon Company and achieve the ISO 50001 Energy Management Standard which showcases our longer term ambitions as a carbon conscious company."
Richard Twinn, senior policy advisor at UKGBC said:
“This programme represents a new chapter in decarbonising our built environment. There will be no more tinkering around the edges; those involved in the programme and the associated commitment will be leading the way in decarbonising our buildings and infrastructure.”
“We invite organisations working across the built environment to collaborate on this initiative and help to move the industry forward. Only by working together can we achieve the scale and speed of change needed to achieve the Paris Agreement and meet a 1.5ºC target”
Clemens Brenninkmeijer, Board member at Redevco Foundation said:
“UKGBC’s Advancing Net Zero programme is a unique initiative that perfectly fits Redevco Foundation’s purpose: supporting initiatives that aim to increase the understanding of and accelerate the transition to a more sustainable, low carbon and circular built environment. “Why” this is important is a given. The different elements of this programme are intending to provide one common framework for the “what” and the “how”. This includes clarity and consistency on definitions and specific and measurable targets, and on sharing best practices as they arise to encourage all partners and ideally the whole sector to commit to making the positive choices necessary to achieve the goals set out in the Paris Agreement.”
James Wimpenny, CEO at BAM Construct UK said:
“We are proud to support this important program. Real change comes through leadership and partnership and this type of collaboration is something BAM believes makes a real difference in delivering quality to clients. This same ethos drives the change we need as an industry in advancing net zero. It makes financial sense for us all and I believe it offers real opportunities to drive innovation.”
Rob Perrins, Chief Executive of the Berkeley Group said:
“Developers have a key role to play in tackling climate change and protecting the environment for future generations. Berkeley Group has already become a carbon positive business and we are committed to delivering net zero carbon homes in the years ahead. We have a duty to work together, share our expertise and deliver solutions on a global scale.”
Ashley Bateson, Partner at Hoare Lea said:
“Hoare Lea is proud to support the UKGBC Advancing Net Zero programme, which aims to accelerate change and provide clarity in zero carbon development objectives. We look forward to promoting a more resource efficient built environment and collaborating with key partners and stakeholders to establish a path to zero carbon development.”