The World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) has updated its Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment to include “bold new requirements for addressing embodied emissions”.
The update to the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment (the Commitment), will “promote and inspire leadership action towards addressing embodied carbon as well as emissions from building operations”.
To accompany the Commitment update and its reduction-first approach to decarbonisation, WorldGBC has also published Advancing Net Zero Whole Life Carbon: Offsetting Residual Emissions from the Building and Construction Sector, which provides guidance on how the sector should compensate for its total carbon impacts.
The built environment is responsible for almost 40 per cent of global carbon emissions, with 10 per cent from embodied carbon from materials and construction processes.
To limit warming to no more than 1.5°C – as set out in the Paris Agreement – the #BuildingToCOP26 Coalition has called for emissions from buildings globally to be halved by 2030, and to reach net zero lifecycle emissions for all buildings by no later than 2050.
New requirements for the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment
In addition to the Commitment requiring all building assets within direct control to account for all operational carbon emissions (released from the energy used to heat, light, cool and power them) by 2030, from 1st January 2023 businesses and organisations will also be required to:
- Account for whole lifecycle impact of all new buildings and major renovations by mandating that they are built to be highly efficient, powered by renewables, with maximum reductions in embodied carbon and compensation of all residual upfront emissions; and
- Track and report business activities that influence the indirect reduction of whole life carbon emissions.