Aussie big business signs up to Net Zero Carbon Commitment

14 Sep 2018

14 September 2018

Australia’s position as a green building world-leader looks set to continue with a raft of leading companies signing up to the World Green Building Council’s (WorldGBC) Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment being announced in San Francisco this week.

The Commitment challenges companies, cities, states and regions to reach Net Zero operating emissions in their portfolios by 2030, and to advocate for all buildings to be Net Zero in operation by 2050. The Commitment also requires these achievements be verified on an annual basis by an independent third-party system, such as Green Star.

The WorldGBC says that by setting ambitious ‘absolute’ targets, the Commitment aims to maximise the chances of limiting global warming to below 1.5 degrees by drastically reducing operating emissions from buildings. 

Furthermore, it provides a framework for organisations to develop globally ambitious yet locally relevant, flexible and universally viable solutions for their portfolios to reduce energy demand and achieve net zero carbon emissions.

In Australia, AMP Capital Wholesale Office Fund, Frasers Property Australia, GPT Wholesale Office Fund, Stockland’s retirement living and logistics divisions, Cundall, and the City of Sydney have entered into the commitment, the first in Australia and among the first globally to do so. See their reasons for getting involved here.

A net zero carbon building, as defined by the WorldGBC, is highly energy efficient and is fully powered on-site or by off-site renewable energy sources. 

GBCA CEO Romilly Madew said the resolution of Australian businesses to aspire to the targets demonstrated the country’s position as a world-leader in sustainable building.

“By setting ambitious targets, the Commitment aims to maximise our chances of limiting global warming to below 1.5 degrees through the reduction of building emissions,” she said.

“It provides a unique framework for organisations to develop globally ambitious, yet locally relevant, solutions to achieve net zero carbon emissions. 

“More than ever before leading companies are driving innovation while delivering on emissions reduction goals, which inspires others to follow their lead.

“This not only cuts costs but drives investment, as more consumers seek out environmentally responsible companies.”

The Commitment is one of three pathways to join EP100, an initiative of The Climate Group, which will comprise 100 large-scale organisations at the cutting edge of sustainable practice.

The Commitment is one of many initiatives GBCA has been involved to drive change in industry. 

In June this year, the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) released its Carbon Positive Roadmap, in consultation with industry and government, which establishes the steps required for commercial, institutional and government buildings and fitouts to decarbonise. 

The targets outlined by this roadmap are in line with those of the Commitment, to be officially launched at the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco on 12-14 September, which Ms Madew is attending.

Demonstrating leadership in the reduction of carbon emissions is key focus for the GBCA. We thank our Carbon Positive Partners: Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Dexus, Frasers Property Australia, GPT Group, Integral Group, Liberty OneSteel and Stockland for their ongoing support.