Net Zero Carbon Commitment grows in World Green Building Week

25 Sep 2019

Australia’s support for a net zero carbon future continues to grow with four more signatories pledging themselves to the World Green Building Council’s (WorldGBC) Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment.

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Monash University, Multiplex and the City of Melbourne have entered into the commitment bringing the total number of global signatories to 63, with 15 of those from Australia.

The Commitment is a critical tool in helping to limit global warming to below 1.5 degrees Celsius by challenging signatories to drastically reduce the carbon emissions from all their buildings to net zero by 2030. It was launched at the Global Climate Action Summit in September last year.

Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) CEO Davina Rooney, who is attending the Global Climate Week in NYC, applauded the leadership of the new signatories.

“Australian companies are world-leaders when it comes to taking meaningful action to mitigate the effects of climate change by radically reducing their carbon emissions,” Ms Rooney said.

“The commitment and leadership of these four new signatories, alongside those who have already joined, demonstrates the capacity and willingness of businesses here in Australia to accelerate efforts to decarbonise.

“At a time when the world is focused on the future of our climate, this leadership from Australian companies sends a clear and extremely important signal. 

“GBCA looks forward to continuing to support our transformation towards a net zero carbon built environment through tools and initiatives such as Green Star and our Carbon Positive Roadmap, among others.”

Chair of the City of Melbourne’s Environment Portfolio, Councillor Cathy Oke, said the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment is aligned with Council’s work to support the development of zero emissions buildings and precincts in the municipality: “These declarations are a way to show leadership on the changes we need across public and especially private sector buildings to achieve emissions reductions. It takes action from everybody to make a difference, particularly from all levels of government. There is a clear business case for green buildings in terms of limiting global warming, but also when it comes to staff attraction and retention. Staff that work in healthy and well-designed environments are more likely to be happy, productive employees.”

Jennifer Saiz, Executive General Manager, Group Property and Security at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia said: “We’re proud to support Australia’s transition to a low-carbon economy and are committed to reducing our environmental footprint. Every year we implement a wide range of efficiency initiatives to reduce our energy consumption and source renewable energy for our portfolio.”

Dr. Rob Brimblecombe, Manager Engineering and Sustainability, Buildings and Property Division at Monash University said: "Monash is committed to achieving Net Zero Emissions for its campuses to not only reduce its impact on the biosphere but to set an expectation in its students that 100% renewable powered workplaces are something they should expect from their future employers.  Towards this goal Monash is proud to become a signatory to the WorldGBC’s Zero Carbon Building Commitment and hopes that in the near future there will be plenty of Net Zero Carbon buildings for our graduates to work in."  

Multiplex CEO Australia & India John Flecker said, “Research has shown that making the built environment more efficient is the lowest cost way to reduce carbon emissions and impact climate change. Over the years Multiplex has invested heavily in understanding how we can use better design methods and construction materials to reduce the industry's contribution to carbon emissions, and improve the operational performance of our buildings and the people that use them. As well as committing to net zero carbon for the buildings we own and occupy, this pledge signifies our commitment to continuing to advocate for better design and delivery practices across our industry.”

The announcement of the additional signatories comes during World Green Building Week, which this year aims to raise greater awareness of the carbon emissions from all stages of a building’s lifecycle. 

The WorldGBC and its members, including the GBCA, are encouraging new practices and new ways of thinking to reduce carbon emissions from buildings through a #BuildingLife campaign. Buildings and construction are responsible for 39% of global energy-related carbon emissions.

Existing Australian signatories to the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment include AMP Capital Wholesale Office Fund, CBUS Property, Cundall, the City of Sydney, Dexus, Frasers Property Australia, GPT Wholesale Office Fund, Local Government Super, Nightingale Housing, Stockland’s retirement living and logistics divisions and the Sydney Opera House.

Demonstrating leadership in the reduction of carbon emissions is a 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.