Australia leads commitment for net zero carbon buildings

Commonwealth Bank, Monash University, Multiplex and City of Melbourne join World Green Building Council’s Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment.

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 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 said 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.

“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,” Rooney said.

The new local signatories join ecolabel Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA) which also announced its commitment to the strategy this week.

Kate Harris, GECA CEO, said the implementation of industry-driven instruments for carbon mitigation in the building environment is essential to achieving Australia’s international commitments on climate change mitigation.

“As a world-leading ecolabel, focused on production and consumption, we are currently evaluating further actions to tackle embodied and operational carbon in building materials and consumer products based on a life cycle approach,” Harris said.

After assessing the main drivers and threats in the Australian building industry, GECA will have a strong focus on:

  • Improving the traceability and carbon accounting practices within supply chains;
  • Identifying the stages of the life cycle of any product or materials that are more detrimental in terms of carbon emissions;
  • Identifying low-carbon, carbon-neutral and carbon positive products and their positive implications in the whole supply chain; and
  • Promoting sustainability-based consumption patterns aligned with a circular economy perspective.

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 per cent 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.

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