F-Gas News: Industry collaboration targets clearer ‘net zero’ carbon building concept

The UK Green Building Council has launched its Advancing Net Zero programme to create a framework for delivering zero carbon buildings in line with calls for stricter emissions targets

A UK construction industry taskforce is being established to draw up a clear definition for ‘net zero’ carbon buildings in the UK and how they can be realised through collaboration. This work is intended to help address recent calls for stricter environmental targets to prevent irreversible climate change.

The UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) said the taskforce was tied to its Advancing Net Zero programme that will bring together construction and property businesses to collaborate on realising a built environment that fully meets the aims of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

UKGBC senior policy advisor Richard Twinn said that renewed collaboration was needed to ensure that global climate change can be limited to a reduced target of no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius as recently called for by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Findings from the UN-established body this month warned that broadly stated aims of keeping climate change to no more than two degrees Celsius would still fail to prevent catastrophic environmental damage at this maximum level.

Mr Twinn said UKGBC was now inviting a wider number of organisations and stakeholders working across the building services sector to join its work on net zero buildings.

He added, “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.”

Companies including commercial property group Bruntwood and real estate investment body Redevco are supporting the programme.

Bruntwood energy and environment director Bev Taylor said working with the UKGBC on the net zero pledge was a step change from its existing sustainability work that the group hoped would encourage wider support across industry.

Redevco Foundation Board member Clemens Brenninkmeijer said the Advancing Net Zero programme was expected to serve as a common framework for ensuring a suitable lower carbon built environment.

He said, “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.”

Additional work set to launch under the programme in 2019 will look at further improvements to industry emissions reporting and allowing for knowledge sharing across Europe on net zero carbon work across the industry, according to the UKGBC.

Source: RAC plus