Energy-smart companies, cities and governments sign up to deliver Net Zero Carbon Buildings

14 September 2018

Leading businesses, cities and subnational governments have committed to owning, operating and developing net-zero carbon buildings by 2030.

They have signed up to the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment, now officially launched by the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) at the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco.

Among the first signatories are the global CRM leader Salesforce; real estate investment trust Kilroy Realty; major developer Frasers Property Australia; connected LED lighting leader Signify; property investment fund AMP Capital Wholesale Office Fund; residential property developer Berkeley Group; flooring manufacturer Shaw Contract - commercial division; property investment fund GPT Wholesale Office Fund; property developer Stockland; leading property developer in the Middle East Majid Al Futtaim, and global engineering firms Integral Group and Cundall.

To eliminate carbon emissions in their buildings, the companies will be rolling out energy efficiency solutions, cutting their own energy demand, and working with their suppliers and partners to accelerate wider change.

The Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment is also open to cities and subnational governments, and Baden-Württemberg, Yucatan, Navarra and Catalonia – all members of the Under2 Coalition, for which The Climate Group acts as Secretariat – are the first four to sign up.

Helen Clarkson, CEO, The Climate Group, congratulated all of the signatories: “From Spanish regions to real estate and engineering, leading governments and companies are eliminating the climate impact of their buildings. Energy efficiency will be key to their success – a sound financial investment that lowers greenhouse gas emissions.”

She added, “Businesses and governments will need to collaborate to deliver on their goals. We look forward to working with WorldGBC, to highlight the progress being made and inspire many others to step up on climate action.”

Terri Wills, CEO, World Green Building Council, said: "Our new partnerships with C40 and The Climate Group have enabled us to convene the world’s most pioneering organisations in net zero carbon buildings, and bring company CEOs, city mayors and state governors onto the same stage, committing action towards a common cause."

She added: “Our vision of a net zero emissions future is within reach, if we all work together to overcome the challenges. Taking this leap has taken a phenomenal effort from the founding signatories, and we applaud them for their leadership and compel others to join us on this exciting journey.”

Increasing energy productivity

By signing up to the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment businesses become members of EP100, The Climate Group’s global leadership initiative with the Alliance to Save Energy for companies making smarter use of energy in their operations.

The other eligible pathways for companies to join EP100 are:

  • doubling energy productivity
  • installing a smart energy management system

These pledges were made in the last week by Indian heavy-weights UltraTech Cement; Mahindra Vehicle Manufacturers; Mahindra Heavy Engines; and Godrej Industries Limited and Associate Companies, and the South African global integrated chemicals and energy company Sasol, respectively.

Collectively, EP100 now brings together 31 energy-smart companies in 14 countries, representing US$229 billion in total revenue and with 730,000 employees.

Jenny Chu, Head of EP100, The Climate Group, said: “The growing number of companies choosing to step up and join EP100 for the Global Climate Action Summit shows that energy efficiency is a win-win for emissions cuts and the bottom line."

She added, “These businesses are driving technical innovation and increasing their competitiveness while working alongside states, regions and cities to drive forward a clean economy.”

Demonstrating leadership

Leading by example, new joiner Salesforce has already achieved net zero greenhouse gas emissions in its own operations and delivers its customers carbon neutral cloud services.

The software giant is also a member of The Climate Group’s RE100 initiative with CDP and is committed to powering its global operations with 100% renewable electricity by 2022.

"In 2015, Salesforce set the goals of reaching reach zero-net emissions by 2050 and sourcing 100% renewable energy for its global operations," said Patrick Flynn, Vice President of Sustainability at Salesforce. "We went through a very rigorous process to make sure we were driving toward our goal in the right way and achieved our Net-Zero target in 2017. We will reach 100% renewable energy in 2022. Participating in the Net Zero Carbon Building Commitment builds upon those achievements and demonstrates our commitment to driving the scale and pace necessary to reduce carbon emissions for a healthier future.”

Berkeley Group, which builds 10% of London’s homes, has already achieved its target of becoming carbon positive (beyond net zero) for its own operations in 2018 and is now committing to ensure all their developments achieve net zero by 2030.

AMP Capital Wholesale Office Fund, which invests in Australian office assets, is committing to carbon neutrality across its portfolio of 13 buildings – expected to remove 70,000 tons of CO2 emissions annually.

Click here to find out more about EP100 and its members.

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