World Green Building Council launches campaign to improve building life cycle

World Green Building Council to shine a light on building lifecycle as campaign focus for World Green Building Week 2019.

The World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) will use the 10th annual World Green Building Week to focus on end-to-end carbon emissions created across the building and construction industry, highlighting the need for the sustainable production, design, build, use, deconstruction and reuse of buildings and their materials.

Today, buildings and construction together account for 36 per cent of global final energy use and 39 per cent of energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions when upstream power generation is included.

Operational emissions from buildings account for 28 per cent overall, while the remaining 11 per cent are attributed to embodied carbon emissions, which refers to carbon that is released during material manufacturing and the construction and demolition process.

The issue of addressing embodied carbon emissions is becoming increasingly important to the building and construction industry as major organisations look to collectively achieve net zero carbon along the entire lifecycle of a building.

A detailed report put together by WorldGBC will outline the pressing issues around embodied carbon in the industry, presenting a vision for a net zero carbon construction future and a call to action to radically transform processes right along the planning and construction supply chain.

In the report, WorldGBC will call for urgent action, recommending specific steps that business, government and civil society can take to help shape a net zero carbon future for the whole lifecycle of all buildings.

The report will be released during World Green Building Week in September 2019.

The focus for this year’s World Green Building Week campaign dovetails with the issue of air pollution, which is the theme of this year’s World Environment Day taking place this Wednesday, 5 June.

Green building is one key solution to improve air quality in the built environment. The energy used in material manufacture, construction and operation of buildings must come from clean, renewable sources of energy and not from burning carbon-emitting fossil fuels, which exacerbate global warming, pollute the air and damage human health.

Cristina Gamboa, CEO, World Green Building Council said: “This year’s focus for World Green Building Week on the full life cycle of buildings is key to promote innovation and accelerate the abatement of emissions from buildings, which stand at 39 per cent of total emissions worldwide. The construction industry will find in the campaign ways to address the carbon footprint of buildings and identify how to accelerate market transformation.

“Only by having an end to end understanding can our green building movement truly help contribute to the decarbonisation of the built environment.

“We look forward to engaging with our Green Building Councils and their members in lively and exciting ways that can genuinely make a difference to awareness around this pressing issue beyond our own industry.”

For the last decade, World Green Building Week has been a global platform to help raise awareness of green building and shape responses to some of the most pressing issues relating to the implementation of sustainable practices in the construction and building industry.

These issues have included net zero carbon buildings and green homes. WorldGBC’s green homes campaign in 2018 reached over 155 million people from the green building community and beyond.

Its global network of almost 70 national Green Building Councils believes that green buildings can help combat climate change, as well as achieve numerous other wider social, economic, environmental and health benefits.

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