Shaw Contract has officially joined the World Green Building Council’s Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment as part of the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco, celebrating 37 founding signatories.

“The challenges of climate change are global in scale and require a global response,” said Troy Virgo, director of sustainability and product stewardship for Shaw Contract. “No one company can solve problems at this scale by itself, but we can each contribute to an effort that enables all of us to create a net zero future. Shaw Contract is proud of this latest partnership with the World Green Building Council to create a cleaner, healthier and more livable planet that stands to improve quality of life for all through the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment.”

The Net Zero Carbon Building Commitment drives the scale and pace of action necessary to reduce carbon emissions and requires a transformation in the way buildings are designed, built and operated. The aim is to inspire industry and governments to develop aggressive strategies to start the actions necessary for change, and to fulfil their obligations within the Commitment.

Signatories are required to evaluate their current energy use and associated emissions across their portfolios; identify opportunities to reduce energy wastage and improve energy efficiency; power their buildings from renewable energy sources; and report on progress against decarbonisation targets. All signatories will be expected to meet high verification standards, in the lead up to and in the year of achievement of net zero carbon emission buildings, and report annually on progress.

In a statement of coordinated action from business and cities, states and regions, the 37 signatories, made up of 11 businesses, 22 cities and 4 states and regions, gathered at a dedicated session to signal the start of a leadership movement towards a decarbonised built environment. Combined, these organizations are committed to eliminating 244 million metric tons of carbon emissions equivalent (CO2e) from their buildings. That is the equivalent of 52 million cars off the road for one year.

Businesses across the world and throughout the building and construction supply chain, have set ambitious targets to eliminate operational carbon emissions from their building portfolios of over 10 million square meters by 2030. This will create a wider market transformation to enable net zero carbon buildings by 2050. Leaders from some of the world’s biggest cities have committed to enact regulations and/or planning policy that will require all new buildings within their jurisdiction to operate at net zero carbon from 2030, and all buildings, including existing, to operate at net zero carbon by 2050. Some cities, along with state and regional governments, have additionally committed to ensure the municipal assets they own, operate and develop are net zero carbon by 2030.

Their collective commitment provides strong evidence that industry, mayors and governors are willing to take drastic action to prevent catastrophic climate change and create more comfortable, healthy and future-proofed environments for their employees and residents to occupy.

The Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment has been developed in partnership with a wide stakeholder group including Green Buildings Councils, The Climate Group and C40. Last month, C40 announced that 19 cities from their network will join the Commitment across 9 countries. The Commitment forms part of EP100, a global corporate leadership initiative for energy-smart companies, delivered by The Climate Group in partnership with the Alliance to Save Energy. Businesses signing the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment will become EP100 members.

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