Sustainable buildings can help tackle the climate emergency and boost health and wellbeing in the wake of Covid-19, the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) has argued.
Buildings are responsible for almost 40% of global carbon emissions and 50% of global material use
A sustainable future is the only future, and history will judge us…
The WorldGBC has launched the ‘Sustainable Buildings for Everyone, Everywhere’ – a new strategy to tackle wellbeing and resource efficiency issues in the built environment.
Based on climate science and the Global Goals of Sustainable Development (SDGs), the strategy tackles global warming, health and wellbeing and resource impacts to deliver quality infrastructure.
Buildings are responsible for almost 40% of global carbon emissions and 50% of global material use. 91% of people and their families live where air pollution levels exceed World Health Organization limits. People spend 90% of their time indoors, so the quality of the indoor environment is critical in fighting infectious disease transmission.
By 2050, the global population will increase to 9.8 billion and the world’s building stock will double, accelerating devastating environmental, social and economic impacts of the built environment.
Scaling up net-zero carbon action
Cristina Gamboa, CEO of the World Green Building Council, said: “To tackle the world’s most pressing issues such as climate change and the Covid-19 pandemic, WorldGBC’s new strategy establishes three ‘North Star Goals’ for our sector: Climate Action, Health & Wellbeing, and Resources and Circularity.
“To reach these goals, our network has outlined key milestones for 2030 and 2050 and seven impact pathways to achieve them.
“A sustainable future is the only future, and history will judge us tomorrow on what we do today. Together with our network’s leadership and solutions, we will continue to scale up collective action for net-zero carbon, healthy and sustainable built environments.
“In the face of Covid-19, these efforts will enable the much-needed green and equitable economic recovery all around the world.”
Emmanuel Normant, VP sustainable development at Saint-Gobain, commented: “I welcome the launch of the renewed WorldGBC strategy, Sustainable Buildings for Everyone, Everywhere, developed around three essential areas – climate change, health and wellbeing, resources and circularity.
“This document, that is very aligned to Saint-Gobain’s approach, will be a key milestone to shape the buildings of tomorrow.
“Its North Star Goals will become a reality with significant training and information, voluntary commitments along the value chain and proactive advocacy towards policymakers.”
Tackling the climate and biodiversity crisis
John Alker, director of policy & places at UK Green Building Council, added: “The buildings and places where we live and work are a key determinant of health and wellbeing – for both people and planet.
“WorldGBC’s incontrovertible North Star goals represent a call to action for the built environment sector, to do everything in our power to tackle head on the climate and biodiversity crisis, and help address complex socio-economic issues.
“The Green Building Council network, from local to global, provides a community through which we face these challenges together. This strategy sets the tone for what will be a defining decade.”
WorldGBC’s sustainable buildings strategy can be read here.