Bruntwood has become the first commercial developer in the UK to sign up to the Green Building Council’s Net Zero Carbon Commitment, which launched at the Global Climate Action Summit last month.
The UK Green Building Council has launched an ambitious programme of work that will see construction and property businesses work together to lead the transition to a net zero carbon built environment.
Bruntwood has followed residential developer Berkeley Group, as well as M&E engineer Hoare Lea and BAM Construct to become a partner.
The Net Zero Carbon Commitment aims for new buildings to be net zero carbon emitting by 2030 and old buildings the same by 2050.
Bev Taylor, director of energy and environment at Bruntwood, said: “Although sustainability has always been a huge part of our approach, this pledge represents a step change in our efforts to reduce our environmental impact and we hope to inspire, encourage and support others to do the same.
“In addition to today’s commitment, we will also become an accredited Gold Standard Low Carbon Company and achieve the ISO 50001 Energy Management Standard which showcases our longer term ambitions as a carbon conscious company.”
Family-owned and run Bruntwood owns 110 properties across the North of England and Midlands. Earlier this month the company agreed a joint venture deal with institutional investor Legal & General to expand its science and technology parks, under the new name Bruntwood SciTech, from 1.3m sq ft to 6.2m sq ft over the next 10 years, increasing the value of the portfolio to £1.8bn.
UKGBC’s Advancing Net Zero programme is launching with an industry task group that will develop a definition for net zero carbon buildings in the UK market. It will bring together businesses, policymakers and industry bodies to build consensus on a way forward for new building standards. Further work in 2019 will focus on improving Scope 3 emissions reporting and sharing expertise on net zero carbon from across Europe.
Interested parties are encouraged to sign up to receive updates on the programme including details of upcoming events and workshops. UKGBC is also recruiting for a dedicated projects manager to work on the programme, as well as a project co-ordinator.
Richard Twinn, senior policy advisor at UKGBC, said: “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.
“We invite organisations working across the built environment to collaborate on this initiative and help to move the industry forward. Only by working together can we achieve the scale and speed of change needed to achieve the Paris Agreement and meet a 1.5ºC target.”
Clemens Brenninkmeijer, board member at Redevco Foundation, a major partner in the programme, said: “UKGBC’s Advancing Net Zero programme is a unique initiative that perfectly fits Redevco Foundation’s purpose: supporting initiatives that aim to increase the understanding of and accelerate the transition to a more sustainable, low carbon and circular built environment. Why this is important is a given. The different elements of this programme are intending to provide one common framework for the what and the how. 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.”
James Wimpenny, CEO at BAM Construct UK, said: “We are proud to support this important programme. Real change comes through leadership and partnership and this type of collaboration is something BAM believes makes a real difference in delivering quality to clients. This same ethos drives the change we need as an industry in advancing net zero. It makes financial sense for us all and I believe it offers real opportunities to drive innovation.”
Rob Perrins, chief executive of the Berkeley Group, said: “Developers have a key role to play in tackling climate change and protecting the environment for future generations. Berkeley Group has already become a carbon positive business and we are committed to delivering net zero carbon homes in the years ahead. We have a duty to work together, share our expertise and deliver solutions on a global scale.”
Ashley Bateson, partner at Hoare Lea, said: “Hoare Lea is proud to support the UKGBC Advancing Net Zero programme, which aims to accelerate change and provide clarity in zero carbon development objectives. We look forward to promoting a more resource efficient built environment and collaborating with key partners and stakeholders to establish a path to zero carbon development.”