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16 leading European companies from across the built environment have taken a new energy efficiency commitment today for the buildings supply chain, to help drive delivery of 'nearly zero energy buildings' (nZEB) for new build by 2020, and refurbished buildings by 2030.
The 'Moving towards net zero buildings' commitment, initiated by The Prince of Wales's Corporate Leaders Group, in collaboration with property services company JLL and property company Hammerson, aims to deliver ultra low energy buildings. It comes in response to a lack of co-ordinated approach across the built environment sector in the delivery of energy efficient buildings. EU regulation states that by 31 December 2020 all new buildings must be nZEBs.
The commitment has been signed by 16 leading organisations representing different sectors of the property sector supply chain, including: Acciona, British Land, Doosan, Ferrovial, GlaxoSmithKline, Hammerson, Heathrow, Interface, JLL, Kingfisher, Land Securities, Lloyd's Banking Group, Philips, Skanska, Sky, Tesco.
The property sector has a huge role to play in delivering a low carbon economy across the EU – contributing approximately 40% of total carbon emissions. In recognition of this, the first ever 'Buildings Day' as part of the Lima Paris Action Agenda is being held at COP21 on 3 December, where this commitment was unveiled.
The pledge outlines several actions that the signatories commit to, including:
The commitment simultaneously calls for action from the EU and Member States to support delivery of these commitments through a range of measures, including a stable long term sector plan for emissions reductions and a consistent programme of public sector involvement in low carbon and energy efficiency technologies.
Sandrine Dixson-Declève, Director of The Prince of Wales's Corporate Leaders Group, said: "Better energy efficiency of buildings will put us on a low-carbon pathway while improving the productivity of the economy as a whole. It offers a new business opportunity in its own right. The inconsistent performance of the building sector to date in improving energy efficiency highlights the need for a more focused and concerted approach. The new commitment presented today by The Prince of Wales's Corporate Leaders Group and partnering companies aims to address this gap."
David Atkins, CEO of Hammerson, said: "Establishing a forum for purposeful collaboration between businesses across the property supply chain is a major achievement. It has the potential to drive significant results in our immediate challenge of limiting the damaging effects of climate change. The range of businesses represented already within this commitment is clear evidence in itself of the commercial sense that lies within tackling urgently this most pressing problem. Hammerson looks forward to work with our fellow signatories to bring about real change."
Guy Grainger, UK CEO at JLL , said: "Close collaboration between all sectors of the building supply chain is essential if we are going to meet the desired goals. As a property consultancy, we are in the perfect positon to work with designers, landlords, occupiers, contractors and developers to help deliver lower emissions and a greener economy."
Eric Rondolat, CEO Philips Lighting said: "Improving energy efficiency of buildings not only provides an important contribution to reducing carbon emissions, it also creates a significant number of – mostly local – jobs for people renovating existing buildings, boosts innovation for better new buildings, and perhaps most importantly makes the places where we live and work more comfortable and productive. We see great examples of such impact by switching to the latest connected LED lighting in offices, schools and homes. So, all in all very good reasons to accelerate renovation of the huge stock of existing buildings – ideally to 3% per year – and to step up innovation investments in even better smart technologies for buildings yet to be constructed."
John Holland-Kaye, CEO of Heathrow, said: "Using the latest innovations in building design is one of the ways that Heathrow is working to reduce carbon emissions across the airport. Heathrow's Terminal 2 was designed to be sustainable and is the first airport terminal to be BREEAM certified. That has set a benchmark for the industry. But we are not done yet. We will work closely with our supply chain and with our aviation industry colleagues to deliver the actions in the Net Zero Buildings Commitment announced today."
Robert Boogaard, CEO Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Interface, said: "At Interface we have reduced our own GHG by more than 90% and it has paid back well. Even better opportunities are in buildings, thanks to the holistic combination of purpose-driven design, smart technologies and advanced insulation solutions, among others. We call for industry at large to join forces in this tremendous business opportunity."
Jennifer Clark, Senior Vice President Green and Community Investment, Skanska, said: "Green building is a great business opportunity for us as it is right for the planet, attractive to customers, communities, and employees alike; and it creates value for our shareholders. The best part is that we don't have to wait. Skanska already has the competence and technology we need to build Deep Green and Net Zero Energy Buildings. Through working with our customers and other value chain stakeholders we seek to scale-up the delivery of these projects and inspire transformative change in the market."
'Moving towards net zero buildings': Read the commitment here.