Buildings are responsible for almost 40% of global carbon emissions and 50% of global material use, according to the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC). 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.
With this in mind, and supported by its 70 Green Building Councils and more than 36,000 members, the WorldGBC network has launched Sustainable Buildings for Everyone, Everywhere — a new two-year strategy to accelerate and mainstream the transformation of built environments around the world.
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 — a critical need for our planet, communities, and economies in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“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,” said Cristina Gamboa, CEO, WorldGBC. “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,” Gamboa continued. “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.”
“The launch of the World Green Building’s Council new two-year strategy Sustainable Buildings for Everyone, Everywhere is a critical leadership program to guide the way towards the decarbonization of the global built environment,” said Harry Verhaar, Head of Global Public & Government Affairs and a Vice President at Signify. “It is no coincidence that building renovation has been identified as a top priority of post-COVID 19 recovery programs around the world to boost jobs and economic growth and accelerate circular business models. By coming together to urge the right course of action, we can stave off the worst effects of climate change, paving the way for a brighter, more prosperous, and better future for our planet.”
“The WorldGBC’s Sustainable Buildings for Everyone, Everywhere strategy echoes the pressing need to engage in meaningful climate action now, while also building healthier, resilient communities for the wellbeing of all Canadians,” commented Thomas Mueller, President and CEO, Canada Green Building Council. “It reflects our own commitments in Canada, where we rallied the industry to champion a green recovery that prioritizes green buildings. Investment in high performing, healthy buildings and retrofits can reignite recovering economies by providing skilled jobs, creating efficiencies through lower carbon emissions, and driving the innovation needed to pivot economies toward a low carbon future. To achieve this, we need collective action of the industry now, here in Canada and around the world.”