World Green Building Council

Efforts in other leading sustainable countries provides a huge opportunity for the building community of the United States to learn, adopting best practices and reshaping the landscape here. The countries in the World Green Building Council foresee massive change and innovation in the coming years.

We recently asked CEOs from our Established Green Building Councils (GBCs) around the world to share with us their ambitions for 2018. We’re excited to share some of their answers here. Read on to learn more about the ambitious targets they’re setting for green buildings globally.

Moving toward net zero
Felipe Faria, CEO of GBC Brasil, told us that the Council hopes to penetrate the residential market with rating tools that focus on climate change, health and wellbeing, biodiversity, water resources, green economy, education and communication. He said as well that, “we will intensify – in Brazil – net zero energy-certified buildings through the GBC Brasil Zero Energy rating system.”

Speaking of net zero buildings, GBC South Africa is preparing for its 2018 Convention in October, themed “The Race to Zero”, which will focus on buildings that achieve net zero carbon emissions, as well as net zero water, waste and ecological impact. Additionally, the CEO of GBC South Africa, Dorah Modise, said, “In 2018, I look forward to 100 more green building certifications, with a significant portion coming from the existing building stock. We have barely scratched the surface, and for us to make a real difference we will have to work hard on changes in current practices.”

Making green (buildings) the new normal
What does this mean for our GBCs? Dr. Christine Lemaitre, CEO, DGNB (German Sustainable Building Council), shared that, “In 2018, we will continue working to make sustainable the new normal – in Germany as well as in the more than 40 countries in which we are active. Our cooperation with the IFC (International Finance Corporation) and its EDGE system is one important element here.”

This chimes with the view from Belem Sálomon, Executive Director, Guatemala GBC: “Our main ambition is to contribute to the creation of greener, healthier, socially just, better buildings – which will become the new normal. We want to lead by example and open the way to transformation.”

It seems clear that a shift in mindsets will be key to ensuring everyone sees green buildings as the smarter choice – the new normal – and GBCs are eager to lead the way.

As Kjersti Folvik, CEO at Norwegian GBC, explains, “Our ambition is to make the whole Norwegian market understand that building green is the natural choice, and not more expensive than building non-green buildings. The market must see that buildings with low environmental standards are expensive and risky.”

Transforming homes and the building market
Thomas Mueller, CEO, Canada GBC, revealed his Council’s plans to help create a “retrofit economy” in Canada: “Along with increased levels of investment in the sector, the industry should expect greater attention on the use of carbon as a key metric to assess building performance, an enhanced focus on green skills development – especially for the trades – and government policies and programs to support the development of a retrofit economy.”

We’re heartened to see that GBCs will continue to be at the forefront of these changes, advancing new ideas and initiatives to prepare the building industry for a low carbon future.

Ir Cary Chan, Executive Director, Hong Kong GBC, shared his Council’s ambitions to help push the industry forward: “I wish to see many more existing buildings of our 42,000-plus building stock go green. Thus, our job in 2018 is to speed up the market transformation. We will take the leading role in building the industry’s competence in retro-commissioning through training, developing tools to assess performance of chiller plants, as well as continue to expand our network to all walks of life.”

Andrew Eagles, Chief Executive, New Zealand GBC, voiced his Council’s profound goal for 2018: “Our ambition in 2018 is to make sure that more of our children, our parents and our grandparents are living in safe, warm homes.”

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