Gearing up on net zero carbon buildings

05 February 2019

Cities, industries, businesses, countries and government around the world are gearing up to slash climate change pollution and looking to ramp up efforts to achieve 2030 and 2050 targets, highlighted during the recent COP-24 meetings. And last September 19 mayors publicly vowed to meet these targets.

In conjunction with the WorldGBC initiative, Advancing Net Zero, NZGBC has been working towards a set of standards for local building owners and tenants to show that the buildings they occupy or own have net zero carbon emissions.

We’ve recently teamed up with Enviro-Mark Solutions, the organisation at the forefront of carbon standards for business operations in New Zealand, to create a new standard for existing buildings achieving net zero carbon emissions in operation. Enviro-Mark Solutions developed and operates the carboNZeroCertTM Programme for organisations and products, so they are a natural partner for this new project. Following consultation with our members and other industry stakeholders throughout 2018, the standard is scheduled for release in the first half of this year and will be available through Green Star - Performance or NABERSNZ certification.

Separately, as part of the Green Star family of tools, we will also be publishing Innovation Challenges for new buildings designed to achieve carbon neutral operational emissions, carbon neutral embodied emissions and additional points for those that achieve both. A similar framework was released in Australia in September 2017.

Both the technology and expertise for these standards are readily available in New Zealand. We believe that the carbon neutral standards for New Zealand building will provide a welcome pathway for businesses committing to carbon neutral activities and we look forward to seeing building owners publicly certifying their carbon neutral buildings as a new norm.

There will be lots more about carbon neutral building at the fast approaching Green Property Summit 2019 on 11 April, so register now for this important event.

Image: Australia's first certified carbon neutral building against Australian Government’s National Carbon Offset Standard (NCOS) for Buildings, 2018.