24 Sep 2019

A Low Carbon Future With carboNZero Buildings

Posted in: Toitū Together

carboNZero buildings, carbon neutral

Enviro-Mark Solutions and NZGBC launch New Zealand’s first carboNZeroCertTM building operations certification programme.

Decarbonising our built environment will play a pivotal role in constructing New Zealand’s future low-carbon economy.

Today, Enviro-Mark Solutions and the New Zealand Green Building Council announced the launch of the pilot carboNZeroCertTM building operations certification programme, which gives New Zealand building owners a robust pathway to certify their building operations as zero carbon.

The programme is in accordance with ISO 14064-1 and the technical requirements of Enviro-Mark Solutions’ world-class carboNZero programme. It ensures that participants will be measuring, managing and reducing their climate impacts to the highest international standards, and making a meaningful difference to our atmosphere.

Our Chief Executive Dr Ann Smith says that the carboNZero building programme is the result of demand from the building industry, who are seeking robust tools to measure and reduce their climate impact.

“The construction and operation of buildings makes up 20 percent of our national carbon footprint” she says.

“Around half of these emissions are from direct emissions in the operation of buildings. Setting reduction targets and identifying how to make buildings more efficient will make a meaningful difference to our wider emissions profile”.

In addition, reducing carbon emissions from our buildings has the potential to save building owners and operators millions in energy bills, as well as generating significant social co-benefits.

These positive outcomes align the programme directly with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Well-maintained, insulated and efficient buildings have noticeable impact not only on reducing carbon emissions and mitigating the risk of climate change (Goal 13), but on public health and well being (Goal 3), infrastructure (Goal 9), and sustainable cities and communities (Goal 11), among others.

Reducing carbon in the built environment means better health outcomes for New Zealanders, and as respiratory illness in New Zealand is estimated to cost $6 billion per year, indirect cost savings as well.

NZGBC Chief Executive Andrew Eagles says the carboNZero buildings operations certification framework will fit within the NZGBC’s Zero Carbon Roadmap for New Zealand’s buildings, also launched today. The Roadmap describes challenges and opportunities in decarbonising New Zealand’s built sector and sets out the steps for building owners to reach net zero.

“A zero carbon Aotearoa, and all its benefits that New Zealanders will enjoy, is possible only if all our buildings and homes are zero carbon” he says.

“Many people, companies and organisations in our sector have already made significant steps towards achieving this significant and necessary ambition.

“Now, for the very first time, we have a roadmap which signals the key milestones that the government and industry must reach in order to decarbonise New Zealand’s buildings. When all parts of this roadmap are accomplished, the building and construction sector will be zero carbon – the greatest achievement ever for our sector. And, together, we all have a chance to play key roles in this historical, industry-defining accomplishment.”

For more information on how to certify your building operations as carboNZero, contact: info@enviro-mark.com