UKGBC task group for renewable energy procurement and carbon offset guidelines

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The UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) has announced a new task group which will develop guidance on the procurement of renewable energy and carbon offsets for the built environment sector.

This work will build on UKGBC’s Net Zero Carbon Buildings Framework, which was developed to build industry consensus on the definition of a net zero carbon building for both construction and operation.

The framework encourages reductions in whole life carbon and improvements in energy efficiency as the most important steps in decarbonising buildings but recognises that the procurement of renewable energy and offsets can also play a role in a building’s net zero transition.

Emily Huynh, Technical Advisor at UKGBC, commented on the announcement: “The importance and urgency for the built environment to decarbonise cannot be understated.

“It is critical that action is taken now to promote a more rapid step change in our transition to net zero, and many businesses are now grappling with the practical steps they will need to take.

“This new task group will work together to develop guidance that provides clarity on how best to address residual emissions during this transition, through the procurement of renewable energy and the use of carbon offsets where applicable.

“The group’s work will help demystify how practitioners can go about procuring quality renewable energy and offsets as the industry pursues a consistent and ambitious trajectory to net zero carbon.”

The new task group will develop guidance for procuring renewable energy, provide a set of principles for offsetting outstanding carbon balance and set a transition plan for phasing out the future use of offsets.

This guidance will support those using UKGBC’s framework to develop net zero carbon buildings and built environment businesses setting their own net zero strategies.

This project forms part of UKGBC’s Advancing Net Zero Programme, which has been made possible this year thanks to the generous support of their Lead Partner the Redevco Foundation, and our Programme Partners BAM Construct UK, Berkeley Group, Grosvenor Britain & Ireland, Hoare Lea and JLL UK.

UKGBC will undertake a consultation on the draft guidance in Autumn 2020 to capture perspectives from across the industry.

The task group is being supported by, and includes representation from trade associations, professional institutions and non-profit organisations such as Energy Institure, Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment, and Renewable Energy Association.

The task group also includes representatives from organisations such as The Crown Estate, Carbon Trust and Carbon Intelligence.