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Building Industry Disregarding Climate Transition

More than half of major building companies do not have climate transition plans in place for a low-carbon future, the World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA) and non-profit CDP have warned. The building sector is responsible for 37% of global emissions, making it a critical industry in the net zero transition. But the WBA’s first Building Benchmark, that has assessed 50 influential companies across the building sector in partnership with CDP, has found 54% of companies do not have climate transition plans in place, and 44% do not have emissions reduction targets. As a result of the longevity of buildings, the choices the sector makes today risk locking in emissions for decades to come. Only five (16%) of the 32 companies which were assessed as having significant development activities have a net-zero target that includes the in-use emissions of delivered buildings. Only one company – French real estate group Gecina – targets the delivery of zero-carbon ready buildings in line with the IEA net-zero scenario requirement that all new buildings delivered from 2030 onwards will be zero-carbon ready. Further, Gecina and Germany-based property company LEG Immobilien are currently the only two companies assessed that were developing zero-carbon ready buildings in their property development operations. Not a single company assessed had a plan for transitioning their workforce. Vicky Sins, Decarbonisation and Energy Transformation Lead at WBA, said: “We need every company in the building sector to step up efforts to accelerate the transition to more efficient buildings and more sustainable materials and resources, but for the transition to be just, it is essential that companies consider the millions of workers who will need to reskill or retrain.” 

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