Best Practices: Planning For Net Zero Carbon Buildings

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Executive Summary

The past 12 months have seen a huge number of organizations announce pledges to become net zero carbon. Real estate, facilities and sustainability directors are on the front line for operationalizing these ambitions and driving action at the building level. This report analyses the different strategic options for achieving net zero buildings and sets out guidance on how facility executives should define their strategy. The research finds that firms should develop a blended programme spanning efficiency, green electricity and offsets, and prioritize the transparency of their emission reduction programmes. 

Table of contents

Facility Executives Need A Clear Pathway To Net Zero 
There Is No Single Definition Of Net Zero Carbon Buildings 
Soft Regulatory Drivers Are Driving A Gradual Change In The Market 

The Path To Net Zero Buildings Is Riddled With Multiple Pitfalls 
Firms Have A Broad Range Of Options For Decarbonizing Buildings 
Real Estate Executives Must Look Beyond Market-Based Mechanisms To Decarbonize Buildings  
Facility Executives Must Be Ready To Go To Battle To Secure Funding For Decarbonization Programmes 

Seven Recommendations To Drive Forward Your Net Zero Carbon Buildings Plan  

Table of figures

Figure 1. Four Categories Of Net Zero Carbon Buildings  
Figure 2. Drivers For Net Zero Carbon Buildings Impacting Investors, Landlords And Occupiers  
Figure 3. Market Instruments And Building-Level Emission Reduction Strategies  
Figure 4. Benefits And Limitations of Eight Decarbonization Strategies 
Figure 5. Real Estate Executives Are Balancing Multiple Programmes In The Next Three Years  
Figure 6. Two Pathways To Net Zero Carbon Buildings  

About the authors

Susan Clarke

Research Director

Susan leads the Verdantix Smart Buildings practice. Her current research agenda focuses on software solutions for real estate management including integrated workplace management systems and IoT platforms for buildings. Her research expertise also includes a broad range of energy management technologies and energy services. Susan has eight years of experience in technology research. She holds a MSc from the University of London in Sustainable Development.

Ben Hext

Industry Analyst

Ben is an Industry Analyst in the Verdantix Smart Buildings practice. His current agenda covers hardware and software solutions for energy management, on-site power generation, and COVID-19 mitigation management. He holds an M.Eng in Mechanical Engineering from Durham University,

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