The built environment sector must work together cohesively to achieve the rapid decarbonisation required to reach net zero emissions.

Current efforts across the sector are varied and at times work towards inconsistent outcomes, limiting the potential for collective action. Whilst the Climate Commitment Platform maps the current level of targets set in the sector, there is a need for clear direction to work towards consistent outcomes.

UKGBC’s Climate Leadership Model has been developed as a shared, common resource to guide all built environment organisations committed to tackling the climate crisis, and for relevant industry bodies and practitioners to feed into. It summarises what leadership is required from different sub-sectors in order to achieve net zero emissions overall.

The model focuses on scopes of emissions and desired outcomes, rather than prescribing principles for good carbon management (e.g. educating staff, measurement and reporting, setting science-based targets). Companies should compare their own climate commitments against the model to evaluate if there are opportunities to increase the scope or level of ambition of their carbon targets. Findings from the Climate Commitment Platform will be used to update the model to ensure it is responsive to the level of climate leadership required in the industry.

The scope of activities have been broadly placed under the following three categories:

    • Direct Control – emissions from a company’s own operations (scope 1 and 2 emissions).
    • Value Chain – emissions outside of a company’s direct control, however which it has the ability to influence (scope 3 emissions).
    • Advocacy & Influence – key activities that a company should undertake to stimulate wider market transformation and system change.

The model provides links to other relevant built environment programmes and commitments, including the WorldGBC Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment. This commitment encourages signatories to champion a net zero carbon built environment, starting with their own buildings and through influence of their entire value chain. It is considered the most relevant for built environment organisations and is listed against all sub-sectors.

The model was launched on 20th September 2019 to coincide with UKGBC’s support for the Global Climate Strike with input from several industry bodies (listed at bottom of page). The model is intended to be refined via further collaboration and is intended to be a live resource which can be continually updated. In this way, the currently fragmented built environment sector should be better aligned and consistent in its efforts to tackle the climate crisis.

If you would like to be provide feedback on the model, please email ANZ@ukgbc.org.

Direct
Control

Value
Chain

Advocacy &
Influence

Architects

Direct
Control
    • Occupied building areas under direct control (see NZCB Commitment)
    • Energy procured (see EP100 or RE100)
    • Company vehicles (see EV100)
Value
Chain
    • Provide clients with the option for a net zero carbon building which reduces whole life carbon impacts, including:
      • – Embodied carbon (e.g. building materials selected, design for deconstruction and reuse)
      • – Operational carbon (e.g. reporting of in-use energy post-completion)
    • Climate adaptation measures for any buildings designed or consulted on
    • Business travel
Advocacy &
Influence
    • Advocate for policy change through UKGBC and other partners on important topics (e.g. building regulations on energy performance)
    • Advocate for change through relevant industry bodies (e.g. RIBA)
    • Sign up to Architects Declare and encourage peers to do so
    • Invest in R&D

Construction Product Manufacturers

Direct
Control
    • Occupied building areas under direct control (see NZCB Commitment)
    • Energy procured and generated directly (see EP100 or RE100)
    • Company vehicles (see EV100)
    • Emissions from production processes
Value
Chain
    • Emissions associated with customers use of product/service (i.e. customers’ direct emissions)
    • Suppliers’ operational emissions
    • Embodied emissions of raw materials procured
Advocacy &
Influence
    • Advocate for policy change through UKGBC and other partners (e.g. product standards, industrial strategy, building regulations)
    • Advocate for leadership by relevant industry bodies (e.g. CPA)
    • Invest in R&D

Contractors

Direct
Control
    • Occupied building areas under direct control, including site sheds (see NZCB Commitment)
    • Energy procured (see EP100 or RE100)
    • Company vehicles (see EV100)
    • On-site emissions from construction vehicles and plant
Value
Chain
    • Whole life carbon impacts of buildings constructed, including embodied carbon of building materials
    • Sub-contractors’ own operations
    • Suppliers’ operational emissions
Advocacy &
Influence
    • Advocate for policy change through UKGBC and other partners
    • Advocate for leadership by relevant industry bodies (e.g. Build UK)
    • Invest in R&D

Developers & Housebuilders

Direct
Control
    • Occupied building areas under direct control, including site sheds (see NZCB Commitment)
    • Energy procured (see EP100 or RE100)
    • Company vehicles (see EV100)

    Onsite construction emissions (where construction activity is not outsourced)

Value
Chain
    • Brief project teams to deliver net zero carbon buildings which reduce whole life carbon impacts, including:
    • – Embodied carbon (e.g. building materials selected, design for deconstruction and reuse);
    • – Operational carbon (e.g. reporting of in-use energy post-completion)
    • On-site construction emissions (where construction activity is outsourced)
    • Suppliers’ operational emissions
    • Climate resilience of sites being developed (e.g. flood risk)
Advocacy &
Influence
    • Advocate for policy change through UKGBC and other partners
    • Advocate for leadership by relevant industry bodies (e.g. HBF, BPF)
    • Invest in R&D

Engineers

Direct
Control
    • Building areas under direct control (see NZCB Commitment)
    • Energy procured (see EP100 or RE100)
    • Company vehicles (see EV100)
Value
Chain
    • Provide clients with the option for a net zero carbon building which reduces whole life carbon impacts, including:
    • – Embodied carbon (e.g. building systems, design for deconstruction and reuse);
      • – Operational carbon (e.g. reporting of in-use energy post-completion)
    • Climate adaptation measures for any buildings designed or consulted on
    • Business travel
Advocacy &
Influence

Occupiers (Tenants)

Direct
Control
    • Occupied building areas under direct control (see NZCB Commitment)
    • Energy procured (see EP100 or RE100)

    Company vehicles (see EV100)

Value
Chain
    • Whole life carbon impacts of buildings occupied, including:
    • – Embodied carbon of new buildings purchased/leased;
    • – Operational carbon e.g. reporting of in-use energy performance
    • Emissions associated with the use of product / service (customers direct emissions)
    • Suppliers’ operational emissions
    • Respond to the recommendations of the TCFD
    • Business travel
Advocacy &
Influence
    • Advocate for policy change through UKGBC and other partners
    • Advocate for leadership by relevant industry bodies (e.g. Corenet)

    Invest in R&D

Owners & Investors

Direct
Control
    • Occupied and owned building areas under direct control (see NZCB Commitment)
    • Energy procured (see EP100 or RE100)

    Company vehicles (see EV100)

Value
Chain
    • Whole life carbon impacts of buildings owned, including the operational emissions in tenanted areas (in future, see BBP member commitment)
    • Transport emissions of customers travel to assets owned
    • Suppliers’ operational emissions
    • Respond to the recommendations of the TCFD

    Business travel

Advocacy &
Influence
    • Advocate for policy change through UKGBC and other partners
    • Advocate for leadership by relevant industry bodies (e.g. BPF, IPF)
    • Invest in R&D

Industry Bodies & Professional Institutions

Direct
Control
    • Occupied building areas under direct control (see NZCB Commitment)
    • Energy procured (see EP100 or RE100)
Value
Chain
    • Members’ own emissions (scope 1 and 2) and those of the whole built environment sector through advocacy projects
    • Suppliers’ operational emissions

    Business travel

Advocacy &
Influence
    • Advocate for policy change
    • Collaborate with other industry bodies within the sector
    • Develop standards, guidance and professional development schemes for members, and liaise with academic institutions on education and research

    Encourage and recognise climate leadership through awards scheme

Property Managers, Agents & Advisors

Direct
Control
    • Occupied building areas under direct control (see NZCB Commitment)
    • Energy procured (see EP100 or RE100)

    Company vehicles (see EV100)

Value
Chain
    • Whole life carbon impacts of buildings advised upon or transacted, including embodied carbon of new buildings
    • Suppliers’ operational emissions
    • Respond to the recommendations of the TCFD
    • Business travel
Advocacy &
Influence
    • Advocate for policy change through UKGBC and other partners on important topics (e.g. valuation of low and zero carbon and climate-resilient buildings)
    • Advocate for leadership by relevant industry bodies (e.g. BPF, IEMA, ULI, Windsor Group, RICS)
    • Invest in R&D

Industry bodies that inputted into the development of the Climate Leadership Model: