Prior to the COP21 International Climate talks in Paris, more than 54 building and real estate companies signed on to the Building and Real Estate Climate Declaration. The document urges policymakers to seize one of the ‘greatest economic opportunities of the 21st Century’ in tackling climate change.
The declaration is a companion to Ceres’ Climate Declaration, launched in 2013, which has more than 1,660 signatories including iconic brands such as Gap Inc., General Mills, Disney, Apple, and Starbucks. The Building and Real Estate Climate Declaration calls attention to the risks and opportunities associated with climate change on the built environment, which produces 39% of carbon emissions annually.
“Our community knows that buildings represent the lowest cost and greatest potential to reduce carbon emissions,” said Roger Platt, president, U.S. Green Building Council. “The Climate Declaration will give visibility to buildings as a critical climate solution. We’ve proven that by acting sustainably, we can leverage innovation and efficiency to drive economic growth.”
For example, Skanska has goals to replace fossil energy with renewable energy, and has conducted 113 “project carbon footprints” to reduce greenhouse emissions in 2014, an increase of 40% since 2013.