The net zero commitment
By OnLevel’s Gary Dean.
In June 2019 the UK government announced a legally binding target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Net zero carbon is reached when the amount of greenhouse gas produced balances with the amount removed from the atmosphere. The pursuit of a net zero carbon economy has imposed widespread implications on the built environment.
As a direct response, the World Green Building Council introduced the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment to challenge worldwide companies, cities, states and regions to “reach net zero building emissions in their portfolios by 2030 and to advocate for a net zero carbon built environment by 2050”.
OnLevel provides glass hardware solutions, frameless glass balustrades, juliet balcony screens and glass post railing systems and associated glass hardware products to the construction industry. Keen to minimise our carbon footprint, we are fully committed to supplying products that meet sustainable construction targets in pursuit of the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment.
According to WorldGBC, buildings and construction account for 39% of energy-related CO2 emissions. As such, zero carbon buildings that generate their own energy will be crucial in achieving net zero emissions by 2050. How will this be done?
There are several steps that can be taken by companies to build zero carbon buildings and support sustainable construction:
- Eliminate the use of fossil fuel for heating and replace it with the renewable energy provided by solar PV panels, home-sized wind turbines, solar water heating, wood fuelled heating or hydroelectricity.
- Use a battery storage unit to use stored power at night and eliminate reliance on the grid.
- Increase the electrification of energy in response to a decarbonised grid.
- Reduce the use of refrigerants that contribute to global warming.
- Use responsibly sourced, low-carbon reused or recycled materials.
- Buy building materials from local contractors where possible to reduce transport pollution.
- Increase insulation of floors, walls and roofs and make buildings airtight to reduce heat loss.
- Install smart building control systems to help manage increased electricity demand and maximise the use of renewable energy.
- Heat pumps and hydrogen boilers should be considered as potential replacements for gas boilers.
- Hybrid (dual fuel) heat pumps can optimise the use of renewable energy.
- Use LED lighting throughout the building.
In February 2019, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) warned that the climate change targets of the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment will not be met if greenhouse gas emissions are not almost completely eliminated from UK buildings.
The construction sector has much to do, including the retrofitting of existing homes and the build of low carbon, energy and water efficient and climate resilient new homes.
To demonstrate our pledge to working towards the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment, OnLevel has teamed up with Planetly.
Planetly is a technology start-up on a mission to help build a carbon neutral economy. Its software helps us to introduce and automate carbon management, from data collection to reduction strategies and offsetting.
OnLevel is a leader in our sector on not only measuring the carbon footprint of our products but taking positive steps daily to offset the impact and re-engineer our systems and supply chains for greater efficiency.