I’m so excited about this! We officially announced the Planet Positive Building Certification, issuing a press release today detailing how each building we certify can save hundreds of acres of endangered rainforest, cut carbon emissions and save money.
This is great news for developers, planners, contractors and suppliers. And it is great news for the local and global community.
Central to the Planet Positive Building Certification is the condition that buildings must have a positive impact on the planet the communities they serve, from the occupants to the local area and beyond. Every Planet Positive building has to demonstrate reduced carbon (embodied and operational – I’ll explain the difference a little later), support a local sustainability programme and save the rainforest.
We have partnered with Cool Earth, the registered charity supported by Lord Stern, Sir David Attenborough, Ricky Gervais and many others, to fund local communities living in the rainforest. Instead of offsetting, we encourage our clients to place funds to the Community Trusts set up for the villagers to secure land tenure (own their land), set up co-operatives, build schools, train forest rangers and more.
As a result, we save rainforest that would be destroyed by enabling people and thriving communities to continue to live in their homes. We are really excited by the prospect of protecting rainforest in the arc of deforestation ie trees that will be lost within 12-18 months if no action is taken. It is fast, direct action that reduces carbon emissions, supports biodiversity and saves thousands of species of plants, insects and animals.
So we save trees, what about the carbon? Every building has to demonstrate that it has cut the embodied carbon emissions in construction – this is the carbon emitted through the production of building materials, transport, the construction of the building, its maintenance through its life and its disposal.
It is vital to cut embodied carbon as these emissions take place over the very short construction period of the building when thousands of tonnes of CO2 can be emitted in a matter of months. We work with developers, contractors and suppliers to reduce this carbon by designing, tendering and delivering low carbon products and services.
Once these products are in circulation, it means that all buildings can use them, so one green build leads to another. It is a green legacy and often makes a low carbon building cheaper than a ‘normal’ build.
The team at dcarbon8 Deloitte, who produce the carbon footprint for many buildings (known as a lifecycle assessment) has analysed that you can cut the embodied carbon by 25% in a building and SAVE capital cost by 1%. Given that commercial buildings cost millions, going green is a serious financial incentive.
So you can save trees, cut carbon and save money. Surely a win win win for the planet, its people and ecosystems.