Mission on Net Zero: Paving the Path Towards a Green Future

18 Jul 2022

The Indian Green Building Council (IGBC), formed by CII in 2001, is spearheading the green building movement in India. The vision of the council is to create a sustainable built environment for all and facilitate India to become one of the global leaders in the sustainable built environment by 2025. IGBC is the country’s premier body for green building certification. It is also a founding member of the World Green Building Council.

The council has launched 30 ratings covering various typologies of buildings and built environment, which have been acknowledged and awarded at various national and international platforms. Till date, more than 7,500 projects, equivalent to 8.18 billion sq ft have adopted various IGBC green, net zero and healthy building ratings. Today, India ranks 3rd in terms of green footprint and IGBC has played a major role in making India reach this milestone.

As per United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the built environment accounts for a large share of energy global energy use (estimated to be about 40%), energy-related greenhouse gas emissions (estimated to be approximately 30%), waste generation and use of natural resources. In the past few years, India’s built environment (construction and infrastructure) has seen tremendous growth. However, this has led to disproportionate use of resources, such as energy and water. It has also become a significant contributor to GHG emissions and global warming.

To counter this alarming situation, there is an urgent need for builders and construction companies to take the leadership in accelerating the uptake of net zero. The buildings should be designed, constructed and operated in such a way that they are self-sufficient and minimally dependent on external sources in terms of resource consumption. Such buildings can also be referred to as net zero buildings.

Mission on Net Zero

On 22 Aril 2021, Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) launched the ‘Mission on Net Zero’ with a vision to help India achieve its net zero targets by 2050. The mission will go a long way in helping India fulfil its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) submitted to the secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Moreover, the IGBC Mission is in alignment with the Prime Minister’s pledge that states that India will cut its emissions to net zero by 2070.

The IGBC Net Zero Mission is a national campaign that would result in multi-fold benefits, such as reduction of CO2 emissions, deployment of multiple technologies, cleaner air, adoption of cleaner fuels, health benefits and new employment opportunities.

IGBC’s Mission on Net Zero has received commitment from more than 300 organizations who have pledged to work in alignment with the mission. IGBC would handhold and support these organizations throughout their process of achieving the net zero status in terms of capacity building, guidance, implementation of intermediary targets, sustaining net zero and sharing the best industrial practices & technologies, etc. To take this forward, IGBC has developed the following guidelines which facilitate the adoption of net zero concepts:

IGBC Net Zero Energy Buildings Rating – A tool to enable the project team to incorporate energy efficiency concepts and adopt appropriate renewable sources to develop a Net Zero Energy building. IGBC-rated Net Zero Energy buildings can support the country in a large way to reduce GHG emissions.
IGBC Net Zero Water Rating – A holistic approach to make water efficient buildings and enable the project team to adopt appropriate measures for harnessing alternate water to achieve Net Zero Water performance. This rating also complements the Government’s National Water Mission.
IGBC Net Zero Waste Rating – The rating is aimed at addressing issues related to waste generation during construction, operation and maintenance of buildings and built-environment.
IGBC’s Guidance Framework for Net Zero Carbon Buildings – This would support organizations to initiate GHG accounting and categorise the emissions under Scope 1, 2 and 3 at project level. Based on the emission intensity, appropriate emission reduction measures and abatement strategies can be developed by the organizations to ensure offset of carbon emissions.

The CII-IGBC has been an integral part of CII’s various initiatives for sustainable development and will continue to play a key role in India’s national goal to achieve zero CO2 emission by 2050.

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