City buildings

Many office and apartment owners are zeroing in on the carbon pollution caused by their buildings’ operations. Those who are really ambitious are working towards “net zero” emissions. And if they succeed, they have a new way to let the public know.

This fall, the U.S. Green Building Council announced a “net zero certification” for buildings that prevent as much carbon pollution as they cause.

Elizabeth Beardsley of the Green Building Council says when evaluating a building, the organization will assess its energy use …

Beardsley: “… as well as transportation associated, whether it’s a residential property or, you know, commuting for an office building.”

They’ll compare that to the energy a building produces with solar or other renewables – and evaluate how much carbon pollution is prevented when that clean energy is fed back to the grid.

Beardsley says the certification is timely, as a growing number of cities commit to net zero building policies.

Beardsley: “We hope that some utilize certification as a way to assure that their goals are met.”

And by giving building owners a way to promote their achievements to consumers, the net zero certification can help nudge the market towards sustainability.

Reporting credit: Ariel Felton/ChavoBart Digital Media.
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