The Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) has welcomed pledges from Dexus, Cbus Property and Nightingale Apartments to the Global Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment, which challenges organisations to achieve net-zero operating carbon emissions by 2030.

“The net-zero emissions commitments from these leading property companies set an international benchmark for best practice in development,” GBCA CEO Romilly Madew says.

Dexus, Cbus Property and Nightingale Housing have joined AMP Capital Wholesale Office Portfolio, Cundall, Frasers Property Australia, GPT Wholesale Office Fund, Integral Group, Stockland - Retirement Living & Logistics, the Sydney Opera House and the City of Sydney.

The commitments were announced following the annual global assessment of progress in dealing with climate change, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s global Conferences of the Parties, COP24, wrapped up in Poland.

Madew says these Australian organisations’ plan to drastically reduce their buildings’ operating emissions showing they were stepping up and taking action.

“Momentum is building across the industry for meaningful action on climate change,” she says, adding that, “Reducing emissions and energy use across the property sector is driving demand for more renewable energy sources.”

Dexus CEO, Darren Steinberg says the commitment built on Dexus’s 2030 zero emissions goal, demonstrated in this month’s announcement of one of Australia’s first supply-linked renewable Energy Supply Agreements.

“Our net-zero target is supported by increasing renewable energy sources and improving energy efficiency, all while achieving lower carbon emissions,” he says.

Nightingale Housing managing director Jeremy McLeod says the net-zero emissions commitment capped their existing target of 100 per cent fossil-fuel-free building operations.

“Sustainability is central to what we do so we are pleased to join other industry leaders to build action on climate change,” he says.

In addition to their pledge to reduce their own operating emissions by 2030, all signatories to the global initiative agree to advocate for all buildings to be Net Zero by 2050.

“Under these commitments there will be 320 Australian buildings, including major CBD towers, that will be net zero by 2030,” GBCA head of Market Transformation Jorge Chapa  says.

“That energy load is equivalent to 8 percent of a coal-fired power station in a year, or the annual power use of more than 35,000 homes. This is a significant energy saving.”

A net zero carbon building, as defined by the WorldGBC, is highly energy efficient and is fully powered on-site or by off-site renewable energy sources.