Sustainable Development has been evolving for the past 50 years. The International Institute for Environment and Development provides the history of the previous five decades in their recent publication Connecting for Common Goals showing the Evolution of Sustainable Development: a 50-year timeline.
As we round out 2022, we want to acknowledge how much has been achieved even though there is a lot more to come. Here are our top 12 Tambourine moments for 2022.
1. World Green Building Council - Several Industry leaders transitioned to the updated Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment and are taking ambitious action to decarbonize both operational and embodied emissions from their building portfolios. The Commitment has 171 signatories, which includes 136 businesses and organizations, 29 cities, and six states and regions. The Built Environment goal states that ‘all new projects completed from 2030, are net zero carbon in operations, with 40% reduction in embodied carbon’.
2. World Green Building Council launched the Circularity Accelerator Program Global Program and partnered with VinZero to help drive circularity for the Built Environment. World GBC further established the Built Environment as a critical climate solution at COP27 in November where the Green Buildings Councils (GBCs) in their Africa Regional Network established the Africa Manifesto for Sustainable Cities and the Built Environment.
A summary of the WorldGBC's Accelerator Program and the Industry Guide. ‘Climate Change Resilience Program in the Built Environment’ is presented in the WorldGBC Annual Report. 2022 also marked 20 years of World Green Building Council and its global network. In celebration, WorldGBC hosted the World GBC +20 Leadership Summit for Sustainable Built Environments.
3. The Breakthrough Agenda was discussed at COP27 and recommended 28 Priority Actions to decarbonize the power, road transport, steel, hydrogen, and agriculture sectors, in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement.
4. The Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) released the 1.5 C pathway for cement to meet the Paris Agreement and also produced a Net Zero Standard focusing on incentivizing emission abatement within company value chains. A new guidance for steel is expected next year and the sector is invited to provide feedback on the recent Draft Steel Science Based Target Setting Guidance Document. It is currently available for consultation from 23 November 2022 until 23 January 2023.
5. The International Policy Review released the ‘Best Practice Policy Development International Review of Policies and Programs for Low Emissions Building Materials, available on the MECLA website. The report has identified examples of relevant policy implementation from around the world to inform all levels of government in Australia. The key levers identified by the research are:
· Policy levers to drive the market;
· Role of Industry and the market;
· Rating mechanisms for building performance;
· Government as an enabler of change;
· Data, tools, and skills needed to get to net-zero.
6. Australia is taking concrete action on the journey to Net Zero
Victorian renewable energy and storage targets increased and there is an intention to legislate these new targets. Essentially it means that all embodied carbon networks need to achieve 95% renewable energy supply by 2035. The Built Environment Climate Change Adaption Action Plan 2022-2026 focuses on improving essential policies and standards to make our Built Environment more climate-resilient. It is one of seven adaption plans for Victoria.
Queensland have identified new opportunities for the construction supply chain decarbonization and circularity with key materials such as low carbon concrete, cement, steel, and aluminium. Key Takeaways from the Materials and Embodies Carbon Leaders’ Alliance (MECLA) are listed here.
New South Wales released a new roadmap for digitalising planning, design, construction and operation of infrastructure in the Built Environment.
Victoria goes further than a 6 Star NatHERS rating for new homes with suggesting a zero net carbon home which can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by five to eight and a half tonnes per year compared to industry standards. A net carbon home reduces the energy bills by 60 to 70% depending on the number and behaviour of occupants, and the size of the home.
7. New building code and measurement tool in Australia
NABERS-Embodied Emissions tool to measure, verify and compare embodied emissions in new buildings and major refurbishments has been released for public consultation.
8. McKinseys Top Trends of 2022 include industrializing machine learning, clean energy and sustainable consumption as major trends affecting the Built Environment. The Future of Clean Energy is focused on energy solutions that help achieve net-zero emissions across the energy value chain, from power generation or production to storage to distribution.
9. Low-Cost green hydrogen and Hydrogen storage breakthrough made news in 2022. Science Daily reported A 'fairly simple' breakthrough makes accessing stored hydrogen more efficient.
11. Belgium company Leilac has a scalable solution to low carbon concrete and the world’s first commercial-scale process for near-zero emission lime commences in partnership with Adbri and has started a carbon abatement project for cement and lime in collaboration with Boral, both in Australia.
12. Mycelium technology is being developed as a construction material because of its strength, environmentally positive impact and ability to biodegrade. Ecovative Expands Mycelium Supply Chain, Acquiring International Producer | National Business | joplinglobe.com. The Mycelium Project: Building House Parts with Fungi was launched in August and is a collaboration between architects, mycelium experts, building science engineers, structural engineers, and design students.