The term net zero has rapidly become part of common parlance and is in many ways synonymous with action on climate change. This guide clarifies the nature of the term and the international agreements seeking to deliver it. It breaks down where emissions occur in the global economy, where there are solutions, and where innovation is needed. It explores how the UK is approaching net zero and the gaps between pledges and actions, with a particular focus on the impacts for decision making in the built environment this decade. Finally, it considers the roles and responsibilities for government, the private sector and industry bodies, and what we can all do as individuals.
This guide is for built environment professionals, building occupiers, building owners and product manufacturers. It helps address the wider question ‘What does net zero mean for me?’ by placing the impacts of our personal and professional decisions in the built environment into the global context of climate change.
NZG 3 is the third in a series of guides published by the Net Zero Building Centre. The first, NZG 1/2022 Net Zero Carbon Buildings, provides an introduction to the topic of net zero and discusses some of the complex issues involved with moving towards a net zero built environment. The second, NZG 2/2023 Indoor Environmental Quality and Net Zero, considers how the various components of indoor environmental quality impact net zero individually, and how they interact in a holistic design approach.
The Net Zero Building Centre is a joint venture between BSRIA and LSBU with the aim of accelerating decarbonisation in the built environment. It is an innovation hub and centre of excellence that builds on the shared strengths of BSRIA and LSBU in the field of low carbon buildings.