How can the new UKGBC Paris Proof energy targets be achieved?

To meet the ambitions of the Paris Climate Agreement and the UK’s net zero emissions targets, the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) has published further guidance on levels of energy performance that commercial offices should target to achieve net zero by 2050. 

"We already have all the technology, tools and know-how needed to meet and exceed the Paris Proof targets"

Andrew Mercer, Head of Energy Services

The UKGBC’s Advancing Net Zero programme aims to guide the UK’s transition to net zero carbon within the built environment. Following direct engagement with industry and analysis of the projected zero carbon energy capacity of the UK, they have have published ambitious ‘Paris Proof’ energy performance targets for offices.

The ‘Paris Proof’ methodology establishes the amount of energy reduction required for the UK economy to be fully powered by zero carbon energy in 2050 and it clearly demonstrates that energy efficiency is essential to achieving a net zero carbon economy. Simply relying on decarbonisation of the electricity grid is not a viable solution for offices or any other sector.

Through consultation and direct engagement with stakeholders, UKGBC asserts a need for 60% reduction in energy use from offices which translates to the Paris Proof targetsThese targets offer an outcome-based approach, setting a trajectory for tightening performance targets over the next fifteen years.

At JLL, we have committed to net zero carbon in our UK workplaces by 2030 and to spearheading the transformation to net zero carbon buildings across the UK property sector. Whilst we recognise that these are ambitious targets, with the right strategy and approach they can and must be achieved.

Key factors that need to be considered:

  • Relying on renewables or offsets is not enough – the first and most significant action is to reduce the amount of energy needed to sustain healthy buildings – not least because there will not be enough renewables to go around based on current trajectory.

  • Companies need an overarching net zero carbon strategy that links all parts of the building lifecycle – so that not only is consumption driven down in existing portfolios, but that better buildings are built, better buildings are bought, and refurbishments are truly transformational.

  • Technology is part of the solution – from capitalising on data analytics to have better visibility on energy performance, to enhancing efficiency of building systems and seeking cost effective alternatives to gas boilers.

"It’s an exciting time to be part of UK’s transition to a low carbon future. The UKGBC’s research-based 60% target confirms what is already well understood; that most buildings, new and old, have a significant performance gap. Yet we already have all the technology, tools and know-how needed to meet and exceed the Paris Proof target today. To enable the transition to zero carbon workplaces, energy efficiency must be embedded into key decisions throughout an asset’s lifecycle – design, build, operation and refurbishment. At JLL we are proud to be working with some of the UK’s most forward-thinking landlords, investors and occupiers on our mutual journeys to net zero."
Andrew Mercer, Head of Energy Services

JLL is committed to working with clients to support their transitional journey to net zero carbon. It’s important that businesses act now to prepare for inevitably tighter legislation; to protect and enhance asset value; to meet increasing investor scrutiny, to keep staff and occupiers happy and to respond to the climate emergency while there is still time.

Find out how we can help on your path to net zero

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