Representatives of Stora Enso, Google, Lendlease, WEB Limited Group, World Business Council for Sustainable Development and the World Green Building Council used the conference to call on governments and industry to make urgent commitments to tackle climate change and achieve a net zero society. 

At the event called “How can construction contribute to solving the climate crisis”, the partners suggested the adoption of a life cycle approach to the reduction of emissions from buildings, and ensure that embodied emissions get addressed from the early stages of planning and building design.

Hosted by Stora Enso, whose products include cross-laminated timber and LVL for the building industry, the panel included:

Cristina Gamboa, CEO World Green Building Council; Elizabeth W Chege, CEO WEB Limited Group & Chair of African Regional Network; Roland Hunziker, Director Sustainable Cities & Built Environment at WBCSD; Joe Van Belleghem, Senior Director Real Estate, Google; Neil Martin, CEO Lendlease Europe; and Lars Voelkel, CEO Stora Enso Wood Products.

They also want to see businesses in the building sector commit to radical collaboration across the value chain in order to develop, promote and adopt sustainable building practices that achieve the reduction of embodied carbon in buildings at scale and without delay.

“A striking 10% of global carbon emissions are said to come from materials and construction processes, often referred to as embodied emissions,” said Lars Völkel, executive vice president Stora Enso Wood Products.

“Most of these embodied emissions are released before the building is used. Our industry has an inescapable duty to do better for the planet, for all of us, and we call upon the world’s governments to support us in doing so with regulations and building standards fit for the modern world.”