Beyond Buildings Report Released by WorldGBC

Beyond Buildings, a report issued by the World Green Building Council, with direction and authorship from Integral Group’s Global Lead of Life Cycle Research Louise Hamot and Director, Global Sustainability Richard Palmer, identifies opportunities for how an integrated approach to the whole built environment is essential to deliver change commensurate with the commitments of the Paris Agreement.

Integral Group is proud to be authors and contributors to the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC)’s latest report Beyond Buildings: Why an integrated approach to buildings and infrastructure is essential for climate action and sustainability with support from Dar Group and its other member firms T.Y. Lin International, Perkins&Will and Currie & Brown.

Watch Richard Palmer’s presentation on Beyond Buildings at WorldGBC’s #BuildingToCOP26 Forum:

Read the full Beyond Buildings report:


Business leaders recognize that the built environment – buildings and infrastructure – must be on a clear path to decarbonize at the latest by 2050 and have made significant progress by 2030. The urban built environment alone is responsible for 75% of annual global GHG emissions, with buildings accounting on their own for 37%.[1]

Beyond Buildings argues for systemic and integrated infrastructure solutions to improve sustainability outcomes and calls for the built environment industry and policymakers to respond to the climate crisis with both the building and infrastructure sectors acting together.

The built environment is such an important part of addressing both the causes and impacts of climate change. This report highlights the opportunities between buildings and infrastructure to accelerate climate action at the scale and speed demanded by science. Richard Palmer, Director of Global Sustainability, Integral Group

The WorldGBC network calls on the built environment industries for collaboration and alignment in ambition for all asset types, in all places to accelerate the transition of the infrastructure sector.

In Beyond Buildings, the WorldGBC presents the interconnection between buildings and infrastructure and argues that systemic and integrated solutions will unlock improved sustainability outcomes. They will also accelerate the change in the trajectory of GHG emissions from the built environment.

How our towns, cities, and countries continue to grow really matters to the global climate crisis. We have to realize that what worked in the built environment and infrastructure sectors in the past will not work in the future.

The world faces a crisis on multiple fronts, which is why we’re putting collaboration in infrastructure and the built environment – a sector that contributes 75% of annual global GHG emissions – at the heart of everything we do.

Only by forging new partnerships and all-party agreements can we overcome the challenges facing our planet and society today. Nigel Topping, UN High-Level Climate Champion for COP26

Through presenting the roles that both the private and public sectors must play in terms of investment, policy, and procurement, WorldGBC’s work identifies that a global framework of principles is necessary to accelerate sustainability performance across infrastructure. If we are to succeed in this critical decade, united action across all sub-sectors of the built environment industry is essential as the purpose of much of our built infrastructure is to create and support places for people.

WorldGBC calls for collaboration amongst all actors in the development of a framework of principles. These principles should be adapted and verified at a local level in order to align with the 1.5° emissions trajectory and the United Nations´ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and be applicable to all asset types, to be co-created, agreed upon, and universally pursued. This report sets us on the path of that journey.

In the lead up to the Cities, Regions and Built Environment day at COP26, the importance of considering all aspects of the built environment – both the buildings we live in, and the infrastructure that supports them – is critical for taking a holistic and systemic approach to climate action and sustainable development. If we’re to build a better, brighter future, the infrastructure sector needs to de-link its growth from emissions by embracing a systemic approach that delivers sustainable built environments for everyone, everywhere. The Beyond Buildings report sets out a path forward to support the rapid adoption of best practice sustainability outcomes across the building, construction, and infrastructure space. It identifies critical next steps for the deep transformation needed to meet 2030 reduction goals.

Our green building network, its partners, members, and other organizations advancing sustainable infrastructure and buildings are ready to accelerate this massive transition and ensure a zero carbon, resilient, healthy, and sustainable future. Cristina Gamboa, CEO, World Green Building Council

About World Green Building Council

World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) catalyzes the uptake of sustainable buildings for everyone, everywhere. Transforming the building and construction sector across three strategic areas — climate action, health and wellbeing, and resources & circularity — we are a global action network of over 70 Green Building Councils around the world.

As members of the UN Global Compact, we work with businesses, organizations, and governments to drive the ambitions of the Paris Agreement and UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development. Through a systems change approach, our network is leading the industry towards a zero-emission, healthy, equitable, and resilient built environment.

Beyond Buildings Media Contact
Tess Eydmann-Peel, PR and Communications Coordinator,

[1] UN Environment. ‘2021 Global Status Report for Buildings and Construction’ [2021]