Given recent severe hurricanes, intense rainfall and flooding, and increased wildfires (such as those happening in Canada), there is no doubt that the world is grappling with the urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Organizations, communities and nations all need to be accountable for what is happening worldwide.
To hold entities accountable, foster transparency and inspire collaborative action, net zero certification emerged as a key tool in the pursuit of a sustainable and climate-resilient future. At the forefront of that initiative: The Global Network for Zero, or GNFZ, with the launch of its platform that enables individuals and organizations to accelerate their net zero commitments.
GNFZ is an international leadership collective of business and policy leaders implementing actionable strategies and certifications for accelerating ESG compliance and the rapid realization of a zero emissions world. The network’s three pillars are:
- Technology: Developing solutions to eliminate market barriers, bridge technology gaps and enable scalability.
- Investment: Connecting financiers with the most promising and profitable innovations for maximum sustained returns on investment and impact and facilitating a marketplace that provides a full suite of resources to empower action.
- Policy: Interpreting the business implications of accelerating carbon reductions across various sectors in society and assisting in scaling implementation efforts.
Through the platform, GNFZ network members gain comprehensive assistance in evaluating and quantifying their emissions, devising effective strategies to achieve their goals and obtaining certified recognition for their net zero accomplishments. This platform ensures the transparency and credibility of net zero efforts through third-party certifications.
With an initial emphasis on existing buildings, GNFZ focuses on tackling the long-standing challenges of decarbonization in this sector. Given that the building industry contributes nearly 40% of global emissions, it represents an opportunity for decarbonization. GNFZ's net zero certification for existing buildings aims to drive substantial progress and overcome market barriers. The inclusive nature of this certification guarantees that all existing buildings can follow an incremental roadmap toward achieving net zero status.
By joining the network, members gain access to end-to-end implementation support from trusted partners. These partners guide them through steps such as calculating Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions for their buildings, setting targets, formulating tailored plans, implementing effective net zero strategies and securing independently verified third-party certification.
"Our platform, built on years of experience and market knowledge and fueled by data-driven decision-making will pave the way for a societal transformation towards a zero emissions world and leave a lasting positive impact on millions, improving their quality of life,” said GNFZ co-founders Mahesh Ramanujam and Sarah Merricks. “Our net zero certification can be applied across numerous sectors, industries and economies, helping businesses realize their climate goals.”
GNFZ has already established partnerships with prominent players in various industries, including SRK Exports, a diamond crafting company.
According to Govind Dholakia, founder and chairman of SRK, decarbonization is a top priority for their organization. Through their collaboration with GNFZ, they made progress in accelerating their net zero targets. SRK successfully measured their emissions, putting them on track to obtain net zero certification for their flagship facilities, SRK House and SRK Empire, by 2024. This achievement is significant, as it surpasses their initial commitment by a remarkable six years.
Another noteworthy member of GNFZ is Pearl Homes, a trailblazer in eco-friendly and energy-efficient construction for single-family and multifamily residences.
Pearl Homes gained recognition in 2018 for creating a LEED Zero home, a milestone achieved through collaboration with Mahesh and Sarah. LEED Zero Homes represent the highest level of sustainability and are designed to minimize environmental impact, conserve resources and provide healthy and comfortable living spaces.
Now fully committed to working with GNFZ, Pearl Homes aims to obtain net zero certification for their entire portfolio, starting with the Hunters Point development in Florida. Their objective is to demonstrate how all existing and new homes, as well as residential units, can develop practical plans to achieve net zero and net positive status, all while maintaining cost-effectiveness, as stated by Marshall Gobuty, founder and president of Pearl Homes.
This rapidly growing community will help GNFZ implement best-in-class sustainability strategies so that the platform becomes a game changing solution for decarbonizing existing buildings. In future platform releases, GNFZ plans to expand its net zero certifications to encompass organizational operations, supply chains, fleets, products, processes and assets.
Edited by Alex Passett