Key findings from cross-industry BRE survey on net zero carbon

solar panels with a sunset in the background

In June, stakeholders from industries including real estate, construction, manufacturing and the public sector took the opportunity to share their views on the path to Net Zero Carbon (NZC) by responding to a BRE survey. It revealed many areas of common ground and an ambition for higher and faster standards. Key discoveries include:

Accelerating change:

The survey results highlighted a shared ambition to quicken the pace of change towards NZC. 88% of respondents voiced a desire for stricter carbon budgets, while 87% advocated for increased minimum asset performance standards. This demonstrates our collective determination to make real progress in tackling climate change.

Measuring embodied carbon progress:

Awareness of embodied carbon is widespread, with 95% of respondents indicating familiarity with the term.  Over half of participants are already required to perform LCAs and a sizeable 57.72% actively use embodied carbon benchmarks. This shows that industry best practices are aligning and there is increasingly a proactive approach to sustainability across sectors.

The survey also sheds light on the drivers behind the adoption of LCAs, ranging from national legislation (23.33%) to corporate policy (45%). The survey revealed the varied factors influencing LCAs, as all six identified drivers received a response rate of at least 20%.

Looking ahead, the majority of respondents (60.16%) are ready to adopt NZC benchmarks by 2024, with 90.25% anticipating coverage of scope 3 within the next five years.

Offsite carbon, verified carbon and offset carbon:

Recognition of offsite renewables is high at 93%, with 65% acknowledging green tariffs as credible carbon reduction methods. Notably, opinions on offsets vary, with 51.24% seeing them as having either no (22.31%) or low (28.93%) value. This perspective suggests a need for continued dialogue on the role of offsets in achieving NZC goals.

Organisational actions towards NZC:

Survey participants outlined the actions their organisations are taking toward NZC. From setting targets (72.66%) and implementing best practices (64.03%) to actively engaging with NZC initiatives/programs (46.04%), the industry is showing multifaceted commitment to driving change.

Standardisation and certification:

The increasing consistency observed among respondents strengthens the case for net zero carbon. An impressive 86% expressed interest in NZC certification, pointing to a growing consensus on the importance of standardised approaches in the industry.

The NZC survey results provide a snapshot of our industry’s current position and future trajectory. With a growing consensus on the direction of NZC and many actions being taken by the majority of organisations, these results offer decision-makers an evidence base to inform strategic and operational choices.

Find out how to accelerate your organisation’s journey to net zero carbon.