Leverkusen, Germany -- The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has called for better utilisation of the climate protection potential of buildings, which account for roughly one-third of global greenhouse gas emissions.
Speaking in Leverkusen, 24 May, Arab Hoballah, chief of the Sustainable Consumption and Production Branch of UNEP, said that policy makers, market actors and other stakeholders need to be made aware of the need for and opportunities afforded by sustainable building.
Leverkusen was the venue of the Annual General Meeting and Symposium on Sustainable Buildings 2011 of UNEP's Sustainable Buildings and Climate Initiative (SBCI), held for the first time in Germany.
SBCI-member Bayer MaterialScience hosted and sponsored the event.
Hoballah told some 150 experts from around the world that the stakeholders have not yet recognised that sustainable building is a viable business model.
According to the UNEP representative, sustainable buildings not only help conserve energy and avoid emissions of greenhouse gases, they also help improve peoples' quality of life: "Working in sustainable offices and factories is unequivocally good for your health."
Hoballah said it is vital for all stakeholders in the building sector to share best practices and combine their know-how. This is the approach taken by the EcoCommercial Building Program (ECB), a unique, global network of experts under the leadership of Bayer MaterialScience.
Patrick Thomas, ceo of Bayer MaterialScience, pointed out the importance of effective insulating materials at the meeting. "Insulating boards made of rigid polyurethane foam save around 70 times more energy during their service life than is required for their production."