Steve Rizer, Editor
Green Building Insider
The World Green Building Council (WGBC) and the International Union of Architects (UIA) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that is designed to "take a step toward strengthening their working relationship" in promoting green buildings. WGBC is a business-led group of national councils whose mission is to accelerate the transformation of the global property industry toward sustainability. IUA is a non-governmental organization representing more than 1.4 million architects in 124 countries.
The MOU defines the collaborative relationship between UIA and WGBC and sees the two organizations agreeing to form a partnership to accomplish the shared goals of improving energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the world's large cities.
The partnership will include, but not be limited to, the following activities:
- UIA and WGBC will exchange, regularly, relevant information and experiences to promote green built environments worldwide, in terms of architectural and urban design and management, to contribute together to create a sustainable and carbon-neutral society.
- The two parties will facilitate contact between UIA member sections and relevant national green building councils to encourage collaborations on the promotion of sustainable building designs, technologies, and practices through events, policy development, and industry engagement.
- UIA and WGBC will work collaboratively to create a communications plan and jointly promote and publicize this collaboration.
- The two parties will cooperate in "other ways" as mutually determined.
As of last November, there are established WGBC green building councils in Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Emirates, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa, Taiwan, United Kingdom, and the United States. There are emerging WGBC green building councils in Colombia, Holland, Israel, Italy, Poland, Singapore, Spain, Turkey, and Vietnam. There are prospective WGBC councils in 15 other countries and associated groups in 24 additional countries.
Intergovernmental institutions with which UIA remains the only organization officially recognized in the field of architecture include the following: United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation; U.N. Centre for Human Settlements; U.N. Environment Programme; U.N. Economic Commission for Europe; U.N. Industrial Development Organisation; World Health Organisation; World Trade Organisation; and International Olympic Committee.
"This [MOU] is not just a once a year thing," WGBC Chairperson Tony Arnel said. "It is intended to set forth a long-term working relationship between the parties."
Both parties soon will meet to map out a plan for implementing the MOU, WGBC Chief Executive Officer Jane Henley told GBI.