The World Green Building Council (World GBC) earlier this month reported that a GBC representing France "is being constituted gradually."
Among the organizations putting the France GBC together are Effinergie Association, HQE Association, Qualitel Association, Resobat Association, CSTB, Afnor Group, and the French Insitute for Energy Performance in Buildings. France Green Building Council is also supported by "Plan Batîment Grenelle," the national French state task force for greening the building industry.
After signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) last November, the parties signed a charter to kick off the activities of France GBC. The new organization aims to boost awareness among the building sector on the environmental quality of buildings in France and will strive to convey "a strong and coordinated French position in this area internationally," according to World GBC.
World GBC explained that France GBC endeavors to be the French platform for thinking, acting, and communicating to "trigger an association and promote a dynamics between the public and the private sector to focus on the development of sustainable building on the national level." France GBC also is expected to "contribute to the emergence of a common vision (cross-border) on sustainable building, conveying the French position and to promote the French know-how on the international level."
Signatories to the MOU took into consideration the following, World GBC stated:
- The urgency and the necessity to coordinate and to mutualise their means to promote the improvement of environmental quality of buildings on the national level.
- The importance of acting simultaneously on the territorial, national, European, and international levels.
- The need to define the French position for these issues and carry them internationally.
"The signatories of this agreement support the ambitious objectives of the sustainability 'Grenelle' French laws aiming to green the economy and undertake their activities according to this perspective on both the local and international levels," World GBC said. "The French actors are currently present on main international places of standardization, building certification, and exchange of practices that promote the safest and adequate practices, which limit the impacts of the built environment: reduction of resources consumption (energy, water, materials), cutting waste production, the decrease of greenhouse gas emissions, and consideration of air quality, visual comfort. Despite the experience and the know-how of the French stakeholders in the field of sustainable building, the lack of a national organization to express the French position internationally, especially within the World GBC, did not allow the stakeholders to grasp France's involvement on these issues."
France GBC will mobilize the overall players of the French building sector through the diversity and the interdependence of its members and wishes to bring together through an associative structure the stakeholders representing technical and certificating centres, master builders, businesses and manufacturers, stakeholders of the energy sector (producers, managers, and energy services), local authorities, banks, insurance companies, public and private master builders, owners and users, resource centres, associations, and non-government organizations, research organizations, and all other levels of involvement at the local, national, and international levels.
"France GBC thus aims to coordinate and spread the French leverage on the international level as well as within the Sustainable Building Alliance (SBA) International Network the initiative of the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP-SBCI), the CEN, and the ISO for buildings and sustainable building," World GBC said. "Its action plan will consist of territorial, national, and international actions in matters of sharing of experience, communication, standardization, providing a better understanding of certifications and labels, presenting professional fields and training. To this effect, France GBC will acquire the necessary collaborative tools and endogenous capacity building and will multiply common projects in such a way to converge point of views, a basis for an ambitious international position of the French offer."
Among its first actions, France GBC will organize a common French mission at the international
exhibition GreenBuild later this year in Chicago, a conference that tallied 40,000 participants last year. This mission organized by the France GBC is intended to boost participation and representation of the French building sector at international events while promoting the diversity of the French offer in matters of services in areas of sustainable building.