JEDDAH: The US Green Building Council plans to support the Saudi Green Initiative in terms of its goals in reduction of carbon emission, global warming, and carbon footprint, and achieving carbon neutrality by 2060.
The USGBC certifies projects in Saudi Arabia under the LEED operating system (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), an internationally recognized certification system that certifies buildings that achieve innovation in sustainability and energy efficiency, water efficiency and better indoor environment quality and better quality of life.
The system also recognizes best-in-class buildings, cities and communities “to reduce carbon emissions through the built environment, which contributes to climate change especially in carbon emissions by almost 40 percent,” Mohammed Al-Surf, regional manager of the USGBC in the Kingdom, told Arab News.
“Our goal is to collaborate with the SGI through different platforms and different projects like the giga-projects to help minimize their emissions and mitigate climate change,” he added.
He said the council is also looking toward collaborating with different institutions such as financial institutions to establish green bonds and green loans to stimulate the economy as well. “These green projects will have investors investing in these projects to make the environment more sustainable,” he said.
The council’s collaboration with the SGI is on a project scale; individual projects, city projects or community plan phases, as well as in terms of education and awareness and capacity-building, he said.
“We’re going to see reports from different projects on how they have achieved the objectives of the SGI through LEED certification which is the main aim of the collaboration with the USGBC,” he added.
The council has certified over 1,500 projects in the Kingdom, including well-known ones such as King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Prince Mohammed bin Abdulaziz Airport in Madinah, Princess Noura University campus, King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center, Ithra museum and the masterplan for the Red Sea Development project.