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Dow, USGBC Announce Carbon Challenge Results

Monday, July 27, 2020

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Dow, along with the United States Green Building Council, have shared the results of their inaugural Carbon Challenge, just a little over one year since the project’s inception.

The challenge aims to address how reductions can be made in the operational carbon footprint of buildings in relation to increases in built environment growth, with a specific focus in Northern Asia.

Initial Announcement

At the time, Dow and USGBC said they wished to recognize various commercial structures that have shown reduced carbon emissions and improved energy efficiency.

According to USGBC, building sectors and construction operations account for roughly 40% of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions when upstream power generation is included. Due to these numbers, the energy intensity per square meter of the global building sector needs to decrease by an average of 30% by 2030 in order to meet the Paris Agreement’s ambitions for global climates.


Dow, along with the United States Green Building Council, have shared the results of their inaugural Carbon Challenge, just a little over one year since the project’s inception.

“Solutions to enable a low-carbon future exist today, and Dow has an extensive portfolio that can help building owners make sustainable decisions about their buildings’ embedded and operational carbon footprint,” said Jean-Paul Hautekeer, Global Marketing Director, High Performance Building at Dow.

“Through this Carbon Challenge, we aim to share Dow’s experience and encourage building owners to make decisions for better built environments.”

The joint initiative not only hopes to reduce carbon emissions in the built environment sector—which accounts for 36% of final energy use and 39% of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions globally—but to also provide winners of the Carbon Challenge with the opportunity to present their ideas with the Official Carbon Partnership between Dow and the International Olympic Committee.

To qualify, the structure was to be an office building or shopping center that is 20,000 square meters or larger, and be located in Japan, South Korea and Greater China, which includes mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau.

The Results

The challenge received a total of 63 entries across 16 cities in Northern Asia covering about 7.5 million square meters.

Jointly, these 63 buildings saved 38,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent year over year, which the companies say is the equivalent to more than 600,000 tree seedlings grown for 10 years. Greenhouse gas emissions were also reduced on average more than 2% year over year.

“Science and collaboration play a key role in solving some of our world’s largest challenges. We are thrilled to partner with an organization like USGBC that is committed to improving the resilience, sustainability and quality of life in buildings, cities and communities around the globe,” said Hirokazu Shibata, Technology & Sustainability Leader for Asia Pacific at Dow Olympic & Sports Solutions.

“Carbon innovation needs wider adoption of locally-relevant solutions for a successful transition to a more sustainable society. The Carbon Challenge has helped identify and recognize best practices and learnings from top performing buildings that can help inform new construction in the region.”

The Carbon Challenge evaluated merits during a one-year period based on Scope 1 (direct emissions from owned or controlled sources) and Scope 2 (indirect emissions from the generation of purchased energy).

“Every part of the world is experiencing first-hand the consequences of climate change, and it’s on all of us to help accelerate the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions,” said Andy To, Managing Director at USGBC North Asia.

“Buildings are one of the largest energy-consuming sectors in the world, and are responsible for approximately one-third of global carbon emissions. We are proud of our ongoing collaboration with Dow and the impressive results of our first Carbon Challenge, which reinforce the industry’s commitment to a sustainable built environment.”


Tagged categories: AS; Asia Pacific; Carbon footprint; Contests; Dow Chemical Company; Environmental Controls; Green building; United States Green Building Council (USGBC)

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