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France Green Building Council (GBC) is now created

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France Green Building Council aims at raising awareness among the Building sector on the environmental quality of buildings in France and aims at conveying a strong and coordinated French position in this area internationally. France GBC is being constituted gradually under the impulsion of sustainable building institutions such as EFFINERGIE Association, HQE Association, QUALITEL Association and its subsidiary companies CERQUAL and CEQUAMI, RESOBAT Association, CSTB and its subsidiary companies CERTIVEA and CEQUAMI, the AFNOR Group and its subsidiary company AFNOR Certification and the IFPEB Institut (French Institute for Energy Performance in Buildings). After signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on November 2009, they recently signed a Charter which aims at starting off the activities of France GBC, as the French representative organisation in the international World Green Building Council (World GBC) network. France Green Building Council is also supported by “Plan Batîment Grenelle”, the national French State taskforce for greening the building industry.
Considering that the partnership and the cooperating spirit contribute to the emergence of a “green economy”, both a local and an international issue, France GBC endeavours 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,
  • 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.
This agreement follows a first Memorandum of Understanding signed by the founding group on November 2009, whereby signatories took into consideration:
  • 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 level.
  • 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 level. The French actors are currently present on main international places of standardization, building certification, 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, decreasing green house gas emissions, 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 thus aims at mobilizing 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 which represent the overall fields- technical and certificating centres, master builder, businesses and manufacturers, stakeholders of the energy sector (producers, managers and energy services), local authorities, banks and insurance companies, public and private master builder, owners and users, resource centres, associations and NGOs, research organizations- and all other levels of involvement: local, national and international. France GBC thus aims as coordinating and spreading 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.
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; 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 2010 (Chicago), a reference event of sustainable building, which counted the participation of 40,000 professionals in 2009. This mission organized by the France GBC is carried out as a will 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.