Cape Town receives honourable mention at World Green Building awards

Cape Town has received an honourable mention at the World Green Building Council, Government Leadership Awards, held in conjunction with the UN Climate Change talks, COP19 in Warsaw for the Municipal Energy Efficiency Buildings Program.

The project aims to retrofit a substantial number of city-owned buildings in the Cape Town Metropolitan area . The initial buildings retrofit project, completed in 2010, involved audits of large administrative buildings and a detailed audit and retrofit of a number of these . Technology retrofits implemented include installation of high-efficiency luminaires, control of air-conditioner operating hours, solar water heater installations, thermostat control, and power factor corrections. The project is now being extended to include more buildings .

  • 1.4% Municipal buildings consumption of all energy used in Cape Town Energy
  • 884,865 kWh savings were achieved in 2012/2013
  • 4424,325 kWh energy savings anticipated over five years
  • 876 tons carbon emission reduction in the first year
  • 4,380 tons  over a five-year period
  • 9 million USD savings

With buildings responsible for approximately one-third of the earth’s greenhouse gas emissions, the efforts cities make at the local level can have a significant and measurable impact on climate mitigation. According to the World Green Building Council, the awards “honour local government leadership in green building and highlight policies that maximise the opportunity for buildings to mitigate environmental impact”.


Vancouver, Canada, is the overall winner in the category ‘Best Green Building Policy’, for its Greenest City 2020 Action Plan. The award recognizes the City’s leadership on green buildings, and its ambitious targets for all new buildings constructed from 2020 onward to be carbon neutral and to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions in existing buildings by 20 per cent over 2007 levels by 2020.

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Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates received the ‘Regional Leadership Award’ for the Estidama Pearl Rating System – a program that has efficiently and effectively implemented mandatory sustainability requirements in the Emirate’s development sector, where previously there were none.

Christchurch, New Zealand, was presented with the ‘Urban Regeneration Award’ for its policies and initiatives aimed at sustainably rebuilding itself after a series of devastating earthquakes.

Also receiving honourable mentions are:

  • Brighton and Hove, United Kingdom, for its Food Growing and Development Planning Advice Note;
  • Shanghai, China, for its Green Building and Eco-City Campaign.

Held in partnership with ICLEI and UN-HABITAT and first implemented in 2011, these biannual awards are intended to encourage the adoption of similar policies and practices around the world

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