Inaugural Zero Carbon Conference builds on market momentum

Zero Carbon Conference

“Zero carbon” buildings have hit the mainstream, and a new event from the International Living Future Institute is designed to buildon the momentum. 

On October 7-8, 2020, ILFI will host its first Zero Carbon Conference, bringing the building sector together with investors to increase the scale and pace of new climate-friendly developments.

The event comes on the heels of the announcement about the Climate Pledge Arena, home to the new NHL Seattle Kraken, which will be the world’s first zero carbon sports venue. While ILFI has certified just one building to its Zero Carbon standard — Google’s 6 Pancras Square in London – the market is clearly embracing the program. The Climate Pledge Arena has also committed to achieving Zero Carbon certification — in part by becoming the first professional sports venue to do away with fossil fuels entirely. It’s also noteworthy that earlier this summer, McDonald’s opened the world’s first zero-energy restaurant and is pursuing ILFI’s even more-demanding Zero Energy certification

Requiring 100 percent of operational energy use to be offset by onsite or offsite renewable energy, and 100 percent of embodied carbon emissions from construction materials to be disclosed and offset, Zero Carbon certification is the first standard that incorporates third-party verification of carbon neutrality claims for buildings. 

When the NHL, Google, and McDonald’s all move in a similar direction at the same time, clearly something big is afoot. It’s that sense of momentum that is the driving force behind the Zero Carbon Conference. 

With an opening keynote from Tom Steyer, former presidential candidate, founder of NextGen, and long-time climate hawk, the event will bring together architects, engineers, contractors, and responsible manufacturers –- along with ESG investors and developers who are taking active steps to accelerate the decarbonization of the built environment.

If you are looking for good opportunities to learn and network — yes, there will be 1:1 networking opportunities — put the Zero Carbon Conference on your calendar. To learn more and register, visit

PHOTO AT TOP: Tom Steyer campaigning for president in August 2019. Photo by Gage Skidmore via Creative Commons license.

Brad Kahn is a communications consultant based in Seattle, Wash., whose clients include ILFI and the Kendeda Fund. His practice focuses on climate, forests and green building. He holds a Master’s degree in watershed systems and management from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.