As the country’s green building movement gathers momentum with a green building footprint of over 7 billion sq ft, experts at the CII Green Building Conference here called for a crusade against climate change.

Expressing the need to approach green buildings as a part of the overall fight against global warming, the CII Indian Green Building Council is looking to cover all the upcoming smart cities and engage them with a slew of green initiatives and follow it up by rating them.

In her inaugural address, Telangana Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan underlined the need and importance of conserving the environment and cultivating a mindset of responsible and sustainable development.

Quoting some of the anecdotes of former President Abdul Kalam and social reformer and freedom fighter Sarojini Naidu, the Governor said, “Make Green a way of life and appreciate the bounty of nature.”

“No life can exist without water,” she said, to stress the importance of water conservation, quoting a Tamil couplet.

Citing the Prime Minister’s address at the UN Climate Conference, she said what the Prime Minister has said is very relevant: The time to talk is over, world needs to act, to address global warming problems.

“Raj Bhavan has implemented several green building measures such as solar power with net metering, energy efficiency lighting, rainwater harvesting, and has a policy of no single-use plastics. We use glass bottles and earthen glasses,” she said, emphasising the need to take care of the environment.

V Suresh, Chairman of IGBC, told BusinessLine that from a start-up about 19 years ago, the Green building movement has come a long way, with 25 rating systems covering green homes, factories, metro rails and now smart cities.

“After the initial focus on the green building movement, we are now looking at covering the environment and its impact and how to mitigate global warming concerns,” Suresh said.

“It is important to make environment part of the green building movement as various stakeholders, planners, developers, general public who have built their homes, become part of the movement. Therefore, we are focussing on the Smart Cities Mission where 100 smart cities are at various stages of implementation,” he said.

“The challenge is to make existing cities smart. So as a Centre with expertise in Green Building Movement, we are associated with more than 12 smart cities now under way. These include Bhopal, Indore, Visakhapatnam, Udaipur, Jaipur, Ajmer, and Panchkula, among others,” he said.

C Sekhar Reddy, Chairman, IGBC, Hyderabad Chapter, said a number of initiatives have been planned as a part of the Centre’s efforts to promote the green building movement. “We are in the process of signing up with the Telangana Government to incorporate Green Building movement in the syllabus of several courses, including in the architecture and engineering faculties.”

Jamshyd Godrej, Chairman, CII Godrej GBC, said, “We need to make water conservation and its recycling a top priority in all kinds of development, including construction of buildings. We need to work on reaching net zero carbon emissions in all industries as our oceans have already crossed the limit of carbon absorption and have hence started heating up.”