According to United Nations data, global warming started in 1750 and has accelerated in recent years.
UN data suggests that the earth might become 1.8 to 4 degrees warmer by the year 2100, depending on measures to be taken. If no significant steps are taken within 20 years, a 2-degree warming is probable.
The main reason for global warming is the gases released from fossil fuels. These gases cover the surface of the earth like a blanket, creating a greenhouse effect. This greenhouse effect is caused primarily by carbon dioxide (CO2) since all fossil fuels produce CO2.
The Kyoto Protocol was adopted by countries participating in the Environmental Summit held by UN in 1997 in Japan. This Protocol recommended developed countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 5.2% between 2008 and 2012. The Protocol was signed by 84 states, primarily European Union countries, and ratified by 35 states. US, Canada, Japan and Australia didn't sign the Protocol on the grounds that it might affect their industries. However, these countries took significant steps for the utilization of sustainable energy sources. Turkey ratified the Kyoto Protocol in 2009.
Greenhouse gases lead to global warming as well as climate change. Certain parts of the world suffer from droughts, while natural disasters like floods and hurricanes strike other places. It is estimated that 77 island countries are under the risk of being flooded due to global warming, which will cause sea levels to rise one meter by 2020. Actually, it was the initiatives of these 77 island countries which started the process leading to the Kyoto Protocol.
What Needs to Be Done:
Steps to be taken for sustainable living:
- Minimizing CO2 Emissions
- Energy Consumption, Utilization of Renewable and Clean Energy Resources
- Water Consumption and Management of Surface Waters
- Waste and Waste Management
- Health and Well-Being
- Transportation and Local Use
To address this issue, coding systems have been developed to measure the sustainability performance of residential buildings.
These coding systems, known as "LEED" (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) in US and "BREEAM" (Building Environmental Assessment Method) in UK, assess the performance of buildings. Buildings that are evaluated to have a high performance are awarded a green building certificate.
In 2011, Soyak conducted studies in six areas (Sustainable Land, Water Efficiency, Energy and the Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, Indoor Living Quality and Innovation) in order to obtain the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design "LEED" certificate, recognized as one of the most important green building certificates in the world.
The Soyak Holding Building was the first building in Turkey to be granted the Silver LEED Certificate in the category of "existing buildings" as a result of Soyak's intense efforts concerning mass transportation, reduction of light pollution, water efficiency, energy efficiency, monitoring and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, supply of environment-friendly materials, monitoring and recycling of waste and improvement of life quality within the building.
Soyak obtained the ISO 14064 Certificate in 2011 after having its carbon footprint measured and completing a greenhouse gas inventory. Soyak also established a Social Responsibility Management System, becoming the first holding to be awarded the SA 8000 Certificate, which few Turkish organizations have obtained to-date, and emphasized the importance of guaranteeing the basic rights of workers with a certificate.
Click here to access the Sustainable Living Report.