World Council of Churches development project will have special ‘green’ label

November 18, 2019

The World Council of Churches’ Green Village is the first development project in Geneva to qualify for the One Planet Living label. The WCC project, developed in partnership with the Swiss arm of the World Wildlife Fund and the Swiss construction giant Implenia, is part of an effort to promote sustainable neighborhoods in Switzerland.

In order to qualify as a One Planet Living project, a planned development must have buildings powered by renewable energy, conserve and nurture biodiversity, and improve the quality of life for the surrounding community. These qualifications are based on the One Planet Living framework put forth by the environmental charity BioRegional in 2003.

“The World Council of Churches is committed to protecting the environment locally and internationally alongside all its member churches,” said WCC general secretary Olav Fykse Tveit in a press release. “By applying the standards of One Planet Living to our Green Village property development, we are fulfilling our undertaking to fight global warming right where we live and work each day.”

The Green Village, built around the WCC’s current headquarters, will be composed of six buildings, each named for a significant treaty in sustainable development: Kyoto, Montreal, Rio, Lima, Durban, and Stockholm. Most of the structures will provide office space for international organizations, although a residential apartment building and hotel accommodations are also planned.

According to the Green Village website, every building in the village will be carbon neutral thanks to solar panels and networked energy. Additionally, the WCC says all construction materials will be sourced from the local economy and materials from the current headquarters building—which will be renovated as part of the project—will be recycled.

Construction of the Green Village is scheduled to be completed in 2026.