New guidance to increase natural settings into urban spaces

New guidance to increase natural settings into urban spaces

The UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) has published its ‘Principles for delivering urban Nature-based Solutions’ (NBS), to help developers and owners increase the incorporation of NBS within the construction and operation of built assets. The report claims that the development and function of the built environment has significant impacts upon both climate and biodiversity, locally and globally, and the pressure for our industry to be part of the solution is accelerating. The recommendations of the Taskforce for Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD) have led to a growing requirement to measure and mitigate the physical risks to built assets from climate change, such as flooding and overheating. More →

Pandemic drives shift in attitudes to sustainability

Pandemic drives shift in attitudes to sustainability

The COVID-19 pandemic has elevated consumers focus on sustainability and willingness to pay out of their own pockets – or even take a pay cut – for a sustainable future, according to a new IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) survey of over 14,000 consumers in nine countries. More →

New framework launches to help offices meet sustainability goals

New framework launches to help offices meet sustainability goals

Design for PerformanceNew office developments and major refurbishments in the UK will be able to formally register under the Design for Performance framework. The framework claims to help developers ensure that projects deliver against their design intent and overcome the well-evidenced performance gap between design and operation. This is achieved by requiring project teams to target an operational NABERS Energy rating during the project design and verify it once the building is occupied. More →

The digital world is not necessarily greener than the physical world

The digital world is not necessarily greener than the physical world

No sooner had the world learned about the existence of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) than we also learned how much of a problem they could be for the environment. An NFT is digital token in a similar way to Bitcoin, except there’s only one of each NFT. It is associated with a piece of content, guaranteed unique and so is worth whatever somebody will pay for it. In the case of a digital artist called Beeplewho had only ever previously sold a piece for $100, this was $69 million for an NFT for a digital collage of images called Everydays: The First 5000 Days sold at Christie’s in MarchBought by a collector in Singapore, this made him one of the world’s “top three most valuable living artists,” according to the auction house.  More →

Finding a new sense of purpose in the way we all do business

Finding a new sense of purpose in the way we all do business

Mental health and purposeIt is now a truism that society expects more of business than merely maximising shareholder value. Milton Friedman’s conviction that unswerving commitment to this single goal would ensure that business and society would prosper has come to be seen as blinkered, unfit for the twenty-first century and enabling of corporate greed. Instead of shareholder value maximisation, an idea that The Economist called ‘the biggest idea in business’ in 2016, businesses are now encouraged to recognise their responsibilities to an array of ‘stakeholders’, from employees, suppliers and customers, to the planet itself and other communities (real or imagined). So, it has never been more important for businesses to do good, have a clear sense of purpose and be seen as doing so. More →

‘Healthy buildings’ enjoy a surge in demand worldwide

‘Healthy buildings’ enjoy a surge in demand worldwide

healthy buildings SiemensA new survey of many of the world’s leading real estate investors finds that 92 percent of respondents expect demand for healthy buildings to grow in the next three years. The report claims that this is a compelling signal of the direction the real estate sector is heading. This finding, among others, is captured in a report titled A New Investor Consensus: The Rising Demand for Healthy Buildings (registration) which claims to be a comprehensive health and wellness study of global real estate investment managers and stakeholders representing aggregate AUM of $5.75 trillion and portfolio investments in real estate totalling approximately US$1.03 trillion. More →

Industry comes together to collaborate on Whole Life Carbon Roadmap project

Industry comes together to collaborate on Whole Life Carbon Roadmap project

roadmapThe UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) has announced four new task groups and a Steering Group which will support the development of the Net Zero Whole Life Carbon Roadmap for the Built Environment. More →

FM industry favours quick wins over long-term strategic climate change planning

FM industry favours quick wins over long-term strategic climate change planning

climate changeResearch by VINCI Facilities claims that the UK facilities management sector does not possess a thorough, detailed strategic approach to combatting climate change. In the autumn of 2020 VINCI Facilities asked over 200 decision-makers how far their organisations have progressed in developing a coherent strategy for the environment. More →

Employees call for help to reduce cost and environmental impact of working from home

Employees call for help to reduce cost and environmental impact of working from home

environmentalNew research by environmental charity Hubbub suggests that workers want to almost double the time they work from home compared to life before COVID-19 arrived – from 35 percent to 63 percent of their working week. However, the increase in household energy use associated with working from home is a cause for concern. More →

Sustainable office design will not be possible until we are clear about a few things

Sustainable office design will not be possible until we are clear about a few things

sustainable office designMany organisations make bold claims about their zero carbon ambitions. Even if they don’t, most have sustainability statements. Yet the environmental impact of office furniture and sophisticated approaches to sustainable office design seem to be way down the ‘pecking order’. During the last year, we have read considerable commentary about the office – starting with its death but moving onto predictions of the ‘new dawn’ with more versatile and healthier workspaces. More →

Siemens commits to making Smart Infrastructure HQ carbon neutral by 2023

Siemens commits to making Smart Infrastructure HQ carbon neutral by 2023

SiemensSiemens Smart Infrastructure plans to transform its global headquarters in Zug, Switzerland, into a carbon neutral location by 2023. To achieve this, a comprehensive renovation of an existing building on Theilerstrasse 1c will commence in May 2021 for a period of two years. Siemens has earmarked around EUR 63 million (CHF 70 million) for the refurbishment works. More →

New guidance for renewable energy procurement and carbon offsetting

New guidance for renewable energy procurement and carbon offsetting

The UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) has published Renewable Energy Procurement and Carbon Offsetting Guidance for Net Zero Carbon Buildings. This guidance provides clarity for the property and construction industry on the procurement of high-quality renewable energy and carbon offsets for net zero buildings and organisations in the UK. More →

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