Circular economy accelerator launched to address role of built environment in climate change

Circular economy accelerator launched to address role of built environment in climate change

circular economyThe World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) and its network of over 70 Green Building Councils have launched a Circularity Accelerator — a global programme that sets out to accelerate the adoption of circular economy and resource efficiency principles in the building and construction sector. Last week, the United Nations (UN) reported we have a 50 percent chance of exceeding 1.5°C of global heating in the next five years. Between the UN Climate Summit of COP21 in Paris and COP26 in Glasgow, the global economy consumed 70 percent more raw materials than the Earth can safely replenish. More →

ESG ambitions should top organisational agendas

ESG ambitions should top organisational agendas

ESGWhen the idea of ESG (environmental, social and governance credentials) first surfaced nearly two decades ago in a 2005 United Nations report, it was just an acronym businesses were trying to understand and get to grips with. But in the last few years, ESG strategies have gathered steam – it has become integral to C-Suite strategy and business purpose, and is a deal-breaker not just for investors but also for those considering new roles. In fact, a recent report revealed that job-seekers are turning down job offers by companies showcasing weak ESG credentials, a sure sign of the importance of substantive ESG policies for potential talent. Most of the larger conglomerates (if not all) have set targets to reach net-zero by a set date – ranging from as early as 2025 to anywhere within the next two decades. But is this going far enough for employees, stakeholders, future talent, and more broadly, for society? More →

Nature based solutions have the potential to transform cities and buildings

Nature based solutions have the potential to transform cities and buildings

nature based solutionsThe UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) has launched a new framework to help organisations and planners to recognise the significant value and benefit of nature-based solutions across urban developments. The report claims to reveal the scale of positive outcomes which Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) can deliver, as well as the wide range of stakeholders who can benefit from their implementation across cities and urban areas. More →

Retrofit is essential for the UK’s stock of poor performing commercial property

Retrofit is essential for the UK’s stock of poor performing commercial property

commercial property retrofitThe UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) has published a guide that calls on businesses to retrofit the country’s poorly performing stock of commercial buildings. From 2025, every commercial building in the UK will require an energy performance certificate (EPC) which rates its energy efficiency from grade A to G. The Government is seeking to strengthen these standards and has proposed that all commercial properties being let have a minimum EPC rating of at least ‘B’ by 2030 and is considering a possible interim requirement of level ‘C’ by 2027. Buildings which fail to meet these new standards would require owners and landlords of commercial buildings to upgrade their stock. More →

Five new companies join Urban Land Institute net zero carbon goal

Five new companies join Urban Land Institute net zero carbon goal

net zero carbon urban land instituteThe Urban Land Institute’s (ULI) Greenprint Center for Building Performance announced today that five more of its real estate members have aligned to ULI Greenprint’s net zero carbon operations goal. These real estate leaders join the 25 ULI Greenprint members that have already adopted this goal to reduce the carbon emissions of their collective portfolio under operational control to net zero by the year 2050. More →

We need to seize the chance to make our buildings far more intelligent

We need to seize the chance to make our buildings far more intelligent

Even before the pandemic, statistics were making the case for workplaces to be made up of more intelligent buildings. This includes the fact that offices generally operate at around 55-60 percent utilisation, and as we return to the office are currently at 45 percent utilisation. From presenteeism to absenteeism and many other factors in between, workplaces have seldom been utilised by entire workforces at the same time. However, the prevailing approach has been for firms to drive an office setup with one-to-one desking – a seat for every employee, even though five in 10 would not be in at any one time. More →

Sustainable office design relies on everybody sharing knowledge

Sustainable office design relies on everybody sharing knowledge

sustainable office designBack in 2018, I launched a group called Women in Office Design. I wanted to inspire and empower women involved in the profession of office design and creation. The opportunity to develop and enhance my skills and understanding was a fundamental reason why I formed WOD. Reading and research is beneficial but it’s important to take the time to reach out to others in the industry, especially on the most important issues of our day such as sustainable office design. More →

The sustainable product lifecycle starts with a single step

The sustainable product lifecycle starts with a single step

sustainable product lifecycleEnvironmental responsibility is challenging and often conflicts with short term goals. In the July 2021 issue of IN magazine, I asked environmental campaigner, sustainability and wellbeing consultant, Georgia Elliot-Smith about the issue of the proliferation of Perspex screens designed to reduce transmission of the Covid-19 virus in the workplace – all made from virgin materials. Whilst some argue that we are likely to need them again over the winter months, the ‘end of useful life’ of the screens is approaching and, inevitably, more general questions raised about the product lifecycle. More →

Remote work one of the emergency measures that could cut energy use, says IEA

Remote work one of the emergency measures that could cut energy use, says IEA

remote workIn the face of the emerging global energy crisis triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, practical actions by governments and citizens in advanced economies and beyond can achieve significant reductions in oil demand in a matter of months, reducing the risk of a major supply crunch, according to new analysis released by the International Energy Agency. These efforts, including the uptake of remote work, would reduce the pain being felt by consumers around the world, lessen the economic damage, shrink Russia’s hydrocarbon revenues, and help move oil demand towards a more sustainable pathway, the IEA claims.

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Retrofit offers the greatest opportunity for a commercial property market beset by uncertainty

Retrofit offers the greatest opportunity for a commercial property market beset by uncertainty

Retrofit an opportunity for commercial propertyIn the context of a second major economic shock from war in Ukraine and continuing inflationary concerns, the PWC / ULI report Emerging Trends in Real Estate Global Outlook 2022 focuses on the global outlook for the real estate industry increasing pressure for finance to support the decarbonisation of real estate. The industry challenges lenders and their regulators to provide debt for the retrofit of existing buildings and the scale-up of the ‘climate tech’ needed. More →

Sustainability doesn’t have to depend on high-tech solutions

Sustainability doesn’t have to depend on high-tech solutions

sustainability and low tech solutionsIt’s a popular idea that the path to sustainability lies in high-tech solutions. By making everyday items like cars electric, and installing smart systems to monitor and reduce energy use, it seems we’ll still be able to enjoy the comforts to which we’ve become accustomed while doing our bit for the planet – a state known as “green growth”. But the risks of this approach are becoming ever clearer. Many modern technologies use materials like copper, cobalt, lithium and rare earth elements. These metals are in devices like cell phones, televisions and motors. Not only is their supply finite, but large amounts of energy are required for their extraction and processing – producing significant emissions. More →

Quarter of young people don’t want to work for firms with unsustainable practices

Quarter of young people don’t want to work for firms with unsustainable practices

young peopleAlmost a quarter (24 percent) of Gen Z employees (18 to 24-year-olds) would not work at a business that profits from unsustainable practices, according to a a new poll from PLAY. Among British employees more broadly, two-thirds surveyed (68 percent) felt it was important for the company they work for to be committed to acting sustainably, and nearly half (44 percent) want businesses to demonstrate the initiatives or goals that will make the entire business more sustainable (not just one part of the business). However, pay remains the most attractive job feature for most surveyed, inlcuding young people. More →

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