UKGBC claims built environment members are leading the way in sustainability

UKGBC reports ambitious approach to sustainability by built environment membersMany built environment businesses are adopting increasingly ambitious sustainability commitments reports the UK Green Building Council in its third annual report ‘Leading the Way’. This presents trends and analysis from research conducted as part of UKGBC’s annual Sustainability 360 Reviews, which look at sustainability trends and insights amongst UKGBC’s 50 industry-leading Gold Leaf member businesses.

The UKGBC team reviewed the commitments of the charity’s Gold Leaf members and collected best practice examples across UKGBC’s five key impact areas: Climate Change, Resource Use, Nature & Biodiversity, Health & Wellbeing and Socio-economic impact. The report identifies future trends and the business case for taking-action on sustainability and sets out the strategic commitments of Gold Leaf members. It provides insight on how organisations within the built environment can transition towards more sustainable business practices and how UKGBC is working with its members to make this possible.

Headline findings include:

  • 40 percent of Gold Leaf members have a strategic commitment relating to circular economy (up from 6 percent in 2017)
  • 22 percent of Gold Leaf members have committed to biodiversity net gain (up from 9 percent in 2017)
  • 48 percent of Gold Leaf members have linked their strategy to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (up from 23 percent in 2017)
  • UKGBC Gold Lead member commitments in place relating to eliminating waste and a circular economy
  • UKGBC Gold Leaf member commitments in place in relation to embracing and restoring nature and promoting biodiversity
  • UKGBC Gold Leaf member commitments in place relating to socio-economic impacts

Julie Hirigoyen, chief executive at UKGBC said: “It is encouraging to see the proportion of our Gold Leaf members making ambitious commitments to sustainability more than doubling in some areas in the past year. This goes to the heart of the rationale for introducing our annual Sustainability 360 Review for these aspiring sustainability leaders – to chart their progress and link this to our own impact as a charity.

“That said, the daily reminders of the extreme urgency of some of the environmental and social challenges we face, the increased pressure coming from young children around the world, and the ever-strengthening business case for taking more radical action all point to the need for progress to accelerate even further.

“This review also recognises such challenges and opportunities, and outlines progressive next steps our members can take towards a more sustainable built environment. We look forward to continuing to support and challenge our Gold Leaf members to take an even more progressive stance, and to collaborate and innovate in order to achieve more transformational change in the years ahead.”

In addition to Leading the Way, the most recent 360 review process also informed UKGBC’s Insights into Nature and Biodiversity report published earlier this month.