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Organisations United On Sustainability

GBC
01 March 2019
 

Built environment businesses are adopting increasingly ambitious sustainability commitments while IFMA UK has joined forces with Greenpeace and Kids Against Plastic.

This week (ending March 1) the UK Green Building Council Gold Leaf members gathered in central London to hear insights from research into their sustainability progress. UKGBC’s third annual Leading the Way report presents trends and analysis from research conducted as part of annual Sustainability 360 Reviews into each of the member companies.

The UKGBC team reviewed the commitments of the 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% of Gold Leaf members have a strategic commitment relating to circular economy (up from 6% in 2017).

  • 22% of Gold Leaf members have committed to biodiversity net gain (up from 9% in 2017).

  • 48% of Gold Leaf members have linked their strategy to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (up from 23% 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."

 

The Last Straw - IFMA UK joins forces with Greenpeace and Kids Against Plastic

With over 12.7 million tonnes of plastic entering the ocean every year, killing over 1 million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals, it is estimated that by 2050 plastic will outweigh fish in our seas. Humans produce nearly 300 million tonnes of plastic every year, half of which is for single use. This is simply unsustainable.

Changes are in motion and, thanks to the popularity of the BBC’s Blue Planet and similar television series’, society is more aware of the urgency needed in environmental sustainability. The topic is moving higher up the business agenda, too, as it rightly should. Now, the IFMA UK chapter is urging the facility management industry to follow suit.

“FM has a huge role to play in breaking this cycle of plastic use and must take the lead in ensuring that innovative solutions are created to enable businesses to eliminate their reliance and use of single-use plastic,” says Paul Bagust, RICS global property standards director and IFMA UK director. “We are calling on the industry to further demonstrate the strategic value it has for many years claimed it provides. This may be the opportunity for our profession to showcase its role to business and governments around the world.”

 

Call to arms

“This is a call to arms,” says Antony Law, fellow IFMA UK director and MD London at Churchill. “IFMA UK is championing a movement to end FM’s dependence on plastic. To encourage environmentally-conscious behaviour across the industry, we’ll be running an event with Greenpeace and Kids Against Plastic. This is the first in an event series – and in the future we will be shining a light on the organisations that are doing their bit to safeguard the planet.”

 

Event - Tuesday 16th April

IFMA UK’s event on the evening of the Tuesday 16th April will feature debates and guest speakers outside of the built environment, including Will McCallum, head of oceans at Greenpeace and author of How to Give Up Plastic: A Guide to Changing the World, One Plastic Bottle at a Time, and Amy and Ella Meek, aged 15 and 13, the founders of Kids Against Plastic!

IFMA UK members and RICS professionals are guaranteed a place at this exclusive event.

Non-members are welcome to apply for a place. To register your interest Click Here

Further details and a password to access the event site will be sent to those who secure a place. Entry will be on a donation basis and all funds will go to Kids Against Plastic!

Picture: Built environment businesses are adopting increasingly ambitious sustainability commitments

Article written by Cathryn Ellis | Published 01 March 2019

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