To improve responsible business practices in the land, real estate and construction industry, the United Nations Global Compact and RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) have partnered to jointly develop a Responsible Business Resource for the sector. The collaboration marks the UN Global Compact’s first initiative to address corporate sustainability in a specific sector following the recent launch of its Post-2015 Business Engagement Architecture.
The land, real estate and construction sector represents about 70 percent of global wealth. The global construction industry alone is one of the largest sectors in the world. Its contribution to global GDP makes up around one-tenth of the total with a share of overall employment of almost seven percent. This sector has a substantial sustainability impact through land development, resource use and waste generation, during both the construction and occupational phases.
The primary goal of this two-year project is to clarify the fundamental relevance of the Global Compact Principles to the land, real estate and construction sector and provide a practical resource to assist participants in that sector to better implement those principles in their activities. To achieve this aim the project will seek to deliver on three key objectives:
Identify opportunities and challenges for the sector relating to the UN Global Compact’s issue areas of human rights, labour, environment and anticorruption, as well as broader UN goals;
Engage UN Global Compact participants from the sector, as well as real estate users and stakeholders, to capture existing best practices and scale up sustainability initiatives; and
Develop a best practice toolkit built on the Global Compact’s Ten Principles to help companies in the sector and its downstream users to tackle these issues and harness significant sustainability opportunities.
Delivery of the resource will be in the summer of 2015. The process to develop this toolkit is supported by a global Steering Group comprising of UN Global Compact participants from the areas of real estate, development, finance, investment, construction, research and training, as well as the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), RICS’ industry-academia partnership university.
The Responsible Business Resource was launched on 24 June 2015 in New York. The resource is available here.