Carbon emissions, management and remediation of contaminated land, and sub-contracted labor issues are some of the sustainability issues that should now be reported by construction and real estate companies, thanks to new guidance published on September 22, 2011, by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI).
Jones Lang LaSalle was the principal technical advisor to GRI in developing this guidance, in consultation with a multi-stakeholder Working Group of industry representatives.
During its lifecycle from design, through construction, occupation and operation and all the way to demolition a building has many different impacts on the environment and society, from materials used during construction to energy consumption during occupation.
The built environment is responsible for more than 40% of global energy use and one third of global greenhouse gas emissions and up to 80% of greenhouse gas emissions in our cities and towns. In order to improve the sustainability of the built environment, impacts at all stages of the lifecycle need to be considered.
Measuring, monitoring and reporting the sustainability of construction activities and buildings has suffered from a lack of consistency until now. The tailored guidance aims to make reporting more relevant for the sector.
GRI's Construction and Real Estate Sector Supplement (CRESS) provides guidance for anyone who invests in, develops, constructs, or manages buildings on the principles and indicators to follow to report business strategy and performance. Specific issues covered in the new Supplement include building and materials certification, CO2 emissions, management and remediation of contaminated land and labor health and safety issues.
"The launch of CRESS should bring about a much more level playing field in sustainability reporting practices amongst real estate and construction companies. As part of Jones Lang LaSalle's global commitment to 'Lead the transformation of the property industry by reducing the environmental impact of commercial real estate', we are delighted to be advising on this important initiative, and we look forward to assisting our clients in complying with the CRESS guidelines," said Julie Hirigoyen, Lead Director, Upstream Sustainability Services, Jones Lang LaSalle
Maaike Fleur, Senior Manager Reporting Framework at the Global Reporting Initiative, said: "The new guidance will help construction and real estate companies be more transparent about the impacts their activities and assets have on the environment, economy and society. The built environment forms the structure in which communities function and is part of the landscape, so making sure companies in the construction and real estate sector have the tools to communicate their impacts is vital if we are to move to a sustainable economy.
"GRI relies on the technical advisor (in this case Jones Lang LaSalle) and industry experts in its Working Groups to ensure Supplements are relevant and useful for all organizations in a sector.
"The process of developing the Construction and Real Estate Sector Supplement has been excellent, and the guidance will have a big impact on the sustainability of the sector. GRI extends great thanks to both Jones Lang LaSalle and each of the Working Group members," added Fleur.
The Supplement has been developed according to a multi-stakeholder process volunteers from construction and real estate companies, labor, non-governmental organizations and academia were brought together in a Working Group to develop the Supplement. The public then commented on the draft in two Public Comment Periods. The Working Group took the consultation feedback into account and made further changes, and the final version was published on September 22, 2011.
Source: Jones Lang LaSalle