40%… that is more or less the weight of the building sector in the total greenhouse gas emissions. About three quarters of these emissions are related to operational carbon (i.e., during the use phase of the building – think about ventilation, heating, lighting etc.) and one quarter is related to the embodied carbon (essentially, materials and construction processes associated with the entire asset lifecycle). Therefore, the building industry has a critical role to play in our environmental agenda: to help us limit as much as we can our global emissions (the 1.5C scenario becoming more and more impossible to achieve), to adapt to the inevitable consequences of climate change and to limit – even positively contribute if possible – our wider environmental impacts (climate change being only one of the 9 planetary boundaries). In considering all of the above one particular aspect should spark the interest of those who plan cities, make cities and live in the cities. What does this growing ESG agenda mean for our cities? How does it influence the way we think of them and the way we plan them?
In this insightful report, Jonathan Martins, Manager in the Strategic Sustainability Consulting teams of Ramboll in Copenhagen, Denmark, takes us through what he sees as the three key challenges form the ESG for the building industry: The Carbon Challenge, the Measuring Challenge and the Value Challenge.