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GRI Releases New Guidelines to Build Transparency in Construction and Real Estate Sector

Submitted by: Ceres

Categories: Research, Reports & Publications, Sustainability

Posted: Sep 22, 2011 – 01:28 PM EST

 

AMSTERDAM, Sep. 22 /CSRwire/ - Carbon emissions, management and remediation of contaminated land, and sub-contracted labor issues are some of the sustainability issues that can now be reported by construction and real estate companies, thanks to new guidance published today by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). Sections of the supplement can be downloaded at www.globalreporting.org/ReportingFramework/SectorSupplements/ConstructionandRealEstate/.

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 use during construction to energy consumption during occupation. The built environment is responsible for more than 40 percent of global energy use and one third of global greenhouse gas emissions – and up to 80 percent 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. Today GRI, which produces a comprehensive sustainability reporting framework that is widely used around the world, releases its Guidelines tailored for the construction and real estate sector. 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. 

Maaike Fleur, Senior Manager Reporting Framework at the Global Reporting Initiative, said: "Today's 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."

"More investors than ever recognize the opportunities for energy efficiency to reduce emissions, save money, and attract customers in the real estate and construction sectors, said Betsy Boyle, senior manager of Real Estate Programs at Ceres. "These new guidelines will help ensure that investors receive comprehensive and consistent disclosure from companies about their energy efficiency and broader sustainability strategies." Ceres is a member of the Working Group that helped develop the guidelines.

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 is published today.

About Ceres

Ceres leads a national coalition of major investors, environmental organizations and other public interest groups working with companies to address sustainability challenges such as global climate change and water scarcity. Its mission is integrating sustainability into day-to-day business practices for the health of the planet and its people. www.ceres.org

About the Global Reporting Initiative
The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) drives sustainability reporting by all organizations. GRI produces a comprehensive Sustainability Reporting Framework that is widely used around the world, to enable greater organizational transparency. The Framework, including the Reporting Guidelines, sets out the Principles and Indicators organizations can use to report their economic, environmental, and social performance. GRI is committed to continuously improving and increasing the use of the Guidelines, which are freely available to the public. www.globalreporting.org

*Notes to Editors 

  1. How the guidance was developed
    GRI, supported by Jones Lang LaSalle consultants, worked with an international multi-stakeholder Working Group to develop the Construction and Real Estate Sector Supplement. Jones Lang LaSalle (NYSE:JLL) is a financial and professional services firm specialising in real estate.  Working Group members volunteer their expertise to develop the content of the Supplement using GRI’s characteristic consensus-seeking approach.
  2. The process of developing the Supplement has taken two years and the public has twice been invited to submit commentaries and suggestions on drafts of the guidance. In order to finalize the guidance, GRI Governance bodies reviewed the content and development process ensuring it has complied with GRI’s due process standards and quality expectations. 
  3.  The following people are on the Working Group

 

 

Working Group Member

Organization name

Jonathan Ben-Ami,

Arup

Maria Atkinson

Lend Lease

Kirsi Borg

Citycon

Tatianna Bosteels

Hermes Real Estate

Betsy Boyle

Ceres

Michael Brooks

REALPac

Patrick Brown

British Property Federation

Chuan Chen (Victor)

University of Melbourne//Center for Policy Research,  China

Stephen Driscoll

Landcom

Olivier Elamine

alstria office REIT-AG

John  Fyfield 

Hermes Real Estate

Marion Hellmann-Theurer

Building and Wood Workers’ International

Elson Homez

Cebu Holdings, Inc.

Sonal Kohli

Essar Group

Miho Kurosaki

Bloomberg L.P.

Mili Majumdar

The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI)

Donna RA McIntire

Sustainable Building and Climate Initiative (SBCI), UNEP

Fiona Murie

Building and Wood Workers’ International

Darryl Neate

Oxford Properties Group

Gary Pivo

University of Arizona

Liz Potter

Lend Lease

John (Jack) R. Rizzo

Prologis

Niyati Sareen

Hindustan Construction Company Limited

Sander Paul van Tongeren

Global Real Estate Asset Management  /  APG All Pensions Group         

Jill Wells

Engineers Against Poverty

Edmundo Werna

International Labour Organization

Nivit Kumar Yadav

Centre for Science and Environment

For more information, please contact:

Betsy Boyle Senior Manager, Real Estate Program
Phone: 617-247-0700 x143
Lucy Goodchild Global Reporting Initiative
Phone: +31 (0) 20 531 0067

For more from this organization:

Ceres

 

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