How does BREEAM support the UN Sustainable Development Goals?

Eleanor Turner
The built environment contributes around 40% of the UK’s total carbon footprint (UKGBC, 2019), as a result there is a growing movement towards appropriate actions and strategies that are needed to develop an increasingly sustainable built environment.

With the understanding of the buildings’ end-users needs developing in conjunction with greater environmental awareness, assessment tools such as BREEAM ensure sustainable design is maximised alongside effective construction activity. The last few years have seen a multitude of measures, indicators and evaluations which attempt to make an assessment on the impact of human action on our planet and welfare across the world. In 2016, the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development came into force, allowing for universal adoption of efforts to end poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change to ensure prosperity for all by 2030. The construction and property sector have an essential role in delivering the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals given the significant economic, environmental and social impacts associated with buildings throughout their lifecycles.

BREEAM is the leading environmental assessment method for buildings which gives projects the opportunity to demonstrate their holistic environmental, economic and social benefits to both the local and wider community, from design to post-construction. BREEAM not only has the potential to increase the long-term value of a building, it also supports the execution of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. At Faithful+Gould, we have created a Sustainable Business Strategy work to incorporate all 17 of the Sustainable Development Goals into our projects and business processes. Our company has identified three primary goals, which are considered to be most material to our business strategy, activities and stakeholders, to focus our improvement activities on over the next five years. These are Goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy, Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities and Goal 13: Climate Action.

Here’s how BREEAM contributes to the UN Sustainable Development Goals:

  • Goal 7 – BREEAM encourages the provision of energy efficient solutions, systems and equipment that minimise energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions whilst maintaining a reliable energy supply.
  • Goal 11 – BREEAM promotes the development of sustainable communities and encourages access to sustainable transport, delivery of affordable and safe homes, implementation of flood resilience measures, minimisation of air pollution, and access to public and green space.
  • Goal 13 – Encourages the sustainable use of energy, minimisation of greenhouse gas emissions, and implementation of climate change adaption and flood resilience measures in one of the biggest contributing sectors globally.

The BREEAM UK New Construction Scheme is updated every three to four years making it one of the most dynamic and innovative assessment methods in the industry. BREEAM keeps sustainability and energy-efficient measures at the forefront of construction measures meaning our clients have confidence their projects will have minimal environmental impact and maximum long-term value. The BREEAM requirements, and therefore the overarching contributions to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals are continually developing to ensure best practice and greatest impact 

To learn more about how incorporating BREEAM into your construction projects can help to support the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals please get in touch with a member of the Strategic Assessment Management team here at Faithful+Gould.

To read more about how we are addressing the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals please read our 2019 Sustainability Report found here:

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