Not-So-Secret Guide to Sustainability: 2021 ULI Virtual Spring Meeting
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WASHINGTON (April 19, 2021) – A new report from the Urban Land Institute’s (ULI) Greenprint Center for Building Performance shows how global real estate organizations are increasingly expected to align with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals by investment leaders in environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG).
In 2015, the United Nations released the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which included 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to end poverty while also improving global health, reducing inequality, and protecting the planet. Adopted by all UN Member States, the SDGs require the support of both the public and private sector in order to be achieved and have become a common framework for governments and businesses to use for communicating their ESG initiatives.
A Primer on The U.N. Sustainable Development Goals for Real Estate provides a general overview of why real estate firms are aligning with the SDGs, how they assess which of the SDGs are relevant to their business, how they align with the SDGs, and how they are being reported on, using current examples from the industry.
The 17 SDGs are no poverty (Goal 1); zero hunger (2); good health and well-being (3); quality education (4); gender equality (5); clean water and sanitation (6); affordable and clean energy (7); decent work and economic growth (8); industry, innovation and infrastructure (9); reduced inequalities (10); sustainable cities and communities (11); responsible consumption and production (12); climate action (13); life below water (conservation of the ocean, 14); life on land (sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, 15); peace, justice and strong institutions (16); and partnerships for the goals (17).
“As the definition of sustainability expands beyond energy, and the expectation of real estate expands beyond the boundaries of the building, leaders across the globe are looking for frameworks to assist with their broadened ESG goals and strategies,” said Marta Schantz, senior vice president, ULI Greenprint Center for Building Performance. “The U.N. SDGs provide one such option, and many ULI Greenprint real estate members have successfully incorporated them into their sustainability efforts.”
Three main benefits for alignment are highlighted in the report including:
Leading Greenprint members in the report highlight the importance of the SDGs. “By ensuring that our goals support all 17 U.N. SDGs and putting those goals on a short-, medium-, and long-term time horizon, we feel that our ESG targets are comprehensive, realistic, and support the most important sustainability issues facing society,” said Becca Rushin, vice president of sustainability and social responsibility, Jamestown Properties.
A Primer on The UN Sustainable Development Goals for Real Estate can be downloaded on ULI’s Knowledge Finder.
About ULI Greenprint
The ULI Greenprint Center for Building Performance is a worldwide alliance of leading real estate owners, investors, and strategic partners committed to improving the environmental performance of the global real estate industry. Through measurement, benchmarking, knowledge sharing, and implementation of best practices, Greenprint and its members strive to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent by 2030, with an additional collective goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050. On an ongoing basis, Greenprint also endeavors to demonstrate the correlation between environmental performance and enhanced property value. Learn more at uli.org/greenprint.