Rics launches consultation on the consistent measurement of carbon

By: ameer@trustedteam.com

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) has launched a consultation to seek feedback on the second edition of its Professional Standard, Rics Whole Life Carbon Assessment for the Built Environment.

The consultation has been sent to Rics’ 130,000 members and those working in the built environment worldwide.

The methodology is currently endorsed and adopted by several governments, industry bodies and organisations including the World Economic Forum.

Rics says the updated version of the standard aims to provide a consistent approach to calculating whole-life carbon emissions within the built environment.

The new edition extends to cover all built assets and infrastructure, throughout the whole built environment life cycle.

Rics explains that by accurately measuring and recording carbon emissions the industry can work to meet net-zero goals.

It suggests the methodology is “crucial” for supporting the built environment sector and the world in its aim to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

The built environment contributes to 43% of all greenhouse gas emissions.

The Rics whole-life carbon assessment will track all carbon emissions from the production of materials, the construction process, and the use and disposal of built assets over their entire life cycle.

The ‘standard’ enables the industry to hold reliable data on carbon output, which will help them to set and meet targets, and improve its ability to reduce harmful environmental impacts.

The current edition of the document is used in the early design stages of many building projects and continues to influence government policy.

In the UK, a Net Zero Carbon Building Standard is being created with the intent to incorporate the Rics Whole Life Carbon Assessment Professional Standard’s methodology to assess upfront, embodied, operational, user and whole-life carbon.

Rics says it hopes that more governments will adopt the standard in their work to tackle climate change impacts, with the second edition acting as a catalyst for wider adoption.

Rics president Ann Gray says: “Rics calls on the global built environment community to engage with this crucial consultation on Whole Life Carbon Assessment. The built environment contributes significantly to global carbon output, and Rics’ is committed to supporting the real estate industry in meeting the challenge of net zero head on.”

“Our greatest asset is our members; their knowledge and experiences are second-to-none. This consultation is a historic opportunity for all of us to shape the sector’s response to the global challenge of climate change and make a profoundly positive difference to our planet.
“The international scope of this consultation will enrich the breadth and diversity of insight we gain.”

“This is important as we recognise that nations and their respective built environment sectors are at different stages in their response to the climate crisis.”

“The global nature of our consultation will ensure that the final output is capable of adoption around the world while retaining its role as the principal methodology recognised in the UK.”

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