FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
GRI Releases New Guidelines to Build Transparency in Construction and Real Estate Sector
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).
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.
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.
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