Home News RICS propose new carbon reporting rules and emissions database

 A new international cost management (ICMS) reporting standards intended to report and measure carbon in developments has been unveiled by the RICS – the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, as industry seeks to work harder to lessen their environmental impact.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), working as part of an international coalition of built environment professional groups has jointly published for consultation the world’s first international standard for reporting carbon emissions across all areas of construction.

The consultation will seek input from industry on how to make sure carbon emissions factor directly into the extensive decision making that goes behind planning construction projects. This is to be followed shortly, by new RICS guidance for professionals on how to assess ‘embodied carbon’.

With construction contributing around 40% of the world’s carbon emissions, it’s crucial for the built environment to move towards more sustainable practices if communities are to realise their net-zero ambitions in time for 2050.

The RICS has led a group of construction sector bodies in the development of an emissions database for logging the climate impact of all construction projects in the UK.  Measuring carbon, and then logging and analysing the data will aid industry to move forward in lessening their environmental impact.

The database will give an indication of how much carbon has been emitted during the manufacturing and construction process, along with future maintenance, energy use and demolition, and enable designers to identify and avoid carbon-intensive products in favour of more sustainable materials that will help the UK get to net-zero by 2050.

Alan Muse, Head of Construction Standards at RICS and ICMS lead, said: “This update to ICMS and subsequent RICS standards which our professionals follow when completing any construction project will see the construction sector making a large and measurable impact when it comes to leading from the front and combatting climate change.

“Supported by the latest tech, such as the built environment carbon database, these new standards provide a professional toolkit to measure and consistently report on carbon and influence the most basic design and construction decisions.

“The new rules ask the industry to challenge themselves on every decision made – from choosing between double or triple glazing in new homes to the type of concrete used to lay track for high speed rail.

“While other aspects such as cost and safety will continue to play a key factor, of equal importance will be ensuring a greener future for the global construction sector”.

The ICMS consultation will close on 10 September, with a final document anticipated to be ready for publication at the international COP26 conference in Glasgow. CLICK HERE to find out more.

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