WorldGBC launches new framework to address social impact across building lifecycle

Today (4 December), the WorldGBC has released a position paper, ‘Social Impact across the Built Environment,’ endorsed by the UN High-Level Climate Champions (HLCCs), to address the need for the industry to prioritise social impact.

The primary objective of the framework is to revolutionise decisions made at various phases, from investment to end-of-life, in both social and environmental sustainability within the built environment.

It aims to reshape Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) reporting by bridging the gap between the ‘E’ and ‘S’ in the sector.

WorldGBC’s chief executive officer Cristina Gamboa said: “The built environment has a critical role to play in the transition to zero carbon and sustainable development, as both a contributor of 37% of global carbon emissions and an employer of 7% of the entire global workforce.

“It is time for the sector to action the ‘S’ in ESG by putting people first. I am proud to launch this industry position paper, which outlines the scope and framework the built environment sector can use to do just that.”

The framework establishes three scopes (and a new scope 0), aiming to align social impact considerations within the sector, while mirroring the language of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol.

The publication organises diverse social impact factors into these scopes. Additionally, it presents actionable steps to align social considerations and foster a collective approach across the building and construction industry.

The framework is scheduled for a high-profile presentation during a flagship event at COP28 in Dubai on 6 December, aiming to galvanise industry-wide transformation.

Breaking down the four scopes

The framework intends to enhance industry understanding and engagement by categorising social issues into four scopes.

These include Scope 0, which encompasses factors like corporate governance and diversity and inclusion; Scope 1, focusing on individual asset scale issues such as indoor environmental quality and affordability; Scope 2, considering broader scales like social value and climate resilience; and Scope 3, expanding consideration across the full life cycle to address indirect issues like worker rights and modern slavery.

The paper also introduces an action plan known as the five ‘A’s, emphasising immediate steps for the sector. These include awareness, assessment, accountability, action and advocacy.

COP28 Presidency’s UN climate change high-level champion H.E. Razan Al Mubarak said: “WorldGBC’s innovative publication provides a unique framework for the key stakeholders across the value chain to consider how the built environment impacts people, place and planet.

“It reminds us that we must ensure social impact becomes a requirement, not a consideration, across the global building and construction sector.”

The publication is calling for an industry-wide recognition of social impact’s critical role, urging a united effort to create a sustainable built environment prioritising both people and the planet.

Comments (1)

  1. Gustavo Lopez Lalinde says:

    We need to develop new techniques, to reduce construction costs and building time. The average working family in the developed countries can’t afford a new house with their income.
    Therefore the industry has to be transformed in a way that housing again becomes available to them.
    we have a Proyect that can achive those results, but we need entities that may want too invest in this project.

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