- Fnais, Abdulrahman, Yacine Rezgui, Ioan Petri, Thomas Beach, Jonathan Yeung, Ali Ghoroghi, and Sylvain Kubicki. "The Application of Life Cycle Assessment in Buildings: Challenges, and Directions for Future Research".
The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment.
(May 01, 2022).
New generation life cycle assessment (LCA) methods and tools can positively influence the environmental impact of the built environment and help mitigate the effects of climate change. They continuously learn from real-time data while allowing for effective operation and management strategies of buildings and districts. This time dimension is essential to better understand resource use. Semantic-based dynamic (real-time) LCA, which assesses the “cradle-to-grave-to-reincarnation” environmental sustainability capability of building projects, addresses temporal and spatial variations in the local built and environmental ecosystem. Further combination of time-dependent life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) models can lead to more comprehensive and reliable LCA results.
Posted on 28/10/22
- Novak, Marijana, Blake Robinson, Max Russell, Angelica Greco, Marion Guénard, Olga Horn, Burcu Tuncer, et al.. "Circular City Actions Framework – Bringing the Circular Economy to Every City".
ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability.
A circular economy calls for collaboration among the public-, private, and third-sector (civil society) stakeholders and requires governments, businesses and communities to be creative and flexible. A circular community promotes an equitable transition to sustainability across the urban space through multiple city functions and departments in cross-sectoral collaboration with research institutions, local businesses, and community residents. In a circular economy, existing materials are repeatedly cycled rather than becoming disposable waste while minimizing resource extraction. The transition from a linear to a more circular economy offers cities the tools to support social equity, local job creation, public health, and community wealth.
Posted on 26/10/22
- Corona, Blanca, Li Shen, Denise Reike, Jesús Rosales Carreón, and Ernst Worrell. "Towards Sustainable Development through the Circular Economy—A Review and Critical Assessment on Current Circularity Metrics".
Resources, Conservation and Recycling.
(December 01, 2019).
The circular economy (CE) is an optimal pathway to sustainable development and companies, governments and academics have formulated various proposals to measure circularity. Ideally, circularity metrics indicate how well circularity is applied to the whole life cycle of products and services in terms of society, the environment and economy. Myriad frameworks and indices are available for measuring resource efficiency and sustainability performance. However, most of them are criticized for ignoring the characteristics of the circular loops, not representing the systemic and multidisciplinary nature of circularity, and failing to consider its multidimensional social, environmental and economic sustainability impacts and benefits.
Posted on 24/10/22
- Larsen, Vibeke Grupe, Nicola Tollin, Peter Andreas Sattrup, Morten Birkved, and Tine Holmboe. "What are the challenges in assessing circular economy for the built environment? A literature review on integrating LCA, LCC and S-LCA in life cycle sustainability assessment, LCSA".
Journal of Building Engineering.
For circular economy (CE) to succeed, focus must be given to the service life phase and the reuse/recycle phase of building projects. This involves more stakeholders both in the early decision-making phases of projects as well as in the design phase and impacts the project value chain. Life cycle sustainability assessment (LCSA) integrates complementary measurement tools and techniques to support the transition towards circularity. Life cycle assessment (LCA) measures environmental and resource impacts, life cycle costing (LCC) reveals various lifetime costs, and social life cycle assessment (S-LCA) evaluates potential social impacts of a product in its whole life cycle.
Posted on 19/10/22
- Blum, N.U., M. Haupt, and C.R. Bening. "Why ‘Circular’ Doesn’t Always Mean ‘Sustainable’".
Resources, Conservation and Recycling.
Material circularity (MC) develops positively when material is circulated through reuse, refurbishment, remanufacture or recycling at its highest quality, it usually measured through material flow analysis (MFA). When economic value is generated as commonly measured through life cycle costing (LCC), economic sustainability (EconSus) is positive. Environmental sustainability (EnvSus) develops positively as the environment suffers less harm through product systems, where life cycle assessment (LCA) is used for assessing their life-cycle environmental impacts. Social sustainability (SocSus) develops positively if social conditions improve for all people, which is tricky to measure. Where these four dimensions overlap, a sustainable circular economy (SCE) occurs.
Posted on 17/10/22
Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
"Delivering the Circular Economy: A Toolkit for Policymakers". "n.d."
The circular economy offers business leaders and government a clear opportunity for long-term growth that is less dependent on cheap materials and energy and can restore and regenerate natural capital. This report provides an actionable toolkit for policymakers for embarking on a circular economy transformation that describes a methodology for circular economy policymaking. The toolkit identifies eight key insights, details policy options, opportunities and barriers and explores a range of policy options that countries and the policymakers could choose to pursue. It demonstrates how the tools may be applied and that circularity brings about lasting socioeconomic benefits to the stakeholders.
Posted on 14/10/22
- Carra, Guglielmo, and Nitesh Magdani. "Circular Business Models for the Built Environment".
Circular business models (CBMs) create additional value by taking a systemic view across the whole life cycle of assets, using new technologies, and applying advanced design approaches. This added value demonstrates the feasibility of the business case for adopting CBMs, the social, economic and environmental benefits, and the stakeholder value proposition. Funders, owners and occupiers drive the circular built environment by adopting the development strategies, ownerships structures, and operations models. Architects, designers, engineers, suppliers, contractors and facilities managers as well as local authorities and citizens also play a key role in creating circular solutions for a sustainable built environment.
Posted on 12/10/22
- Hirsch, Peter, and Christian Schempp. "Categorisation System for the Circular Economy".
The lack of a commonly accepted and sufficiently inclusive definition and circularity measurement methodology hampers the transition to a more circular economy in numerous ways. To counter this, this circular economy categorization system was proposed comprising 14 circular categories organized in four high-level groups and a set of minimum criteria. The 14 circular categories contribute to increasing resource efficiency and decreasing environmental impacts throughout project value chains. This can be achieved by applying or enabling one or more of the 9 circular economy "R" strategies or principles – the “9 R’s”: Refuse, Rethink, Reduce, Reuse, Repair, Refurbish, Remanufacture, Repurpose, and Recycle.
Posted on 10/10/22
- Hamdan, Hasan A.M., Poul Houman Andersen, and Luitzen de Boer. "Stakeholder Collaboration in Sustainable Neighborhood Projects—A Review and Research Agenda".
Sustainable Cities and Society.
Stakeholder collaboration in neighborhood projects facilitates networking and knowledge transfer. Construction companies participate in the task definition, research institutions contribute to feasibility testing, civil society organizations (CSOs) reinforce environmental approaches, and international partners increase funding, experience, and political support. Collaboration leads to the success of community development projects. Successful neighborhoods are realized through development projects and stakeholder collaboration from a project perspective. Although community involvement may create tension and trigger a series of protracted and contentious negotiations between residents or their representatives and local authorities, it has various benefits for the realization of sustainable projects, including acceptance and marketing opportunities.
Posted on 05/10/22
"OECD Toolkit for a Territorial Approach to the SDGs". July 01, 2022.
This action checklist helps government policymakers in uptaking, implementing, and localizing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as a tool for better policies and living quality. It covers (1) policies and strategies, (2) multi-level governance, (3) financing and budgeting, (4) data and information, and (5) stakeholder engagement. The toolkit can be used by all stakeholders in a city, region, or country, including policy-makers at all levels of government, business, civil society, research, academia, and youth. It is intended for policy-makers to engage the stakeholders in dialog on localizing the SDGs and helps them in learning from peers and international best practices.
Posted on 03/10/22
- Weyler, Rex. "The Great Carbon Capture Scam".
(June 01, 2022).
The oil industry invented “net zero” as the perfect alternative to slowing oil production to halt global heating. The netting deducts some carbon from total CO₂ emissions to create “net zero emissions”. The oil industry thereby claims to capture and store CO₂, while using this “captured carbon” for enhanced oil recovery, resulting in more carbon emissions. The industry profits from “carbon capture”, netting the oil companies billions public subsidies, and has made it integral to its business planning and strategy. It allows the companies to act as though they are addressing the climate issue while increasing public-subsidized oil production.
Posted on 30/09/22
- Chen, Qian, Haibo Feng, and Borja Garcia de Soto. "Key Approaches to Construction Circularity: A Systematic Review of the Current State and Future Opportunities".
Dubai, UAE: The International Association for Automation and Robotics in Construction (IAARC).
Construction circularity is identified in 1) material design, 2) building design, 3) construction and facility management, 4) urban sustainability development, and 5) system precondition. These five broad categories represent different levels of circularity implementation in construction and can be further decomposed into 15 key approaches to realizing circular economy strategies. Although each approach to construction circularity has its potential and advantages, it is difficult to devise a comprehensive circular construction approach that treats all aspects properly. This review shows the necessity to integrate stakeholders, service centers and plants, transportation networks, and local authorities to realize construction circularity at all levels.
Posted on 28/09/22
Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
"Material Circularity Indicator (MCI)". Accessed (September 26, 2022).
The Material Circularity Indicator (MCI) allows companies to identify circular value from their products and materials and mitigate risks from material price volatility and material supply. It enables users to analyze and evaluate a range of environmental, regulatory, and supply chain risks for their designs and products. MCI measures how restorative the material flows of a product, which can be aggregated up to the product portfolio and company level. It is a comprehensive company-level circularity measuring tool that may be used by product designers as well as for internal reporting, procurement decisions, and the rating of the entire company.
Posted on 26/09/22
- Thelen, David, Mike van Acoleyen, Wouter Huurman, Tom Thomaes, Carolien van Brunschot, Brendan Edgerton, and Ben Kubbinga. "Scaling the Circular Built Environment: Pathways for Business and Government".
Arcadis, Circle Economy, and WBCSD.
The private and public sectors need to create a level playing field for circular materials, products and services to become the new normal in the built environment. The transition to a circular economy calls for introducing new valuation methods and implementing long-term policies that encourage the scaling of circular solutions. Standardization, new forms of collaboration, and co-creation processes are essential elements required for the transition. Digital innovation, education and information sharing can further drive the change in mindset and culture for turning the circular built environment into reality. But, the transition to circularity in communities is fraught with various barriers.
Posted on 23/09/22
- Johnsson, Filip, Ida Karlsson, Johan Rootzén, Anders Ahlbäck, and Mathias Gustavsson. "The Framing of a Sustainable Development Goals Assessment in Decarbonizing the Construction Industry – Avoiding “Greenwashing”".
October 01, 2020.
To avoid the use of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for greenwashing, construction projects must include both long-term and short-term factors in assessing their SDG sustainability. However, companies rarely use SDG assessments as a tool for decisions for real change towards more sustainable and equitable corporate practices. SDG assessments must be transparent on dealing with the long-term climate target, to keep them from contributing to yet another layer of greenwashing. This paper presents an approach for a thorough – “non greenwashing” – way of an SDG assessment, with the objective of helping construction companies and others minimize future business risks.
Posted on 21/09/22
- Halper, Jason, Sara Bussiere, and Timbre Shriver. "Asset Management Industry Confronts the Challenges Presented by Climate Change Transition".
The Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance.
(February 28, 2022).
Climate change transition and a rapidly evolving regulatory landscape confront the asset management industry with considerable challenges and present risks and opportunities for investing. Asset managers must strengthen disclosure of the climate-related risks and opportunities and support “sustainability” initiatives while continuing to maximize financial returns for investors. This article suggests that asset managers consider the recommendations published by such investor-led organizations as the PRI Association, Ceres, and GFANZ until regulators issue better ESG guidance. Asset managers should also follow the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) framework and recommendations, which are gaining increasing acceptance among asset managers and regulators.
Posted on 19/09/22
- Barnes, Rachel. "Talking a Good Game: Stop Paying Lip Service to Collaboration".
(May 12, 2016).
Collaboration with businesses, public institutions, and civil society organizations is generally seen with a thumbs-up or a comment on a social media posting. Individuals often express interest in engaging in a collaborative initiative, but seldom follow through with collaborative action. This article suggests that we usually only pay lip service to collaboration. Although we know we need to work together, we fundamentally don’t want to – the bitter reality of competition. The sustainable development of business, communities and society is all about collaborating to realize shared goals. True collaboration is complex, but the benefits for all stakeholders can be significant.
Posted on 16/09/22
- Nidumolu, Ram, Jib Ellison, John Whalen, and Erin Billman. "The Collaboration Imperative".
Harvard Business Review.
(April 14, 2014).
The earth’s atmosphere, natural resources, and biological ecosystems are of fundamental value to business and society, much of which is destroyed through the ways we use these complex and fragile systems. Meeting the challenges of climate change, resource depletion, and ecosystem loss calls for improved collaboration and innovative models that create stakeholder value and drive systemic change. Collaboration starts with the groups of key stakeholders, the linking of self-interest to shared interest, productive competition, and trust. For the sustainable development of businesses, communities and society, each participant must recognize the benefit that it can realize when shared interests are met.
Posted on 14/09/22
- Acharya, Devni, Richard Boyd, and Olivia Finch. "From Principles to Practices: Realising the Value of Circular Economy".
This report demonstrates to real estate investors and construction clients the value and process of implementing circular economy principles in the built environment. How value is created from real estate assets is determined and established by investors and construction clients through investment requirements, tenure models and design briefs. Investors and construction clients are best placed to lead the transition to a circular built environment. They have the greatest capacity to influence decision-making, set direction, and catalyze action throughout the value chain. Policymakers rely on them to develop an evidence base of the benefits of a circular economy.
Posted on 09/09/22
- Committee on Environmental Policy. "Applying Principles of Circular Economy to Sustainable Tourism".
Economic Commission for Europe.
May 05, 2022.
The circular tourism model must be implemented immediately for us not to exceed the ecological ceiling through the polluting practices of our current linear tourism model and to ensure tourism does not fall short on the social factors. As the tourism has a multiplier effect, it could be a catalyst to move the whole economy towards a circular economy. This paper proposes three actionable recommendations that are linked to the challenges and solutions: (1) building a network of role-model circular tourism destinations, (2) establishing a shared circular tourism indicator framework, and (3) investing beyond digitalization in data- and AI-driven innovation.
Posted on 07/09/22
- Honic, Meliha, Iva Kovacic, Philipp Aschenbrenner, and Arne Ragossnig. "Material Passports for the End-of-Life Stage of Buildings: Challenges and Potentials".
Journal of Cleaner Production.
(October 15, 2021).
Global consumption of non-renewable resources is increasing and shortages of primary raw materials and reduction of space for final waste disposal are raising urgent issues for our communities. The unsustainable use of resources is resulting in strategies for maximizing recycling rates and minimizing environmental impacts and energy consumption due to the extraction of primary materials. A material passport (MP) at a building’s end of life (EOL) supports construction sustainability and circularity and encourages the recycling and reuse of building materials, rather than their disposal as waste. This paper illustrates the workflow compilation process and use of an EOL material passport.
Posted on 05/09/22
"GrünStattGrau". Accessed September 02, 2022.
The platform is an interface between network partners from the public sector, science and research, and community stakeholders that shares best practices in developing sustainable communities. It inspires and advances the deployment of technologies, competencies, and services and furthers the affordability of tools and their broad application. Moreover, it promotes quality assurance and encourages a new awareness of the range of benefits of greened buildings in the context of climate change and energy. By greening buildings, we make an important contribution to climate change adaptation efforts and help to shape and deliver green, smart and liveable cities of the future.
Posted on 02/09/22
- Meglin, Ronny, Susanne Kytzia, and Guillaume Habert. "Regional Circular Economy of Building Materials: Environmental and Economic Assessment Combining Material Flow Analysis, Input-Output Analyses, and Life Cycle Assessment".
Journal of Industrial Ecology.
(October 26, 2021).
The constraints for development policies in regions can differ widely, especially in terms of resource availability, spatial planning, or economic performance. A model-based assessment on a regional scale enables policy decisions to consider sustainability and offers significant advantages over a mere product-level approach to construction. This paper proposes an integrated assessment method that considers indicators for environmental impacts and economic benefits by combining material flow analysis (MFA) and life cycle assessment (LCA) with input-output analysis (IOA) as the connecting element. The model provides the data and indicators for a holistic and comprehensive evaluation of construction in a region or industry.
Posted on 31/08/22
- Ulibarri, Nicola, Bruce E. Cain, and Newsha K. Ajami. "A Framework for Building Efficient Environmental Permitting Processes".
Public participation can be an effective instrument in facilitating the building permitting process. A collaborative permitting process must enable stakeholders to voice concerns and openly discuss the permit. Although public participation generally lengthens the process, it provides opportunities for public comment and increases the likelihood of identifying overlooked concerns or negative impacts. Citizen participation helps to make permitting agencies aware of concerns that affect their decisions and for them to address the concerns. Public participation and collaboration in the permitting process encourage discussion between stakeholders and for them to work together and further the permitting and realization of sustainable projects.
Posted on 26/08/22
- Lakatos, Elena Simina, Geng Yong, Andrea Szilagyi, Dan Sorin Clinci, Lucian Georgescu, Catalina Iticescu, and Lucian-Ionel Cioca. "Conceptualizing Core Aspects on Circular Economy in Cities".
(July 06, 2021).
Circular economy policy and practices are implemented at the local level to form circular communities. Circularity at the urban level calls for great effort and innovation to successfully transition from the linear economy to circular cities. However, local governments and policymakers are uncertain about how to develop a circular community and its purpose. Cities play a decisive role in the transition towards circularity through recirculation and resource efficiency strategies, technical innovation, policy elaboration and stakeholder support. They must adopt innovative ways and means to successfully transition, which entails collaboration between all stakeholders, including producers, consumers, policymakers and community citizens.
Posted on 24/08/22
- Poh, Jacqueline. "3 Ways We Can Collaborate Better for a Circular Economy".
World Economic Forum.
(May 25, 2022).
Collaboration between all stakeholders is essential for a successful circular economy. Where stakeholder collaboration is difficult to achieve and there is little cross-sector collaboration, circular innovations are costly and scarcely adapted. To make meaningful progress in circularity, we must have a collaborative ecosystem that engages the stakeholders. Circularity must increase significantly to reduce the global carbon footprint and address other urgent environmental challenges. Cross-sector collaboration and resource pooling mobilizes stakeholders from across the entire value chain to co-create the circular economy solutions. Circularity results from R&D partnerships, the implementation of cross-sector solutions, and strengthening the commercial viability of the solutions.
Posted on 22/08/22
- Raufflet, Emmanuel, Geoffrey Lonca, Renato Chaves, Manon Boiteux, and Tarek Burgan. "Intersections Between the Planetary Boundaries and the Circular Economy".
(April 30, 2021).
Circular economy (CE) is an umbrella concept that encapsulates and connects separate knowledge areas and experiences in terms of resource efficiency and reduced environmental impacts. Proof of CE’s capacity to create the conditions required for meeting human needs within planetary boundaries (PBs) is still lacking. PBs encompass nine key earth-system processes that define a safe operating space for humanity for maintaining the stability of the earth’s life-supporting systems. Due to the extremely general and scientific evidence-based nature of the PB concept and the global and interactive nature of the boundaries, the PBs are not applied locally and regionally.
Posted on 19/08/22
- Romão, João, Mayumi Okada, Kazuo Machino, and Peter Nijkamp. "Destination Management and Sustainable Development through the Common Lens of the Commons".
(February 09, 2021).
Local destination management organization (DMO) involves a large participatory process for strategic planning and monitoring combined with decentralized operational planning and management. This paper illustrates problems and obstacles for the creation of a local DMO promoting a tourism destination’s sustainable development. It recommends the active participation of local stakeholders in the processes of planning, managing and monitoring tourism activities and the use of common pool resources (CPR). It advocates the integration of sustainable development goals (SDGs) and broad participatory processes involving local stakeholders to address the challenges raised by contemporary tourism dynamics and their implications for local resources and communities.
Posted on 17/08/22
- Backes, Jana Gerta, and Marzia Traverso. "Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment—A Survey Based Potential Future Development for Implementation and Interpretation".
(December 11, 2021).
Life cycle sustainability assessment (LCSA) provides valuable support for stakeholders and interested third parties regarding sustainability assessments, environmental footprints, emission optimization, and corporate communication. The state-of-the-art LCSA framework extends the scope of life cycle assessment (LCA) by economic and social dimensions – life cycle costing (LCC) and social life cycle assessment (S-LCA), respectively. LCA, LCC and S-LCA are complementary pillars that are applied to the same functional unit and an equivalent system boundary. Weighting between the three pillars is not permitted in the interpretation, the assessments are treated equally, and the under performance of one pillar cannot be compensated for by another.
Posted on 12/08/22
United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs..
"The AURA Guide". Accessed August 10, 2022.
Urban development and construction have a significant impact on all sustainable development indicators in a city. The City of Montpellier adopted a proactive urban policy in the AURA urban planning guide based on social, environmental and economic development management principles aligned with sustainable development priorities, criteria and goals. The AURA guide is intended to inspire real estate developers and architects by spreading good practices and innovation and provide upstream sustainable development indicators and assessment of urban development projects. It helps developers and architects by upgrading a project before its implementation and to monitor the project and best achieve the indicators.
Posted on 10/08/22
- Wee, Hassnah, Nor Azah Mustapha, and Muhammad Saufi Anas. "Characteristic of Green Event Practices in MICE Tourism: A Systematic Literature Review".
International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences.
(September 26, 2021).
MICE is the fastest-growing segment in hospitality and a significant contributor to the global tourism industry. Increased awareness of green practices among MICE event stakeholders has changed event organizers' perception of sustainability. This paper reviews green practices in meeting, incentive, convention, and exhibition (MICE) tourism and focuses on MICE tourism green practices perception and feedback from stakeholders in developing a green MICE tourism destination. The content analysis discovered green venues, green accessibility, green advertising and marketing, green food and beverages, and green waste management. It is intended to assist MICE planners in developing and executing sustainable events at their locations.
Posted on 08/08/22
- Hannouf, Marwa B., Alejandro Padilla‐Rivera, Getachew Assefa, and Ian Gates. "Methodological Framework to Find Links between Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment Categories and the UN Sustainable Development Goals Based on Literature".
Journal of Industrial Ecology.
(May 24, 2022).
Life cycle sustainability assessment (LCSA) is suggested to be the best method to assess the environmental, economic, and social impacts of products along their life cycle in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) supporting them. It links LCSA categories and measures the sustainability performance of products and operating systems and their contribution to the SDGs. The LCSA framework depends on environmental life cycle assessment (LCA), life cycle costing (LCC), and social life cycle assessment (S-LCA), each having different levels of data availability and maturity. However, linking LCSA to the SDGs is work in progress and the linkages are limited.
Posted on 05/08/22
- Sanyé-Mengual, Esther, and Serenella Sala. "Life Cycle Assessment Support to Environmental Ambitions of EU Policies and the Sustainable Development Goals".
Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management.
(January 27, 2022).
The European Green Deal and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) call for a holistic approach to production and consumption along value chains and the use of life cycle assessment (LCA) to support policy design and monitoring. This paper evaluates LCA in supporting EU SDG policies and the Planetary Boundaries (PBs) framework. It suggests that LCA can play a pivotal role in quantifying and assessing the environmental impacts of value chains and consumption patterns. It enables linking and measuring the impacts on environment‐related SDGs and assessing them against the PBs, to strengthen and further enable EU policies toward achieving the SDGs.
Posted on 02/08/22
- Skene, Keith R.. "Steering the Circular Economy: A New Role for Adam Smith’s Invisible Hand".
Adam Smith’s seminal work in economics suggested that the morality of a society guides the “invisible hand” that steers free trade in a positive direction. Smith recognized the society-economy nexus and equilibrium in his economic theory as crucial to society’s socioeconomic progress. The circular economy relates to this economics-environment relationship such that the ecosystem function is an essential component of sustainability. Sustainability is generally understood to be a form of dynamic equilibrium, where losses and gains balance each other. In terms of resources, materials are used but then recycled in such a way that the stock is not diminished.
Posted on 29/07/22
World Economic Forum.
"These Are the World’s Most Liveable Cities". (June 30, 2022).
City liveability is important on various levels and impacts the daily lives of billions of people. Over 80% of global GDP is generated in cities, while consuming nearly 80% of the world's energy and producing more than 60% of its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Therefore, building liveable, future-ready and sustainable cities is critical. 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘌𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘰𝘮𝘪𝘴𝘵 ranks the liveability of global cities based on more than 30 qualitative and quantitative factors across five categories. Their rating methodology, which is criticized for the nature of the data and how it's collected, combines expert analysts and takes into account external data points.
Posted on 27/07/22
Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governments.
"Towards the Localization of the SDGs". 2022.
Local and regional governments (LRGs) are responsible for identifying, responding to and meeting the various needs of their citizens. Accordingly, LRGs are calling upon their national governments to develop localization policies for sustainable development that promote a bottom-up approach to integrate local priorities in national and regional plans. To accelerate SDG localization and sustainable local and regional development, national governments must urgently implement an enabling framework for subnational governments to meet their devolved responsibilities and the demands of the communities. The planning mechanisms must also integrate participatory policy-making to meet the needs, rights and priorities of local citizens.
Posted on 25/07/22
- Kim, Sehoon, Nitish Kumar, Jongsub Lee, and Junho Oh. "Sustainability-Linked Loans: A Strong ESG Commitment or a Vehicle for Greenwashing?".
(July 20, 2022).
ESG lending has terms contractually tied to the sustainability performance of borrowing companies and enables them to credibly signal their ESG commitments to external stakeholders. But, it has been found that the disclosure of sustainability-linked loan contractual details is generally low, with considerable variation in the amount of information disclosed. Firms and banks have ostensibly engaged in sustainability-linked borrowing and lending for greenwashing — “to showcase an empty emphasis on ESG”. This is reflected in the difficulty of verifying the validity of ESG loan labels and gauging the actual impact they may have in governing borrowers on sustainability issues.
Posted on 22/07/22
LexisNexis Intellectual Property Solutions.
"SDGs vs ESGs: What Is the Better Measure of Sustainability?". (November 23, 2021).
Research shows that the SDGs are the most commonly used framework for sustainability reporting from the top patent holders. With so many subjective interpretations of what constitutes sustainability and the difficulty in quantifying certain actions, ESG is ineffective for measuring development sustainability. There is no global definition of ESG (environmental, social, and corporate governance), no standardized metrics, with assessments based on proprietary models, nor is it target-oriented or process focused, thereby enabling corporate greenwashing. The UN SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) are a globally accepted framework of standards with clearly defined indicators and goal-oriented recommendations that enable criteria-unbiased sustainability assessment.
Posted on 20/07/22
- Ciambra, Andrea, and Ricardo Martinez. "Voluntary Local Reviews, VLRs Toolbox".
Swedish International Centre for Local Democracy (ICLD).
While contributing to local democracy, this toolbox supports local governments in monitoring and reporting on the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) using voluntary local reviews (VLRs). VLRs contribute to the achievement of the SDGs by evaluating and monitoring progress, demonstrating political commitment, enabling civic participation, and identifying priority areas for local action. VLRs are an opportunity for local administrations to improve their own performance and to assess their implementation of the SDGs. This guidance provides tips and best practices on the VLR process, to strengthen citizen participation and how citizen participation contributes to creating more democratic VLRs.
Posted on 18/07/22
Sustainable Hospitality Alliance.
"United Hospitality Industry Sets Ambitious Global Vision for Sector Sustainability". March 10, 2022.
This guidance for the hospitality industry is designed to encourage combined action across the value chain, with actions to support hotel operators, asset/building owners, and brands. It encourages all hotels to aim for net positive environmental impacts wherever they are located and whatever their starting point. The framework outlines increasing environmental ambitions and scope across four stages, considering the varying levels of sustainability maturity. The first two stages, published in March 2022, support the industry’s near-term needs. The final two stages will be released later in 2022 after consultation on the changing landscape and to address the more complex challenges.
Posted on 15/07/22
"Sustainable Development". Accessed July 13, 2022.
Sustainability principles balance the environmental, economic, and socio-cultural aspects of tourism development, to guarantee its long-term sustainability. Achieving sustainable tourism is a continuous process. These guidelines and management practices published by the UNWTO are applicable to all forms of tourism in all destinations worldwide. Sustainable tourism development calls for the participation of all relevant stakeholders as well as strong political leadership, to ensure wide participation and consensus building. It requires constant monitoring of impacts, the introduction of any necessary preventive and/or corrective measures, and raising awareness of tourists to respect and advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of tourist destinations.
Posted on 13/07/22
- Rosenbloom, Jonathan D., and Chris Duerksen. "Saving the World through Zoning: The Sustainable Development Code, Regeneration, and Beyond".
Journal of Comparative Urban Law and Policy Journal of Comparative Urban Law and Policy.
(May 11, 2022).
It is primarily the responsibility of local governments to protect the citizens and biosphere of their communities. To regulate the development of the built environment and land use, cities integrate sustainability into their plans and implement them through zoning and local building codes. Increasingly, local governments are adopting ambitious sustainable development codes that encourage and facilitate regeneration of the environment and protect the local biosphere and community. This article addresses such issues as the obstacles to the sustainable development of communities, the creation of incentives, filling regulatory gaps, and the challenges to sustainable development codes becoming mainstream.
Posted on 11/07/22
- Dai, Tinglong, and Christopher S. Tang. "ESG Investing Has a Sustainability Blind Spot: Supply Chains".
(November 23, 2021).
Most ESG rating agencies do not consider the global supply chains that support company operations when measuring and rating their ESG performance. Where ESG rating agencies ignore supply chains, the companies cherry-pick the metrics that boost their environmental and social sustainability ratings and ESG reporting. Biased performance metrics selection occurs because there is no unified reporting standard on end-to-end supply chains, allowing companies to conceal “bad” suppliers. Without accounting for a company’s entire supply chain, the ESG ratings fail to reflect global supply chain networks. This enables companies to choose favorable ESG performance metrics and, thereby, “greenwash” their supply chain.
Posted on 08/07/22
- Lee, Michael T., and Ikseon Suh. "Understanding the Effects of Environment, Social, and Governance Conduct on Financial Performance: Arguments for a Process and Integrated Modelling Approach".
Sustainable Technology and Entrepreneurship.
Current studies do not question the environmental (E), social (S) and governance (G) weightings assigned by rating agencies. Research findings on ESG conduct and financial performance of companies are inconclusive because they depend on relatively under-explored model specifications. Nor has research identified or explained the underlying mechanisms behind this relationship. This paper argues for a process and integrated approach for modeling causality between ESG conduct and financial performance variables and suggests methods to analyze the models. It also discusses how incorporating "greenwashing" variables in a process and integrated model may explain the ESG conduct and any financial performance linkage.
Posted on 06/07/22
- Cotella, Giancarlo, David Evers, Umberto Janin Rivolin, Alys Solly, and Erblin Berisha. "A Guide to Sustainable Urbanization and Land-Use".
Land use must be managed and regulated to mitigate climate change, improve accessibility, enhance competitiveness, restore degraded biospheres, and promote social cohesion. This guide shares stakeholder experiences and increases their involvement and sense of responsibility, to gain broad political support for land-use intervention. The guide provides information and insights to help decision makers and policy makers to proactively contribute to a more equal, balanced, and sustainable land use, urbanization and development of the built environment. It serves as a call to collaborative action and provides guidance in the implementation of a highly participatory process between stakeholders and all political-administrative levels.
Posted on 04/07/22
- Niemets, Kostiantyn, Kateryna Kravchenko, Yurii Kandyba, Pavlo Kobylin, and Cezar Morar. "World Cities in Terms of the Sustainable Development Concept".
Goeography and Sustainability.
(December 27, 2021).
The sustainable development of cities requires significant investment, particularly in social development, purification, and preservation of urban nature from anthropogenic impacts. The analysis results in the systematization of the sustainable development criteria used in compiling the world cities rankings and determining the prospects of the transition of contemporary cities to the sustainable development concept. Such mega cities as New York, London and Tokyo have failed to fully implement sustainable development objectives. Smaller cities, such as Vienna, Melbourne, and Zurich, lead in terms of the quality of life, better organization of urban space, fewer pollutant emissions, and other factors.
Posted on 01/07/22
- Nguyen, Annie, and Michelle Ganley. "The Thinking Building – A Complete Guide to Smart Buildings in APAC".
March 03, 2022.
Any building can benefit from smart building innovation and approaches to deliver the best value return on investment for owners and facilities managers. This guidebook by Cundall tackles some common questions and smart building misconceptions. It explains the pathways for buildings to improve performance and the occupant experience. Thoughtful design that prioritizes the needs of the owners, asset managers and occupants is the starting point. Then, the planning process considers the best opportunities for technology and digitization to deliver quantifiable gains through energy efficiency, reducing carbon emissions, improving indoor air quality, streamlining building operations and management, and enhancing occupant experience.
Posted on 29/06/22
Sustainable Hospitality Alliance.
"Pathway to Net Positive Hospitality". Accessed June 27, 2022.
The future of tourism and the hospitality industry increasingly depends on protecting the unique and alluring locations in which hotels are located and operate. The Pathway to Net Positive Hospitality published by the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance offers simple and practical solutions that have a net positive impact on the environment. The Environmental Action Planner is a detailed list of environmental actions to be used to develop personalized action plans. Environmental Resources Mapping contains tools and resources for implementing the pathway. Utilities Tracker allows you to track energy and water consumption and waste production in your hotel.
Posted on 27/06/22
- Leadley, Paul, Andrew Gonzalez, David Obura, Cornelia B. Krug, Maria Cecilia Londoño-Murcia, Katie L. Millette, Adriana Radulovici, et al.. "Achieving Global Biodiversity Goals by 2050 Requires Urgent and Integrated Actions".
(June 17, 2022).
Top-level science-policy documents increasingly call for urgent transformative change to address the rapidly escalating global biodiversity crisis. The proposed actions in the new Post2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) could potentially bend the curve for biodiversity – but, only if promptly implemented and in an integrated manner. Reversing biodiversity loss by 2050 requires integrated and ambitious action across all targets of the GBF. The findings in this paper indicate that actions proposed in the GBF on both direct and indirect drivers could plausibly bend the curve for biodiversity by 2050 only if implemented promptly and comprehensively, together with active monitoring and reporting.
Posted on 24/06/22
Global Alliance Buildings and Construction.
"Adaptation of the Building Sector to Climate Change: 10 Principles for Effective Action". October 31, 2021.
We are witnessing unprecedented climate change due to the rapidly increasing concentration of CO₂ in the atmosphere, as recently reported by the IPCC. Climate change is having severe consequences for the built environment and communities that are designed for steady climatic conditions, not for the predicted climate extremes. The UN Secretary-General called the latest IPCC report stressing, undeniable evidence that global climate impacts will severely worsen. These recommended 10 principles for effective action are directed to policy-makers and other building sector stakeholders, who must coordinate and pool their expertise and resources to develop innovative solutions dedicated to resilience and adaptation.
Posted on 22/06/22
- Prorok, Thomas. "The SDGs in Austrian Cities: A Comparison between 2017 and 2021".
KDZ - Centre for Public Administration Research.
(August 06, 2021).
Municipalities rely on the national governments for information, training, and financing to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This survey cites the main challenges for Austrian municipalities in adopting and implementing the SDGs and shows the need for urgent action at local, regional and national levels. Most Austrian municipalities lack clear roles, responsibility on regional policy issues, and the human resources. Nearly all cities cite the need for financial support, tools and guidelines from the federal government. Transparency, sufficient access to information, and coordination between all governmental and non-governmental stakeholders is needed for the cities to implement the SDGs locally.
Posted on 20/06/22
- Emelie Öhlander, Morten Pedersen, Anja Wejs, Mads Adrian Saxtorph Bonde, and Martin Lehmann. "Guidance on Integrating the Sustainable Development Goals in Urban Climate Change Adaptation Projects".
The application of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) locally is critically important and decisive in achieving the sustainable development of countries. This guidance is based on both academic literature and professional experience in the field and is aimed at all professionals who work with climate change adaptation at the local level. It recommends new approaches inspired by the SDGs. It showcases how the SDGs can be used as a catalyst for communication between the stakeholders at different levels with a different purpose throughout the different phases of a project. The results feed into the national and local decision-making process.
Posted on 17/06/22
"Is Sustainability Certification in Real Estate Worth It? – Evidence from European Office Markets". November 09, 2021.
This analysis of European office space over a five-year period (2016–mid-2021) shows that the stock made up of certified buildings is steadily rising. In certified buildings, leasing velocity was generally higher, vacancy risk lower, and an average rent premium of 21% was observed. As countries increasingly announce their pledges to achieve net-zero emissions, pressure is mounting on building owners to implement changes to meet the climate goal in the Paris Agreement. Due to both increasingly stringent regulations and pressure from the financial institutions, investors, and occupiers, there is a real threat of significant value erosion on carbon-intensive assets.
Posted on 15/06/22
- Du Pisani, Jacobus A.. "Sustainable Development – Historical Roots of the Concept".
The origin of the sustainable development concept and the idea of sustainability evolved over the centuries. This paper reviews the evolutionary process, going far back in history to the root of the concept, and the paradigm shift, when sustainable development became mission critical for humanity. The environmental degradation caused by the exploitation of raw materials on an unprecedented global scale linked to industrial development would lead to growing concerns about sustainability. Since Thomas Robert Malthus stated in 1798 that the increase in population had to be restricted because it threatened to outstrip food production, the concern has become much more acute.
Posted on 13/06/22
Tourism for SDGs.
"Tourism for SDGs – Welcome to the Tourism for SDGs Platform!". Accessed June 10, 2022.
Hospitality and travel are critical in delivering sustainable solutions for people, the planet, and prosperity. Tourism comprises around 10% of GDP, 30% of services exports, and 10% of jobs globally. It has the potential to contribute, directly or indirectly to all 17 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and is a significant driver for realizing them. The Tourism for SDGs (T4SDG) platform facilitates engagement, sharing, and collaboration between the stakeholders in the industry and travel and tourism destinations. It encourages better tourism policies, fosters partnership, and improves resource allocation to increase tourism competitiveness and better and more responsible travel.
Posted on 10/06/22
World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).
"The Building System Carbon Framework". July 09, 2020.
A common carbon framework across sectors is becoming increasingly important as policymakers struggle to set more ambitious carbon reduction goals. The Building System Carbon Framework bridges embodied and operational carbon and is neutral on materials and solutions. It enables users to identify the best emissions-reduction strategies along the value chain using a common metric and a full life-cycle approach. The framework is targeted at companies involved in manufacturing, designing, constructing, investing, owning, operating, occupying, renovating, and demolishing buildings. It helps to align actions across the value chain for delivering a net-zero built environment and identifying where urgent action is needed.
Posted on 08/06/22
- Özdemir, Ebru. "3 Ways Sustainable Construction Can Forge a Greener Future".
World Economic Forum.
(May 11, 2022).
The UN Climate Change Conference starting today, 6 June, in Bonn is where government delegates, observers and various experts gather to “begin taking stock of where the world stands when it comes to implementing the Paris Climate Change Agreement”. Real and lasting (sustainable) change call for commitment and leadership from governments and the construction industry as well as massive investments in research and development. There are many opportunities for the construction sector to drive positive change. But, we first must question our practices to protect our future and also embrace regulatory changes to ensure that all stakeholders protect the planet.
Posted on 06/06/22
- Cornwall, Andrea. "Buzzwords and Fuzzwords: Deconstructing Development Discourse".
Development in Practice.
(August 01, 2007).
“There is nothing, it seems, that cannot be described as ‘sustainable’”. Well before this article's appearance in 2007, concern about the use of the term was being voiced. We have sustainable development, cities, economics, construction, investing, operation, and, accordingly, the sustainability professionals. The term has an important political role in processes of policy-making and development. It has become a “boundary term”, where large amounts are spent in the name of sustainability. Its misuse in building “communities of shared understanding of and common commitment to linking environmental and economic development concerns” has become a major concern to all socioeconomic development stakeholders.
Posted on 03/06/22
Sustainable Hospitality Alliance.
"Pathway to Net Positive Hospitality for the Planet.". March 2022.
Collaboration across the value chain enables hospitality to be a powerful force for improvement, with a tangible positive impact on the environment. The Pathway has been created by the industry for the industry, in consultation with numerous stakeholders across the value chain. It offers simple and practical solutions that can be replicated by any organization and every hotel – from those just getting started to those who are leading the way in sustainable innovation in hospitality. The Pathway looks beyond having zero impact and recognizes the immense potential hospitality has in making a lasting positive impact on the planet.
Posted on 02/06/22
- Winston, Andrew. "What’s Lost When We Talk ‘ESG’ and Not ‘Sustainability’".
MIT Sloan Management Review.
(May 05, 2022).
Corporate profitability is the sole purpose of ESG (environment, social and governance) disclosure, not sustainable development per se. SDG achievement for the sustainability of the biosphere and socio-economic environment of the world for all stakeholders is not the intended purpose of ESG. Instead, it focuses on profits and shareholder maximization above all else. Sustainability professionals and their clients – developers, lenders, and investors – advocate ESG for the benefit of the business stakeholders. ESG analysis and disclosure informs them about the "sustainability risk" that the companies are exposed to from environmental and social impacts on their business, solely to increase stakeholder profitability.
Posted on 30/05/22
- Calisto, Maria de Lurdes, Jorge Umbelino, Ana Gonçalves, and Cláudia Viegas. "Environmental Sustainability Strategies for Smaller Companies in the Hotel Industry: Doing the Right Thing or Doing Things Right?".
(September 17, 2021).
For most hotels, environmental issues are not a response to societal challenges – doing the right thing – but rather a response to owners’ concerns – doing things right. Tourism is a predator of natural resources and tourism practices do not correspond to essential consuming acts. This paper explores the strategic reasons behind the sustainable practices of hotel companies and the managerial implications. Hotel chains develop environmental sustainability practices mainly for cost reduction to accommodate the demands of owners for efficiency and profitability. Smaller companies are less likely to adopt environmental practices or to invest in communicating them than the global hotel chains.
Posted on 27/05/22
Sustainable Hospitality Alliance.
"Hotel Sustainability Certifications". Accessed May 25, 2022.
For hotels, environmental certification depends on their life cycle stage when analyzed. Different versions of environmental certifications are available for new builds and existing structures as well as the assessment of the sustainability of the operation of the buildings and business. Hotels, which generally require vast amounts of energy, water, and other natural resources and produce lots of waste, can have a large impact on the environment throughout their whole life cycle. The circularity and sustainability of hotels during the construction and operation of hotels must be considered in achieving the net-zero carbon emissions goals of hotel owners and operators.
Posted on 25/05/22
- Lee, Veronika, Durga Marasini, Wenye Dong, Hyun-Jung Lee, and DonHee Lee. "Comparative Study of Key Supply Chain Management Elements in Sustainability Reports".
(February 11, 2021).
For the evaluation of enterprise value and investment decision-making, firms must demonstrate their commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). For this, several factors are considered, including supply chain management (SCM), human rights, climate change, safety, and environmental risks. This study analyzed sustainability reports and revealed several factors that are critical for effective supply chain management. While the study identified common categories, the variations imply a need for global standards for comparative analysis. As businesses are required to demonstrate their commitment to the SDGs, the study highlights the importance of sustainability, its effective measurement, and global standards for sustainability reports.
Posted on 23/05/22
- Saidani, Michael, and Harrison Kim. "Nexus Between Life Cycle Assessment, Circularity, and Sustainability Indicators – Part I: A Review".
Circular Economy and Sustainability.
(February 18, 2022).
Sustainable building design influences life cycle costs (LCC) and the level of circularity (LoC) and calls for use of life cycle assessment (LCA) and circularity indicator-based approaches. Depending on the product and the circular economy (CE) scenarios, different types of connections – beneficial, conditional, or scenario-dependent trade-offs – are identified. This study addresses the potential concurrence, interdependency or conflict between circularity and sustainability indicators to develop and monitor circular and sustainable systems. It quantifies the relationship LCC and the LoC using the building circularity indicators (BCI), which is modeled on the material circularity indicator (MCI) for the construction and building industry.
Posted on 16/05/22
- Al-Obaidy, Muheeb, Luc Courard, and Shady Attia. "A Parametric Approach to Optimizing Building Construction Systems and Carbon Footprint: A Case Study Inspired by Circularity Principles".
(March 13, 2022).
The principles of circularity for the sustainable design of buildings aim to reduce their environmental impact. Environmental product declarations (EPD) and carbon footprint tools are the most useful tools for classifying building materials and evaluating circular projects. Other life cycle assessment (LCA) tools are used and coupled with this workflow to evaluate their circularity. Capturing the whole life cycle sustainability of construction projects, this study evaluated a wide range of input design parameters and revealed a correlation between the building materials choices and carbon emissions. It recommends increasing professional knowledge and industry use of LCA to realize circularity in construction.
Posted on 13/05/22
- Ferriss, Lori. "The New Net Zero".
Boston Society for Architecture.
February 20, 2020.
Owners, designers, contractors, and manufacturers must radically rethink the way we use, renovate, and design buildings. Using better and less materials is key to reducing embodied carbon in meeting our CO₂ emission targets. For this, tracking the environmental impacts of the whole building life cycle – from material extraction through to building demolition – is essential. Carbon accounting is the practice of quantifying and analyzing the carbon emissions into the atmosphere through life cycle assessment (LCA). LCA is used to identify materials having the highest environmental impacts and best opportunity for improvement, allowing us to act immediately and with due urgency.
Posted on 11/05/22
Carbon Leadership Forum. “AIA-CLF Embodied Carbon Toolkit,” November 3, 2021..
"AIA-CLF Embodied Carbon Toolkit". November 03, 2021.
To decarbonize buildings, architects and building designers must reduce the environmental footprint and CO2 emissions associated with materials over the whole life cycle of building. Through life cycle assessment (LCA), the highest-impact, most cost-effective solutions to reducing embodied carbon are identified. This toolkit provides architects an understanding of measuring embodied carbon and the steps for its reduction in their projects. Basic strategies include building less and reusing more by extending the life of materials and buildings as well as building lighter and smarter with less of a given material or floor area. Moreover, it suggests procuring lower-carbon materials and products.
Posted on 09/05/22
- Hadjikyriakou, Phanos. "Sustainable Material Selection – A Guide".
(September 22, 2021).
Construction is responsible for a huge amount of emissions and environmental degradation. How and by whom materials are made is key to transitioning to a sustainable economy. An important tool in assessing the ecological impacts is environmental product declarations (EPD), which are product-specific impact assessments based on the scientific method of life cycle assessment (LCA). EPD verification by an independent third party allows the product manufacturer to provide information on its supply chain, production cycles, and product characteristics. A holistic material selection process considers the conditions of manufacturing as well as the supplier’s long-term business and governance strategy.
Posted on 06/05/22
- Mulvaney, Kieran. "‘It’s Now or Never’: UN Climate Report’s 4 Urgent Takeaways".
(April 05, 2022).
According to the recent IPCC report, "Climate Change 2022: Mitigation of Climate Change", if urgent action is not taken immediately, humanity won't limit warming to 1.5°C – the threshold for more devastating fires, drought, storms, and other anthropogenic environmental disasters. At their presently rising levels, however, greenhouse gas emissions are likely to create twice as much warming: approximately 3.2°C by 2100. “It’s now or never if we want to limit global warming to 1.5°C”, said the co-chair of the IPCC working group that produced the report. “Without immediate and deep emissions reductions across all sectors, it will be impossible” he warns.
Posted on 04/05/22
"Net-Zero Building Optimisation". Accessed May 03, 2022.
SustainUK is inviting you to UK Construction Week London 2022, delivering the largest built environment exhibition at ExCeL London on 3-5 May 2022. SustainUK facilitates and mainstreams Paris-aligned sustainable building development and to overcome real or perceived barriers. SustainUK's collaborative sustainability program helps property owners transition to a resilient net-zero built environment for new and existing buildings and align to a new sustainability, carbon and energy landscape. Its goal is to define intelligent choices which will either save money, spend the same money more effectively or spend additional sums for which there is reasonable payback through savings, revenue and valuation increases.
Posted on 03/05/22
- Dolmans, Maurits, Géraldine Bourguignon, Camille Martini, Quinten De Keersmaecker, Larisa Babiy, Georgina Rawson, Emma O’Brien, Marc Baldauf, and Toon Dictus. "Climate Claims against Governments in Europe".
(July 16, 2022).
Environmental claims are part of the movement in seeking justice and taking legal action to promote social, economic and environmental sustainability. State and EU-level climate action and policies are being challenged for being insufficient to limit the global average temperature increase to below 2°C, as stipulated in the Paris Agreement. Relying on tort law and/or human rights to underpin the judicial challenges, courts are increasingly allowing class-action climate lawsuits and holding governments accountable for failing to achieve their climate commitments. Governments will have to adapt their climate change policies and strategies to meet their duty of care toward their citizens.
Posted on 02/05/22
- Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction, International Energy Agency, and United Nations Environment Programme. "GlobalABC Roadmap for Buildings and Construction: Towards a Zero-Emission, Efficient and Resilient Buildings and Construction Sector".
Decarbonizing buildings across their entire life cycle calls for the transformation of the buildings and construction sector. The transformation requires greater collaboration among policymakers at all jurisdictional levels as well as with urban planners, architects, developers, investors, construction companies, and utility companies. This roadmap prepared jointly by the GlobalABC, IEA, and UNEP supports a common language for the life-cycle decarbonization of buildings and the development of national or subnational strategies and policies. It outlines the actions that policymakers and stakeholders can take in the short, medium and long term to achieve a built environment that is zero-emission, efficient and sustainable.
Posted on 29/04/22
- Hadjikyriakou, Phanos. "EU Green Deal Product Regulations – What It Means for Design and Construction".
(April 14, 2022).
The Sustainable Products Initiative (SPI) is a regulatory framework comprising a set of legislative files that aims to boost the circularity of the EU’s single market. The European Commission (EC) proposed the regulation on March 30 2022 intending to make sustainable products the norm in the EU, facilitate circular business models, and empower consumers to make greener decisions. The SPI incorporates sustainability throughout the whole life cycle of products, starting at the design phase. It covers ICT (information and communications technology) products, textiles, furniture, and high-impact products, such as chemicals, steel, and cement, in addition to energy-related products.
Posted on 27/04/22
- Pasanen, Panu, Johanna Jarvinen, Kostas Koukoulopoulos, Lorélia Le Gouvello, Tytti Bruce, Rodrigo Castro, Fernando Barrios, et al.. "City Policy Framework for Dramatically Reducing Embodied Carbon".
This is a framework for cities and other government bodies to develop a strategy, action plan, and policies in response to the climate emergency. It is a manual and blueprint to dramatically reduce embodied carbon from the manufacture, transport, use, and life-cycle end of construction material. It helps cities in reducing and eliminating embodied carbon in such building asset classes as office buildings, apartments and hotels. It suggests what cities can do, how to do it, and what the most carbon-reducing, cost-effective, easiest-to-implement, and enforceable policies are that could be adopted to initiate and accelerate the transition to low-carbon construction.
Posted on 25/04/22
- White, Alex, and Luke O Callaghan-White. "Taking Governments to Court: Climate Litigation and Its Consequences".
Institute of International and European Affairs.
July 30, 2021.
Climate legal action is increasingly being taken against national governments. Litigation has successfully forced some countries to radically improve on their commitments to tackle the effects and limit the extent of anthropogenic climate change. This paper examines three recent European cases that produced landmark judgments. These cases demonstrate the significant potential and confirm the emergence of a strong interventionist trend in the approach of domestic courts in Europe to the issue of environmental protection. Data and precedent suggest that such cases will continue to be an effective means of ensuring that governments globally recognize and meet their responsibility and commitment.
Posted on 23/04/22
- Le Den, Xavier, Steinmann, Jacob, Röck, Martin, Birgisdottir, Harpa, Horup, Lise Hvid, Tozan, Buket, and Sørensen, Andreas. “. "Towards Embodied Carbon Benchmarks for Buildings in Europe – Summary Report".
March 31, 2022.
Developers, investors and policymakers must respond with urgency to the threatening climate and ecosystem crisis and set targets aligning with the 2015 Paris Agreement. All participants in the new-build and building renovation value chain must cooperate to establish a standard performance system based on sustainable and cost-efficient pathways to guide the building sector and reduce embodied carbon. Definition and agreement on standardized life cycle assessment (LCA) and carbon budget allocation are required for the standard performance framework. Its implementation calls for a combined effort from construction project value chain participants in the building industry, certification bodies, researchers, and policymakers.
Posted on 21/04/22
- Scheidel, Arnim, Daniela Del Bene, Juan Liu, Grettel Navas, Sara Mingorría, Federico Demaria, Sofía Avila, et al.. "Environmental Conflicts and Defenders: A Global Overview".
Global Environmental Change.
Environmental defenders are individuals and collectives who take action to protect the environment and to protest unjust and unsustainable use of resources. This paper provides insight on the characteristics of environmental conflicts, the engaged environmental defenders, and successful mobilization strategies. The paper highlights how civil society groups and grassroots movements shape the politics and practices of resource use commonly towards positive social and ecological outcomes. It shows that combining nonviolent protest strategies of preventive mobilization, tactical diversity, and litigation can significantly increase activists’ success. It testifies to civil society environmentalism globally as a force for environmental sustainability and social justice.
Posted on 19/04/22
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
"IPCC WGII Sixth Assessment Report – Technical Summary". 2022.
There are various global temperature rise and ecosystem impact scenarios, representing uncertainty that affects climate change exposure and vulnerability. This IPCC report summarizes the current understanding of observed climate change impacts on ecosystems, human societies and their cities, settlements, infrastructures, and industrial systems as well as vulnerabilities and future risks tied to different socioeconomic development pathways. It shows the clear threat to the ecosystem by correlating direct human impacts – land-use change, pollution, overexploitation, fragmentation, and destruction – and climate change. The likelihood of an emissions scenario affects the probability of a climate outcome and the overall distribution of climate outcomes.
Posted on 16/04/22
- Ershadi, Mahmoud, Marcus Jefferies, Peter Davis, and Mohammad Mojtahedi. "Barriers to Achieving Sustainable Construction Project Procurement in the Private Sector".
Cleaner Engineering and Technology.
(July 01, 2021).
Sustainable procurement management (SPM) as an approach to integrating sustainability into construction projects that takes into account the social, ecological, and economic consequences of procurement decisions. This study recognizes several challenges that obstruct the effective interaction between stakeholders in an integrated supply chain and the implementation of SPM in the private sector. It identifies intra- and extra-organizational barriers that hinder the achievement of SPM objectives in the construction industry. The findings reveal SPM obstacles and the paper suggests solutions for an integrated supply chain and the improvement of SPM practices for sourcing the materials and equipment for sustainable construction projects.
Posted on 14/04/22
- Petrovic, Bojana, Jonn Are Myhren, Xingxing Zhang, Marita Wallhagen, and Ola Eriksson. "Life Cycle Assessment of Building Materials for a Single-family House in Sweden".
https://www.sciencedirect.com/... (Contributed by Bojana Petrović).
This study demonstrates the environmental impact of building materials from production and construction, including transport, replacement and deconstruction, for a single-family house in Sweden. It focused on building materials, materials transport, replacement of essential construction materials, and the environmental impacts of the materials through the building whole life cycle. Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) provided the data basis for the life cycle assessment (LCA) used to assess the relationship between alternative materials and building energy performance. The results show that the concrete building slab contributed the most construction CO₂ emissions while the wood frame and cellulose insulation have low environmental impact.
Posted on 12/04/22
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
"Climate Change 2022: Mitigation of Climate Change – Summary for Policymakers". April 04, 2022.
Under 3.2 °C warming, 49% of insects, 44% of plants and 26% of vertebrates are at great risk of extinction. Best-case scenarios lead to a median range of 2.9–3.2°C in 2100 for current policies and 2.4–2.9°C in 2100 for 2030 pledges. If the targets were promptly and fully implemented, some estimate this could bring temperature increase down to 2–2.4°C by 2100. Compared to the current policies, which are likely to lead to a temperature increase of 2.9–3.2 °C, the NDCs submitted to the Paris Agreement are estimated to lead to a temperature increase of 2.4–2.9°C.
Posted on 10/04/22
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
"Climate Change 2022 – Mitigation of Climate Change". April 04, 2022.
The world will warm by 3.2°C this century even if all the policies to cut carbon that governments have so far adopted were fully implemented. The high overshoot will increase climate risks for vulnerable regions and societies, causing unprecedented heatwaves, terrifying storms, and widespread water shortages and irreversible destructive impacts in vulnerable ecosystems. This report is a desperate plea for the massive scaling of renewable energy technologies and infrastructure, improvements in energy efficiency, and reductions in energy consumption. Although we know this and have the solutions to keep the worst from happening, we fail to take the needed urgent action.
Posted on 09/04/22
- Díaz, Manuel Rodríguez, and Tomás F. Espino Rodríguez. "Determining the Sustainability Factors and Performance of a Tourism Destination from the Stakeholders’ Perspective".
(September 19, 2016).
The development and construction of sustainable tourism destinations ensure that the long-term quality performance of their environment and community life will be sustained. Sustainability is key to managing and maintaining the image and competitiveness of tourism destinations. This study focuses on the future environmental, social, and economic viability of destinations. The study identified the sustainability factors of a tourism destination characterized by the differentiation of the offer and high demand. The results showed that the key factors that have a direct and significant relationship with performance are the key resources and supply chain, security, alternative leisure, and governance.
Posted on 07/04/22
- Gawel, Antonia, Nathan Cooper, and Lukas Bester. "The IPCC Report and the Need for Radical Climate Action".
World Economic Forum.
(March 03, 2022).
The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recently reported that climate breakdown is happening more quickly than anticipated and warns that much of the planet will soon become uninhabitable. The science-driven report emphasizes the urgent need for radical climate action to stay in a climate safety zone and to accelerate transformational adaptation measures. While to the contrary, the EU European Environment Agency (EEA) report published in October 2021 proclaims Europe is "well on track in its journey" to avoid the life-threatening climate catastrophe. It claims there has been "remarkable progress" – even "overachievement" – towards meeting the EU's climate and energy targets.
Posted on 02/04/22
- Ionașcu, Elena, Marilena Mironiuc, Ion Anghel, and Maria Carmen Huian. "The Involvement of Real Estate Companies in Sustainable Development—An Analysis from the SDGs Reporting Perspective".
January 01, 2020.
Most real estate entities lack the strategy, culture and tools to realize their professed sustainability aspirations. They present their intentions mostly qualitatively and report few quantitative key performance indicators (KPIs) that reveal the degree of achieving such priority Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as SDG 11 – Sustainable cities and communities, and SDG 13 – Climate action. Creating and using more quantitative indicators to monitor the progress of each SDG in the real estate sector is required to inform policymakers and for their accountability to stakeholders. Effective and practicable frameworks are still needed for assessing the relationship between real estate and the SDGs.
Posted on 31/03/22
- Srivastava, Shivam, Usha Iyer Raniga, and Sudhir Misra. "A Methodological Framework for Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment of Construction Projects Incorporating TBL and Decoupling Principles".
(December 25, 2021).
In construction projects, integration of the three social, economic, and environmental aspects of the triple bottom line (TBL) principle is challenging. Green building rating schemes, such as LEED and BREEAM, fail to fully consider the projects' life cycle sustainability. This study presents a sustainable construction methodology for well-being and impact decoupling. It provides the rationale for a life cycle methodological framework that applies a TBL approach to sustainability assessment in construction and evaluates interactions among the three social, economic and environmental factors. The methodology can be tailored to suit the sustainability assessment requirements for the different construction phases and typologies.
Posted on 29/03/22
- Fei, Wenmei, Alex Opoku, Kofi Agyekum, James A. Oppon, Vian Ahmed, Charles Chen, and Ka L. Lok. "The Critical Role of the Construction Industry in Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Delivering Projects for the Common Good".
(August 14, 2021).
The construction industry is crucial in our efforts to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which call for significant investment in sustainable infrastructure. Governments across the world use construction as the principal means for the development of sustainability policies and regulations. While the construction industry can contribute to the realization of all 17 UN SDGs, this study identifies the top 10 in which the industry can have the most impact in achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The findings help construction companies to integrate the SDGs into their long-term business strategies and realize a more sustainable built environment.
Posted on 26/03/22
- Ayesha Malik, and Aditi Maheshwari. "Construction Industry Value Chain".
International Finance Corporation.
The global construction industry is the world’s largest consumer of raw materials. Construction accounts for 25%–40% of total carbon emissions globally. Companies across all sectors of the construction value chain are embedding sustainability into their operations and products, developing innovative green products, advocating sustainability standards, and integration into the circular economy. Construction companies around the world are facing pressure from investors, banks, regulators, contracting authorities, and consumers to mitigate their climate risk and implement solutions to reduce their carbon footprint. They are becoming increasingly accountable for their contribution to global emissions and making progress toward addressing these concerns.
Posted on 24/03/22
United Nations Development Programme.
"The Development Impact of the War in Ukraine: Initial Projections". March 16, 2022.
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) says that the war is demolishing over two decades of economic progress. It reports that at least $100 billion of infrastructure, buildings, roads, bridges, hospitals, schools, and other built assets have already been destroyed by the war. The UNDP says that the impact of the war has so far caused 50% of Ukrainian businesses to shut down completely, with the other half forced to operate well below capacity. It predicts that if the war deepens and protracts, as much as 90% of the population of Ukraine will be living in or vulnerable to poverty.
Posted on 23/03/22
- Orlov, Alexandr K., and Vadim S. Kankhva. "Lean Construction Concept Used to Develop Infrastructure Facilities for Tourism Clusters".
December 29, 2021.
Lean construction increases the efficiency of developing infrastructure facilities for tourism destinations. This study proposes the methodological approach to the implementation of megaprojects of tourism clusters based on the lean construction concept. It is to serve as the basis for organizing and planning development activities at the tactical and operational levels. The paper examines the lean construction concept for territory development and the implementation of infrastructure tourism clusters. It suggests that lean construction contributes to the improved quality of products and services, reduced costs, improved environmental component of the regions, reduced construction time, and improved image of construction companies.
Posted on 22/03/22
- Mossin, Natalie, Sofie Stilling, Thomas Chevalier Bøjstrup, and Ingeborg Christiane Hau. "An Architecture Guide to the UN 17 Sustainable Development Goals Volume 2".
Royal Danish Academy – Architecture, Design, Conservation.
Architecture and architects play a major role in developing sustainable cities and the built environment to achieve the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This extensive collection of architectural projects across the world illustrates how architecture and architects can contribute to each of the SDGs. The 80 example projects vary in terms of stakeholders and size and demonstrate the significant contribution that architecture can make, regardless of budget, location and resources. Architects can facilitate an open dialog and work in partnership to provide sustainable solutions and encourage authorities to provide the needed regulation for developing a sustainable built environment.
Posted on 21/03/22
- Kress, Dietmar. "Greenpeace Sustainability Barometer 2021 – We Are Ready and Finally Want a Sustainable Future!".
Today’s youth demands more commitment to sustainable development and more direct participation. Young people have the most confidence in NGOs advancing the sustainable development agenda, followed by science and citizen initiatives. For the younger generation, environmental destruction, species extinction, and climate change are major causes of concern. German youth sees environmental protection, social aspects of development, and future-oriented economic activity as interrelated. Despite viewing political actors as important partners, the younger generation feels let down by politics that makes it easier for the greenwashing practices of "charlatan" sustainability professionals. Trust is the currency that stabilizes and strengthens young people.
Posted on 19/03/22
- Holum, Marthe. "Citizen Participation: Linking Government Efforts, Actual Participation, and Trust in Local Politicians".
International Journal of Public Administration.
(March 13, 2022).
Citizen participation is key for effective and successful local government. Without participation, local government initiatives have a limited effect on improving trust in local politics and politicians, resulting in much more challenging implementation. Without the effective involvement of citizens in local government decision-making, participation is mainly protest-related. Citizen participation in government policy-making and implementation is considered essential for true democracy. Participation is a way for the government to better understand the needs of the public and for the public to monitor governmental operations. Rather than meetings or public hearings, low-threshold web-based initiatives appear to be the most effective participation mechanism
Posted on 17/03/22
- Meza, Edgar. "High Fuel Prices Not Slowing down German Motorists, Road Use Data Suggests".
Clean Energy Wire.
(March 15, 2022).
A typical vehicle traveling at 90 km/h burns 23% less fuel than at 110 km/h. Driving at 100 km/h on the autobahn burns around 10% less fuel than at 130 km/h. A significant reduction in oil imports to fuel traffic would immediately reduce the upward pressure on gasoline prices. However, an analysis of current traffic in Germany reveals that the recent huge jump in fuel prices has had no discernible effect on traffic speed. Where automobiles are the chief burners of fuel, this suggests that oil imports can be significantly reduced only by government-mandated speed limits on roads and highways.
Posted on 15/03/22
- Mendoza, Beatriz González. "Building Participatory Accountability Systems for City Policies: Handbook".
United Nations Human Settlements Programme.
Sustainable urban development calls for effective cooperation and collaboration between all relevant stakeholders. Governance is one of the fundamental drivers of change that promotes direct partnership between the municipalities and the private and third sectors. Governance requires municipal authorities and their institutions to operate under the principles of transparency and accountability. Transparency requires municipalities to act openly. Accountability allows the affected stakeholders to be informed about their decisions and resulting action and the criteria used to reach those decisions. Both accountability and transparency are essential for meeting the New Urban Agenda and Sustainable Development Goal 11 (SDG 11).
Posted on 15/03/22
- United Nations in Ukraine. "Voluntary National Review 2020: Ukraine".
United Nations in Ukraine. “Voluntary National Review 2020: Ukraine,” 2021. https://ukraine.un.org/... By yearend 2020, Ukraine made progress on 15 of the 17 SDGs. In its Voluntary National Review 2020, the country reported success in reducing poverty, improving labor remuneration standards, housing subsidies, and long-term education, reforming electricity markets, introducing high-speed Internet, and greatly improving its foreign trade balance. State support for local development grew 41.5 times. SDG success by 2030 and raising people’s living standards to the average European level was anticipated through the consistent implementation of a fact-based SDG-oriented policy and SDG financing. The war has since brought dramatic destruction and a devastating blow to the country's social-economic ambitions.
Posted on 13/03/22
- Karadima, Sofia. "What Impact Will the Russia-Ukraine Conflict Have on the Tourism Industry?".
(March 10, 2022).
Europe, Asia and the Middle East have seen the number Russian tourists increase over recent decades. Now, the Russian invasion and its war on Ukraine and the sanctions and air restrictions imposed on Russia will have a significant impact on tourism in various countries. Soon after the invasion of Ukraine, Canada, the EU, the UK, and the US imposed a ban on Russian aircraft from their airspace, with several other destinations promptly following suit. Russia retaliated with a mutual ban for these countries. An extended conflict with Ukraine is a risk particularly for those countries that depend on Russian tourists
Posted on 12/03/22
"Baden Hilft!". Accessed March 11, 2022.
The war in Ukraine is destroying the country and shaking Europe and the world. The conflict is causing a refugee crisis of historic proportions. Humanitarian needs are surging as the war continues and escalates. More people are being displaced by the violence, with as many as 12 million people needing assistance. Baden Hilft! (Baden Helps!) is an initiative of the community of Baden. Hospitality and the private and public sectors as well as individuals and civil society organizations are supporting the initiative. Baden Hilft! provides information in Ukranian, German and English to help refugees from Ukraine. You can help too!
Posted on 11/03/22
- Crosse, Giles. "How Aviva Plan to Eliminate Sustainability Fraudsters".
(March 03, 2022).
Sustainability charlatans are so-called "sustainability professionals" and other self-anointed "SDG experts" who actively and knowingly greenwash their activities or those of their clients through opaque methods and questionable reporting practices. Although not standardized, environmental social and governance (ESG) and corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting help to exclude them from the process. Aviva Investors, a global asset manager with around £350bn assets under management, is announcing plans to eliminate "sustainability fraudsters". It will accomplish this by establishing stewardship priorities – climate change, biodiversity, human rights, executive pay – and divesting out of companies that fail to meet its set science-based targets (SBTs).
Posted on 10/03/22
- Mastantuono, Alena. "The Green Deal Is Dead, Long Live the Green Deal".
(March 07, 2022).
Dependency of the European Union on energy imports is 60%. In 2021, Russia made up 45% of the EU's imported gas, costing €1 billion daily despite sanctions. While energy markets will remain very tight, Europe must effectively diversify supplies from its current main supplier (Russia) and look for new solutions to meet current and future energy needs. Europe is being pushed to rapidly reduce its consumption of fossil fuels, diversify supplies, and return to nuclear and even temporarily to coal. To reduce its dependency on imported gas, the EU must rapidly rollout such renewables as wind, hydro, solar, and biofuels.
Posted on 08/03/22
- Wallace, Joe, and Anna Hirtenstein. "Shell Buys Russian Oil at Bargain Price".
The Wall Street Journal.
March 04, 2022.
Western refiners and petrochemical plants depend on Russian oil, requiring the US and its allies to exclude energy from the sanctions imposed on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. Still, refiners are struggling to get funding and ships to export Russian oil, causing them to cut back production and a backup in Russia’s energy supply chain. Despite announcing its exit from joint ventures with the Russian energy giant Gazprom, Shell bought 100,000 metric tons of Russian crude at a massive bargain. It paid $28.50 below $113.80 a barrel for international benchmark Brent – the widest discount on record.
Posted on 06/03/22
"Applications Open for Russian Citizens to Become United Nations Volunteers". March 07, 2022.
The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) program is an opportunity for Russian citizens to help the UN address the challenges of sustainable development and global peace. Volunteers serve for one year in UN programs and projects in various countries and act as agents of sustainable transition in various professional fields for achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The program offers UN volunteer assignments in different areas of expertise for Russian nationals who meet the eligibility criteria for international UN volunteers. Also, the applicants' academic, extra-curricular and volunteer activities must demonstrate their commitment to sustainable development, prosperity, and peace.
Posted on 05/03/22
- Michael Widmann. "#HospitalityHelps".
Accessed March 03, 2022.
#HospitalityHelps is a platform that connects families that are fleeing the war in Ukraine with hotels around Europe. Currently focused on key cities in Austria, Czechia, Germany, Hungary, Moldova, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia, the hotels provide free stays for five nights to Ukrainians who show proof of residency in Ukraine at check-in. Via a booking platform prepared by HotelSwaps, Ukrainian refugees who are fleeing the war and require accommodations can apply for 5 nights free in a participating hotel. Hotel owners and operators who can offer unsold rooms in their hotels make them available to the refugees via the platform.
Posted on 03/03/22
- Rabbitt, Megan. "The UN’s Humanitarian Response in Ukraine: How You Can Help".
United Nations Foundation.
March 01, 2022.
As the conflict in Ukraine continues and the crisis escalates, we may be on the verge of a humanitarian and refugee crisis of historic proportions. Humanitarian needs are surging as more people are displaced by the violence in Ukraine, where as many as 12 million people will need assistance. The UN has committed to stay in Ukraine and is scaling up humanitarian assistance for the Ukrainian people. It has launched an emergency appeal for member states to step up and fund its 2022 Humanitarian Response Plan for Ukraine and is also calling on you to donate to its Ukraine Humanitarian Fund.
Posted on 02/03/22
UNDP in Ukraine.
"UN System Introduces Online Platform for Reporting on Sustainable Development Goals Indicators in Ukraine". December 20, 2021.
At the end of 2021, Ukraine joined the Open SDG platform for monitoring and reporting on the country's progress in implementing the sustainable development goals (SDGs). With the support of the UNEP Joint SDG Fund, the platform provides access to national SDG implementation indicators for the government and the world community. The platform collects, disseminates, and tracks national data on SDG indicators, including data gaps and official statistics and metadata. It allows governments and international partners to monitor the achievement of the SDGs in their countries and demonstrates Ukraine's high-level commitment to the SDGs and its international obligations.
Posted on 01/03/22
- Koens, Ko, Frans Melissen, Igor Mayer, and Carlo Aall. "The Smart City Hospitality Framework: Creating a Foundation for Collaborative Reflections on Overtourism That Support Destination Design".
Journal of Destination Marketing & Management.
The Smart City Hospitality Framework can serve as the foundation for a destination-design-driven approach to urban tourism governance and dealing with overtourism. It is intended to stimulate collaboration on solutions to overtourism and urban tourism development and facilitate discussing and analyzing the relationships between tourism and sustainable urban development. The framework can serve as the foundation for destination design efforts and support system analyses, problem structuring, and development of transition agendas and pathways. It could contribute to sustainable destination development and tourism at the city level and combine the dimensions of city hospitality and urban development.
Posted on 26/02/22
- Wit, Marc de, Laxmi Haigh, Ana Birliga Sutherland, Matthew Fraser, Nanna Morgenroth, Jim McClelland, Alex Colloricchio, and Caspar von Daniels. "The Circularity Gap Report 2022".
Amsterdam: Circle Economy.
We consume 70% more than what the earth can safely replenish and only 8.6% of what we use is returned to the economy. Rather than rectifying this, global circularity decreased from 9.1% in 2018 to 8.6% in 2020. Increasing levels of waste accompany the rapid acceleration of consumption, leaving a massive circularity gap of over 90%. Circularity offers the solutions we need to meet our climate goals, safeguard the Earth’s resources, and protect all people. This report proposes 21 circular strategies that will slash emissions and material use, limit warming, and facilitate an increasingly safe and just planet for humanity.
Posted on 24/02/22
- Riedel, Henrik, Oliver Haubner, Marc Wolinda, Sabine Drees, Deliana Bungard, Antonia Milbert, André Müller, et al.. "SDG Indicators for Municipalities".
Sustainability calls for planning and action that can be implemented and shaped according to measurable criteria. Municipalities play a central role in achieving the sustainability goals set out in the United Nations’ the 2030 Agenda – the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – and can contribute significantly to a sustainability-oriented plan of action. This catalog of indicators for municipalities enables them to benchmark the global and national sustainability goals and monitor the status of all 17 sustainability goals at local level. It is a modular system allowing municipalities to choose which indicator to use as a basis to achieve its sustainability goals.
Posted on 22/02/22
- Canu, Federico, Jorge Hinojosa Garza, Merete Villum Pederson, Andrea Bacher, and Helena Rey de Assis. "Making the Business Case for Climate Smart Investments: Guidelines for the Tourism Sector".
United Nations Environment Programme.
The transition of tourism to net-zero emissions will require significant investment and innovation by the businesses and other stakeholders. UNEP recently launched this initiative to support the urgent transition, which is aimed to address challenges that the private sector faces in financing climate mitigation actions in the tourism sector. The guidelines support tourism businesses and stakeholders in identifying potential sources of finance and in structuring and developing finance proposals for the needed mitigating actions. They recommend adopting low-emissions technologies and tourist behavior change to allow companies to optimize resources, reduce operation costs, and increase efficiency while improving their environmental performance.
Posted on 19/02/22
World Travel & Tourism Council.
"Destination 2030: Global Cities’ Readiness For Tourism Growth". June 30, 2019.
City planning authorities, developers, investors, legislators, and community groups have to collaborate to prepare cities for growth in tourism. Decision-makers create long-term plans involving all stakeholders, where local residents must be at the heart of the infrastructure developments and investments. The decision-makers and investors need to consider the needs of residents and visitors, a broad spectrum of other factors, and the resulting challenges and opportunities when making decisions to develop city tourism. This report studies the extent to which global cities have the necessary urban and tourism infrastructure and policies to support the sustainable growth of hospitality in their cities.
Posted on 18/02/22
- Vanhuyse, Fedra, Neal R. Haddaway, and Maryna Henrysson. "Circular Cities: An Evidence Map of Research between 2010 and 2020".
(November 17, 2021).
https://doi.org/...Cities are increasingly transitioning towards the circular economy (CE). They are moving towards a sharing economy and implementing CE strategies to reduce their use of resources and environmental impact. The efforts of municipalities concentrate chiefly on the "lower-level" waste and wastewater management and recycling and recovery strategies. Among the "higher-level" CE strategies pursued by governments across the world are reducing, repurposing, remanufacturing, and reusing. This review systematically maps the scientific and grey literature of the CE strategy that they are focusing on. It enables policymakers to find examples of cities of similar size, similar sectoral approach, and suitable CE strategy.
Posted on 16/02/22
- Prorok, Thomas, and Samantha Eigner. "The SDGs in Austrian Cities: A Comparison between 2017 and 2021".
KDZ - Centre for Public Administration Research.
(August 06, 2021).
Cities play a key role in implementing the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and need clear roles and responsibilities on regional policy issues. Transparency, sufficient access to information, and coordination between all stakeholders in the sustainable development of communities are required for the cities to take the needed action. This survey reports that Austrian cities are becoming increasingly aware of the SDGs and have voiced the intention to implement them. Although this is a positive development, most have taken little effective action so far. Explicit action remains to be taken by local, regional, and federal governments to implement the SDGs.
Posted on 14/02/22
- Day, Thomas, Silke Mooldijk, Sybrig Smit, Eduardo Posada, Frederic Hans, Harry Fearnehough, Aki Kachi, Carsten Warnecke, Takeshi Kuramochi, and Niklas Höhne. "Corporate Climate Responsibility Monitor 2022".
Most large companies now have public climate strategies and targets, many of which include pledges that appear to significantly reduce or even eliminate their contributions to global warming. The acceleration and spread of corporate climate pledges makes it increasingly difficult to distinguish between true climate leadership and unsubstantiated greenwashing. Corporate greenwashing is compounded by a general lack of regulatory oversight at national and sectoral levels. This report evaluates the transparency and integrity of companies’ climate pledges. Identifying and promoting real climate leadership is a key challenge that has the potential to unlock greater global climate change potential and mitigation ambition.
Posted on 12/02/22
Global Reporting Initiative.
"A Business Case for Environment & Society". January 24, 2022.
The need for standardized, comparable information to enhance decision-making by shareholders and stakeholders has accelerated with the great increase in ESG investments, rankings, and exchange-traded funds. Sustainability reporting, which focuses on disclosing companies' environmental, social, and governance (ESG) impacts, attracts investors and improves their reputation with employees, suppliers, customers, and the communities where they operate. ESG issues affect a company's capabilities and opportunities to create value. GRI is aligning with IFRS accounting and helping to make the link with sustainability reporting for companies. GRI is also actively engaged in the process to advance the EU's Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive.
Posted on 11/02/22
- Pasanen, Panu, Sara Tikka, Lorélia Le Gouvello, Kostas Koukoulopoulos, Vasilis Kalfountzos, and Libby Bounds. "Decarbonizing Construction – Guidance for Investors and Developers to Reduce Embodied Carbon".
This report is for developers and investors, who drive transformation at the early stages of building projects, to guide them on reducing embodied carbon and future-proofing new construction projects. It suggests over 50 embodied carbon-reduction policies and best practices that developers and investors can adopt for their projects and guidance on using them. Developers and investors can use the guidance across different asset classes. The proposed measures and list of requirements are flexible and easily combined with different green building certifications or sustainability reporting systems. By doing so, they can significantly reduce the financed emissions.
Posted on 09/02/22
- Clayton, Jim, Steven Devaney, Sarah Sayce, and Jorn van de Wetering. "Climate Risk & Commercial Property Values: A Review and Analysis of the Literature".
This is a forward-looking climate risk analysis and assessment of the impact of climate risk on commercial property investments through pricing, CapEx or OpEx decisions. The study sought to understand the extent to which real estate markets price in the risks from extreme weather and climate change and the channels through which the impacts of these risks on value have materialized. It diagrams the potential financial materiality of climate risk on CRE assets to help practically apply the research. Using the discounted cash flow (DCF) appraisal framework, it demonstrates how climate change physical risks feed through to income-property pricing.
Posted on 07/02/22
- Randers, Jorgen. "The Real Message of 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘓𝘪𝘮𝘪𝘵𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘎𝘳𝘰𝘸𝘵𝘩 – A Plea for Forward-Looking Global Policy".
GAIA - Ecological Perspectives for Science and Society.
(June 20, 2012).
In 1972, The Limits to Growth (LtG) urgently pleaded for reducing resources used in economic development. It warned that overshoot will be caused by significant institutional delays in decision-making and showed how the equilibrium between remedial action and ecosystem improvement could be achieved. In it, the Club of Rome claimed that global society will be forced to decline or collapse because of significant reaction delays in the global economy and that a truly sustainable global solution will require both technological advances and behavior change. It argued humanity must agree on the new climate-friendly solutions before they can become commercially profitable.
Posted on 05/02/22
- Stendahl, Marie-France, Marie-Claude Dubois, Daniel Forgues, and Eilif Hjelseth. "Building Information Modeling for Environmental Impact Assessment in Early Design Phases: A Literature Review".
Open Journal of Applied Sciences.
Building information modeling (BIM) and building energy modeling (BEM) are two key tools for transitioning to net-zero energy buildings (NZEBs). This review discusses the connection between BIM, BEM and life-cycle assessment (LCA) and their role in the development and operation of net-zero carbon (NZC) buildings. It identifies factors that limit the effective use of the tools, including the low level of BIM user competence and understanding of the levels of development (LOD) at the design stages. Standardizing interdisciplinary definitions and increasing the understanding of LOD are recommended to improve the effectiveness and performance of the ecosystem service (ES) tools.
Posted on 04/02/22
- Klein, Jennifer. "Potential Liability of Governments for Failure to Prepare for Climate Change".
Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, Columbia Law School.
https://web.law.columbia.edu/...This paper examines the potential legal liability of governments by accumulating risks of climate change. It addresses negligence, fraud, and takings, describing the benefits and challenges of each, and explores ways to overcome a government’s claim of sovereign immunity in the context of a negligence claim. It describes the challenges of bringing a claim for fraud where officials intentionally "obscure relevant information" about climate change risks, including the sovereign immunity defense and difficulties proving causation and intent. It also explores claims for just compensation where property is damaged or destroyed through government failure to prevent the impacts of climate change.
Posted on 03/02/22
- Diener, Michele L., Amisha Parekh, and Jaclyn Pitera. "High Performance Hospitality".
American Hotel & Lodging Association.
The cases describe the environmental, social and financial advantages and applications of hotel design, construction, and operations to assist in expanding a high-performance development resources network. They are grouped by category – mid-rate, conference center, and luxury – and cover the resource for the project developers, owners, managers, architects, and contractors. Additional resources include a summary of certification programs for high-performance hotels, a checklist of metrics and key performance indicators, and a summary of the advantages for stakeholders in hotel construction and operations. This 2008 study provides representative cases for integrating SDG and ESG criteria into hospitality projects going forward towards 2030.
Posted on 02/02/22
- Wu, Chia-Huei. "Exploring Green Hotel Competitive Strategies by Using the Hybrid Method for Complex Data Analysis".
Mathematical Problems in Engineering.
(June 16, 2021).
Green hotels emphasize safety, health, and environmental friendliness. They promote green operations, green consumption, environmental protection, and the reasonable consumption of resources in operations. This study explored the criteria and competitive strategies of green hotels in the development of criteria systems. It shows that hotels should focus on and continue investing resources in two areas – green product procurement and overall service quality – to maintain their competitive advantage, improve green performance, and enhance performance on other criteria. It argues that failure to take action may cause their green performance to fall below the industry standard and behind that of competitors.
Posted on 31/01/22
Sustainable Hospitality Alliance.
"Sustainable Hospitality Alliance". Accessed
The Sustainable Hospitality Alliance drives collaborative action. It is an alliance of senior executives from hospitality companies and industry partners who collaborate and cooperate on joint areas of action. The alliance develops open resources and programs to enable the wider industry to grow sustainably and operate responsibly. Comprising members from small and large regional and international stakeholders, it uses collective industry power to make a positive impact locally and globally. The alliance innovates, promotes sustainable solutions that address areas of improvement in hospitality. It uses its influence and reach to advance sustainable business across the industry supply chains and stakeholders.
Posted on 29/01/22
- Dharmapalan, Vineeth, William J. O’Brien, and Douglas J. Morrice. "Defining Supply Chain Visibility for Industrial Construction Projects".
Frontiers in Built Environment.
(September 28, 2021).
https://www.frontiersin.org/...Visibility is needed in the construction supply chain for sustainable procurement and decision-making. Supply chain visibility (SCV) is essential for on-time delivery and installation of materials and results in more effective supply chain management and improved project ESG performance. For effective communication with other stakeholders in the supply chain, standardized definitions are needed. This study developed and defined information to support key supply chain decision areas during the design, procurement, and construction phases for a typical industrial construction project. Standardized definitions allow for better measurement of supply chain visibility and support the development of new SCV tools and techniques.
Posted on 27/01/22
"Together, Let’s Help Restore Our Earth". April 21, 2021.
Accor advocates sustainable development and hospitality that respects the environment and communities in which the group operates. Chiefly through its “Planet 21” program built around employees, customers, partners, communities, food, and buildings, it limits its negative social and environmental impacts. Accor's “Planet 21 in Action” roadmap sets out 10 mandatory benchmark actions for its hotel in line with its corporate social responsibility (CSR) policies, with more than 90% having already implemented them. Nearly 1,900 hotels have implemented a program to combat food waste, over 1,200 have urban vegetable gardens, and operating waste has been reduced by as much as 57%.
Posted on 20/01/22
The Austrian Ecolabel.
"Ecolabeled Travel Offerings". Accessed January 19, 2022.
Tourism 2030 DestiNet Services reports that there are over 200 certification programs on sustainable tourism – certificates operating worldwide, certificates in Europe (in two or more European countries), and national certificates. The Austrian ecolabel for "Green Meetings and Green Events" is said to be the first green ecolabel for national-level certification of events. The Austrian ecolabel for travel certifies providers of responsible, environmentally and socially responsible hospitality facilities, including Alpine huts. Organizers, participants and venues that are involved and committed to creating a truly sustainable event are awarded the Austrian Ecolabel for "Green Meetings and Green Events".
Posted on 19/01/22
- Thomsen, Finn Bolding. "Top Players in the Hotel Industry Build Inclusive Sustainability Framework Accessible for All Hotels".
(January 13, 2022).
Green Key is launching an initiative to drive responsible travel and tourism. Under a common framework and definition of "hotel sustainability", it aims to raise the basic level of sustainability in hospitality for all travelers and stakeholders and guide the industry towards sustainable change. In consultation with institutional, chain, corporate, web, and NGO partners, the Basic Sustainability framework will provide a common starting point for hotel sustainability. It will recommend actions, practical tools and best practices and be accessible to all hotel actors worldwide to start and guide them on their critical path towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Posted on 19/01/22
- Harrington, Damian, and Neil Crook. "ESG: At a Tipping Point".
The regulation of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors in investment and corporate decision-making in capital markets has reached a tipping point. The new regulations create a standard for ESG reporting to facilitate sustainable investments. However, the drive to advance ESG-compliant investing is also creating uncertainty in the global real estate market. This report points to an urgent need for policy makers to agree on pragmatic, actionable targets leading to the creation of clear, consistent technical standards and benchmarks. This will enable the reallocation of capital and skills as investors rush to factor new ESG realities into decision-making.
Posted on 17/01/22
- Barrow, Martin, Benedict Buckley, Tom Caldicott, Tom Cumberlege, John Hsu, Scott Kaufman, Kevin Ramm, et al.. "Technical Guidance for Calculating Scope 3 Emissions".
World Resources Institute & World Business Council for Sustainable Development.
GHG Protocol Scope 1 includes emissions from the combustion of fuels by sources owned or controlled by the reporting company. Scope 2 comprises emissions from combusted fuels to generate electricity, steam, heating and cooling purchased and consumed by a company. Scope 3 encompasses all other indirect emissions in a company’s value chain. Scope 3 activities expose the company to supply chain sustainability risks – such climate change-related risks as financial, regulatory, supply chain, product and technology, compliance/litigation, and reputational risk. The "Scope 3 Standard" is a guidance document that offers an internationally accepted method enabling GHG management of companies’ value chains.
Posted on 16/01/22
- Ness, David. "Growth in Floor Area: The Blind Spot in Cutting Carbon".
Emerald Open Research.
(May 26, 2021).
The construction sector has focused mainly on improving its energy efficiency and the substitution of fossil fuels to decarbonize buildings. It has largely ignored the threat from the continued growth in the built environment. This article argues that embodied carbon in buildings can be reduced only at the strategic planning level and through the use of low-carbon materials. Given the urgency, climate emergency, and increasing scarcity of resources, sufficiency and sustainability solutions must be promptly implemented to support the required services while consuming fewer resources. However, it suggests that the solutions are too much at odds with existing business models. .
Posted on 15/01/22
- CDC Group plc. "ESG Toolkit for Fund Managers".
Environmental and social (E&S) risks are the potential negative consequences to a business that result from its (perceived) impacts on the natural environment or communities. Failure to effectively manage E&S issues in a business can lead to a range of financial, legal and reputational consequences for the company. The CDC ESG Toolkit is indended to help fund managers familiarize themselves with the E&S risks in the supply chains of their investments. For their investing, fund managers must carefully consider each company based on its specific characteristics and circumstances, including scale, location, technology, management capacity and commitment, and track record.
Posted on 13/01/22
"Net Zero Methodology for Hotels".
This guide provides a methodology to support the hospitality industry in making net-zero commitments and taking action to achieve them. It sets out an adaptable approach for hotel companies of any size and sets a baseline from which hotels can pursue a net-zero target. The guide helps hotels to understand how emissions relate to the tourism and real estate value chain and to start the planning for their net-zero commitment. To operationalize the methodology, it provides guidance on the setting of the emission boundary over time against a baseline, the target, and the categories for planning a net-zero pathway.
Posted on 13/01/22
- Reynard, Cherry. "Are Stranded Assets an Unexploded Bomb?".
(October 19, 2021).
https://www.morningstar.co.uk/...Buildings that are too uneconomical to retrofit to comply with legislation, such as the EU Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) and National Energy and Climate Plans, become stranded assets. They are a significant risk for investors and property owners that have not ensured that their real estate assets are future-proofed and operate efficiently. Countries are mandating building energy efficiency targets and net-zero carbon emissions, making the cost of retrofitting some properties greater than the value of the asset. This article voices the concern that the real estate sector is seriously unprepared for the financial impact, thereby causing the stranding of assets.
Posted on 10/01/22
"Green Loan Principles". February 2021.
Green loan principles (GLP) are a high-level framework of market standards and guidelines to promote the development and integrity of the green loan product. They define green loans as any debt instrument, including bonds, made available exclusively to finance or re-finance, in whole or in part, new and/or existing eligible "green projects". Green tagging is a systematic process to identify the environmental attributes of loans and underlying asset collateral for scaling up sustainable finance. It allows for easier access to green bond markets, better tracking of loan performance, and provides greater transparency of sustainability risks and portfolio resilience.
Posted on 10/01/22
- Saheb, Yamina. "Sufficiency Should Be First".
Buildings & Cities.
(October 21, 2021).
Unless "sufficiency" becomes a primary principle in climate mitigation and policies for the development and use of buildings, it is unlikely that global warming will be reduced. This article explains that we cannot meet the Paris Agreement targets of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels without building efficiency improvements, renewable energy adoption, and behavioral changes. Through prompt use of the sufficiency, efficiency, and renewable (SER) framework for climate policies, a sustainable metamorphosis of the global building stock could occur. Adopting appropriate policy measures and applying sufficiency principles to buildings would provide a decent living standard for everyone while significantly limiting global warming.
Posted on 08/01/22
- Jackson, Felicia. "EU to Gut the Principle of Sustainable Taxonomy with Inclusion of Nuclear and Gas".
(January 04, 2022).
EU taxonomy was intended to provide a system for the classification of environmentally and financially sustainable economic activities. It is essentially a green label for the investment of over a trillion euros. Also called the "Sustainable Finance Taxonomy", it's about subsidized financing and lots of money. The taxonomy is a tool driving the realignment of capital that could provide the US$3-5 trillion needed to meet the EU's climate goals. Designed to give investors confidence that their investment meets sustainability criteria under the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR), it will facilitate and enable the rapid scale-up and deployment of "sustainable finance".
Posted on 07/01/22
- Lee, Evelyn. "Deep Dive: Private Real Estate’s Obsolescence Problem".
(December 06, 2021).
Asset managers conduct annual portfolio reviews and tenant engagement surveys to identify and manage potential obsolescence issues. Future pricing is a concern and they understand the risk that many obsolete assets may soon be on the market at the same time, pushing prices down. Thus, lenders and investors are focusing on future-proof assets. When the full transition risk is priced in, it is expected that assets will drop in price 15%-20%, which equates to roughly 100bps to expected long-term unlevered returns. Moreover, green cap-ex and a minimum energy performance certification rating is increasingly becoming mandatory.
Posted on 06/01/22
- Dowling, Cara, C. Mark Baker, Dylan McKimmie, Tamlyn Mills, Kevin O’Gorman, and Martin Valasek. "Climate Change and Sustainability Disputes between Foreign Investors and States".
Norton Rose Fulbright.
Countries are transitioning to low carbon, sustainable and climate-resilient economies. The action taken by states on climate change and sustainability will affect the profitability and viability of many existing investments and commercial arrangements. Significant changes to the investment environment in the name of climate change and sustainability threaten investments and assets. Pressure on all levels of governments, legislators and regulators to act is increasing. Climate change is leading to new economic realities and legal frameworks to which all states and companies must adapt. Without properties taking adequate measures to mitigate the impacts, sustainability disputes and climate litigation will arise.
Posted on 05/01/22
"Environmental Performance of Products & Businesses – Substantiating Claims". Accessed January 04, 2022.
The European Commission (EC) consulted with the general public and key stakeholders to regulate green claims in marketing and combat greenwashing. The consultation assessed the reliability and scope of current labels/initiatives and reviewed the current greenwashing practices that mislead market actors and reduce sustainable development incentives. It was conducted online with all interested parties and ostensibly undertaken to demonstrate the Commission's commitment to fighting the practice of making misleading environmental claims. However, the consultation on a “legislative proposal on substantiating green claims” did NOT keep the Commission from including nuclear and gas in EU sustainability taxonomy.
Posted on 04/01/22
- mariatigre. "A Look Back at Significant Decisions in Climate Litigation in 2021".
Climate Law Blog.
(December 23, 2021).
2021 was a significant year for climate litigation. This post highlights some of the most significant decisions in climate litigation and their implication for the future. The verdicts show that courts increasingly recognize climate change as a human rights issue and that judges are prepared to order both states and companies to enact ambitious climate policies. Several cases and decisions clarify stakeholder responsibility for climate change. Courts worldwide further defined governments’ and companies’ duty of care for climate change as well as the extraterritorial responsibility of governments for climate harm. Increased filings and further decisions are anticipated in 2022.
Posted on 04/01/22
- Mathiesen, Karl, and Aitor Hernández-Morales. "Brussels’ Big Building Grab".
(December 15, 2021).
The EU plans to regulate the renovation of already existing, poorly insulated or ventilated buildings to become carbon neutral by 2050. The "nearly net-zero" energy efficiency standards for new builds are set to be strengthened. For the initiative, the Commission will make up to €150bn in regional development, cohesion and recovery funds. Leading to warmer homes, a boost in property values, lower heating costs, and a blue collar employment boost, the proposal has strong backing from industry and consumer groups. However, concern is being voiced about the demand it would place on the public sector, building owners and tenants.
Posted on 03/01/22
"Transforming Existing Hotels to Net Zero Carbon". 2021.
The majority of hotel carbon emissions result from operational energy consumption. With 80% of hotels in 2050 already in existence, this white paper sets out a high-level framework and prioritizes interventions throughout the remaining life cycle of the existing building stock. The paper addresses the net-zero carbon challenge to meet new regulatory requirements for existing hotels. Using a typical holiday hotel as a test case, it demonstrates the impact of interventions along a timeline aligned with the replacement point for each system. The paper suggests that sustainable solutions can potentially deliver a 38% internal rate of return after 5 years.
Posted on 31/12/21
- Ashour, Mojtaba, Amir Mahdiyar, and Syarmila Hany Haron. "A Comprehensive Review of Deterrents to the Practice of Sustainable Interior Architecture and Design".
September 17, 2021.
Sustainable Interior Architecture and Design (SIAD) impacts energy conservation as well as occupants’ satisfaction, comfort, and physical and psychological wellbeing. Although its adoption is necessary for achieving the sustainable development and operation of the built environment as well as the relevant sustainable development goals (SDGs), the practice of SIAD is impeded by numerous obstacles. This article provides a systematic review of the relevant literature and a comprehensive summary table consisting of 61 deterrents to the practice of SIAD. They are categorized as economic; attitude, knowledge, and awareness; market, information, and technology; education and training; and government and professional bodies.
Posted on 30/12/21
- Chant-Hall, Greg. "Due Diligence and Ongoing Stewardship When Engaging on Supply Chain Risk".
Stewardship is the use of influence by institutional investors to maximize long-term value, including the value of common social, environmental and economic assets on which returns and stakeholder interests depend. Stewardship and ESG incorporation calls for the inclusion of ESG factors in investment and capital allocation decisions. Effective product stewardship diligence looks at ESG supply chain risks and the actions to produce and market a product. Due diligence is performed by investors to facilitate the understanding of a company’s product stewardship and supply chain management. It aims to establish a baseline and framework for discussions on performance targets and monitoring.
Posted on 29/12/21
"‘Sustainable’ Companies Face Increased Pressure to Justify the Sustainability Label Amid Investor Challenges and Demands for Greater Risk Assessment and Disclosure". (December 01, 2021).
Companies globally are increasingly required to provide disclosure that is reliable, consistent, and comparable. They are facing increased pressure across the world to justify their sustainability label – "green labeling". The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has also voiced the importance of clear, consistent, and accurate disclosure as regards climate-related impacts. Carbon emissions from supply chains, manufacturing, and consumer waste have a significant impact on the overall assessment of a company's sustainably. It is expected that the Commission will soon pursue an approach where companies assess “sustainability” as an end-to-end concept and recognize this risk in their climate-related disclosures.
Posted on 28/12/21
- Yoong, Kimberly, and Adrian Flück. "ESG in Hotel Real Estate: Understanding ESG & the Hotel Asset Lifecycle".
Accessed December 27, 2021.
This article explores ESG – environmental, social and (corporate) governance – in the hotel sector by examining the ESG factors in hospitality and reviewing the role of ESG in a hotel’s life cycle. While environmental needs are the most pressing and environmental efforts are more measurable, social and governance factors must also be considered for ESG compliance. ESG is thought to require higher cost premiums, where investors expect to receive a premium upon the sale of ESG-compliant assets. ESG also plays a crucial role throughout the asset's life cycle, where developers, lenders, operators and investors are involved along a hotel’s value chain.
Posted on 27/12/21
The High Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda.
"A New Global Partnership: Eradicate Poverty and Transform Economies through Sustainable Development". May 30, 2013.
Published in 2013, the report contributed to the development of a post-2015 agenda and the Paris Agreement adopted in 2015 by the United Nations. It set out a universal agenda to eradicate extreme poverty globally by 2030 and deliver on the promise of sustainable development. The report addressed issues that are critical to building a better future, including promoting sexual and reproductive health and rights, advancing the sustainable use of energy, empowering women and girls, and focusing on the needs of young people. It called upon the world to unite in a "Global Partnership" with a role for everyone.
Posted on 24/12/21
- Wanner, Alice. "Seeking Leadership for a Sustainable Future".
Sustainable destination development still has leadership roles to claim. Organizations at the international and national levels determine policy, standards and reporting and monitoring requirements to set indicators. Destination development is implemented at the local level by communities and their stakeholders, who are ultimately responsible for tourism. There has been a growing call for communities and stakeholders to take center stage in a sustainable tourism future. This paper argues that the combination of the organizational benefits of higher levels with the implementation abilities of lower levels through joint accepted indicators and monitoring will ultimately lead to an improved sustainable future.
Posted on 23/12/21
- Frezza, Carlo Emanuele. "Aufgefallen in… Rimini".
Finanz und Wirtschaft.
December 17, 2021.
On the Italian Adriatic coast in the province of Rimini, more than 350 hotels are up for sale. According to estimates, €320 million would be enough to buy a good third of them. In Rimini alone, 159 buildings are now on the market, several of them with four and five stars. It is not only the Corona pandemic that has so many hotels empty and suffering. Some managers have simply not developed over the years and invested in sustainable solutions that lure guests. Hoteliers are advised to think about and take perhaps unconventional ways to attract tourists in the future.
Posted on 23/12/21
"Special Issue : Sustainable Development: Challenges and Opportunities". Accessed December 22, 2021.
The overall goal of sustainable development is to meet our needs today without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs. The implementation of the sustainable development concept is our greatest challenge. This special issue invites researchers to the scientific debate on its challenges and opportunities. The research should have practical value for the institutions and stakeholders developing or implementing sustainable development policies. It may address such areas of the sustainable development debate as the identification and assessment of smart cities, determinants for the development of digitization of the economy, and the analysis of sustainable development threats.
Posted on 22/12/21
"What Is a Sustainable Supply Chain?". Accessed December 21, 2021.
A sustainable supply chain fully integrates ethical and environmentally responsible practices into a competitive and successful model. End-to-end supply chain transparency is essential for companies to demonstrate corporate social responsibility. Sustainability initiatives must extend from raw materials sourcing to last-mile logistics, product returns, and recycling processes. Digital transformation and the increasing sophistication of digital supply chain technologies play a major role in the evolution of supply chain sustainability. Big data management, advanced analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), and security tools have brought unprecedented visibility and accountability to global supply chains. Green, transparency, and circularity characterize the sustainable supply chain.
Posted on 21/12/21
- Okoye, Peter Uchenna. "Factors Influencing Clients’ Commitment to Sustainable Construction Practices".
International Journal of Sustainable Development and Planning.
(February 08, 2021).
Successful sustainable development of projects largely depends on the level of clients’ commitment to sustainable construction practices. This survey found that the most influential factors were client knowledge and awareness; cost implication and mechanism of financial involvement; economic value and return on investment; end-user/client perception and preference; and health and safety implications. Clients decide on and have control over the implementation of sustainable construction practices and the success of sustainable construction projects. Responsible clients express sustainability aims in a policy statement, which stimulates sustainability action plans for social, economic and environmental issues and drives the sustainability of building construction.
Posted on 20/12/21
- Borg, Ruth, Rebecca Dalli Gonzi, and Simon Borg. "Building Sustainably: A Pilot Study on the Project Manager’s Contribution in Delivering Sustainable Construction Projects – A Maltese and International Perspective".
December 05, 2020.
Tasked with the overall management of a building’s development phases, the project manager is becoming increasingly crucial for achieving project sustainability goals. This survey reveals that project managers were well aware of sustainability issues and their role in bringing a sustainability agenda into construction projects. Pre-construction (43%) and construction (28%) were the stages where a project manager can give the highest input. The refusal of clients to commit increased capital (34%), the requirement for specialized training (33%), and the lack of incentives aimed at increasing the sustainability of projects (22%) were cited by respondents as obstacles to sustainable construction.
Posted on 19/12/21
"Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the Energy Performance of Buildings". December 15, 2021.
The proposed revision of the EPBD is part of the 2021 EU Commission Work Programme “Fit for 55” package. It is key legislation to deliver on the 2030 and 2050 decarbonization objectives and adopt the Renovation Wave Strategy with concrete regulatory, financing and enabling measures. The revision introduces minimum energy performance standards to trigger the transformation of the building sector. The widely recognized positive economic impacts of building renovation are decreasing energy costs while alleviating energy poverty and increasing the value of more energy-efficient buildings. Other benefits from building renovation include better quality of living and shorter average vacancy periods.
Posted on 18/12/21
- Schicklinski, Judith, Stephanie Barnebeck, Yannick Kalff, and EAH Jena. "Civil Society Actors as Drivers of Socio-Ecological Transition? Green Spaces in European Cities as Laboratories of Social Innovation".
WIFO – Austrian Institute of Economic Research.
Socioecological systems reflect a highly interconnected relationship between society and ecosystems. Their resilience depends on a wide range of factors stemming from the linkages between human societies and ecosystems. The factors include changes in the social, political and environmental factors and the interaction between the systems. Urbanization occurs when living conditions in the city are not attractive enough, say, due to high traffic density and related pollution problems. "Green infrastructure" has the purpose of lessening the burden of urban development on the environment while providing ecosystem services, such as the reduction of traffic density in cities and related pollution problems.
Posted on 15/12/21
- Fakih, Moe. "3 Reasons for an Early Sustainability Feasibility Study for Your Project".
(March 19, 2021).
Evolving green building and energy codes impact the cost assessment and early schematic design of projects, which building owners and design teams must understand. Sustainability feasibility studies are undertaken early in the construction document (CD) phase to effectively address sustainability goals and requirements without impacting the design or construction process. Early sustainability feasibility studies help design teams assess sustainability impacts, align the owner’s requirements, and avoid costly delays and scope creep that lead to increased soft and hard costs. They also consider above-code requirements, such as all-electric construction, photovoltaic installation, third-party rating programs, and/or other sustainable project development solutions.
Posted on 14/12/21
- Zipper, Birgit, and Alexander Gerlach. "Sustainability Becomes Part of Investment Advice: ESG – Mandatory or Optional?".
Sustainability is becoming an integral part of the suitability test of investments. With the EU Action Plan on Financing Sustainable Growth, the EU has created binding rules for financial advisors. It also underlines its ambitions in the fight against climate change and sets a clear signal for the reallocation of capital in favor of sustainable investments. By 2 August 2022, investors will decide whether and to what extent sustainability should be included in their investment decision. The mandatory query of sustainability preferences in investment advice is likely to further fuel the already strong demand for sustainable investment funds.
Posted on 13/12/21
- Zimmermann, Regitze Kjaer, Ole Skjelmose, Kasper Guldager Jensen, Kristian Knorr Jensen, and Harpa Birgisdottir. "Categorizing Building Certification Systems According to the Definition of Sustainable Building".
IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering.
(February 24, 2019).
There are several sustainable – "green" – building certifications schemes and great variation in how they are structured, evaluated, and weight social, environmental and economic dimensions. For the definition of "sustainable building certification", this paper from 2019 gives the three dimensions equal weight. Active House, BREEAM, DGNB, Green Star, HQE, LEED, Living Building Challenge, Miljöbyggnad, Nordic Ecolabel and WELL were the certification schemes analyzed. Across the systems, the environmental dimension accounted for an average of 51% and economy 5.6%. Of the 10 systems, only DGNB certification gave equal weight to the social, environmental and economic dimensions in the definition of sustainability.
Posted on 12/12/21
- Erasmus, Priyanka, and Usha Iyer-Raniga. "Construction Supply Chains and Their Role in Sustainability".
Springer International Publishing.
It is suggested that standards and regulation of the construction of the supply chain would be less effective than the "ethical approach" and third-party monitoring. At best, developers and construction companies make an ethical choice as regards sustainable procurement, for which the value for money (VfM) framework appears useful. Construction companies can apply VfM within their projects to take the SDGs and sustainability into account to procure "affordable" resources while furthering their sustainability agenda. VfM informs owners, constructors, design consultants and other non-owner participants involved in project delivery along the construction supply chain and throughout the whole-life cycle.
Posted on 12/12/21
"SDGs: Answering the Big Questions for the Real Estate Industry – What, Where, Why and How?". Accessed December 11, 2021.
Sustainable development goals (SDGs) provide comprehensive sustainable development criteria along a property's value chain and whole-life cycle. Since the real estate industry is chiefly responsible for the development and management of property, it must also lead the environmental stewardship of the built environment. Building the SDGs into the strategy allows for their effective management as goals. But, an agenda centered on all 17 SDGs is proving too broad, complex or immaterial for businesses to properly address. To determine which SDGs are material, an environmental management system (EMS) is used to ensure programs are aligned and managed through a coordinated strategy.
Posted on 11/12/21
"Special Issue : Business Strategies Concerning the Sustainable Development Goals and the SDG Compass". Accessed December 10, 2021.
The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) call for companies to actively engage in the social, economic and environmental transformation process. Business contribution to the SDGs requires integrating the SDGs into their core competitive strategy, organizational culture, and business model. For this, companies must do different things differently. To help companies in the transformative process, the SDG compass provides a guide on how to formulate, execute and communicate SDG-related strategies. This special issue of Sustainability calls for researchers from various academic disciplines to address a broad spectrum of topics related to business strategies concerning the SDGs and the SDG compass.
Posted on 10/12/21
"Adoption of EU Taxonomy Delegated Act Marks Milestone Opens New Chapter in EU’s Sustainability Efforts". December 09, 2021.
The EU Taxonomy Delegated Act adopted on 9 December 2021 contains the technical screening criteria (“TSC”) for climate change adaptation and mitigation under the EU Taxonomy Regulation. The TSC is key in the EU’s transition to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 and in guiding investment to environmentally sustainable economic activities, including the EU Renovation Wave initiative. 75% of EU buildings are believed to be energy-inefficient. Improving the energy performance of the EU’s buildings is critical in meeting the EU’s targets. Appropriate guidance and clarity around the usability of the taxonomy for underlying financial products for the needed investment are essential.
Posted on 09/12/21
- Russell, Erica, Jacquetta Lee, and Roland Clift. "Can the SDGs Provide a Basis for Supply Chain Decisions in the Construction Sector?".
(February 28, 2021).
Sustainability in the construction sector has increased in importance but is difficult to implement. This paper provides an empirical investigation into the value of the UN sustainable development goals (SDGs) for use as a framework for action to drive organizations towards sustainability in global construction supply chain. It cites two different and contrasting approaches for improving the sustainability of supply networks: the bottom-up "ethical approach" and top-down regulations. The paper suggests that promoting shared ethical values aligned with third-party monitoring of consumption and production in the construction industry would be more effective than regulation of the supply chain.
Posted on 08/12/21
- Dawson, Christine. "SDGs: Top Trumps of Sustainable Finance?".
(November 17, 2021).
Private finance is essential for meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). To mobilize the finance and harness capital flows for sustainable development and investing, the investment community must make sense of the SDGs. For this, a global benchmarking tool, SDG rating harmonization, a globally adopted taxonomy, and independent evaluation of SDG alignment methodologies are needed. Until the use of SDGs is regulated and made mandatory for institutions, it's left to asset managers to align them with investment strategies and ESG investment criteria. Without the regulation and use of SDG investment criteria, asset managers are running the risk of SDG washing.
Posted on 08/12/21
- Ionașcu, Elena, Marilena Mironiuc, Ion Anghel, and Maria Carmen Huian. 2020. "The Involvement of Real Estate Companies in Sustainable Development – An Analysis from the SDGs Reporting Perspective".
January 21, 2020.
This paper analyzes the extent to which the EU real estate companies meet sustainable development goals (SDGs) while meeting stakeholders’ information needs. Sustainability reports and annual reports were studied to highlight their prioritization of SDGs and the extent to which they are integrated in their business models. The depth with which they report their sustainability commitments was analyzed based on a quality score. It was found that there is a large gap between their expressed intentions and the actions undertaken by the companies. Nor do most have the strategy, culture or tools needed to turn sustainability commitments into action.
Posted on 07/12/21
- Wiedmann, Thomas, and Cameron Allen. "City Footprints and SDGs Provide Untapped Potential for Assessing City Sustainability".
Concepts that assess the sustainability of cities are only now emerging. Assessments vary considerably depending upon the indicators, targets and methods. Science can help in defining indicator frameworks, quantifying indicators, and developing the metrics and methods for evaluating progress. The UN 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide unique criteria for assessing urban sustainability. The SDGs offer a comprehensive and integrated framework of goals, targets, and unique indicators to guide progress on sustainable development. They have an advantage over other sustainability assessment indicators and frameworks since they were agreed through the consensus of the UN member states.
Posted on 07/12/21
EY Parthenon, Booking.com, and OC&C Strategy Consultants.
"Global Accommodation – The Road to Net Zero Emissions". October 2021.
https://www.lechotouristique.com/...There is significant potential for the reduction of GHG emissions from accommodations while reducing the operating costs to achieve net-zero GHG emissions by 2050. This report focuses on abating direct and controllable emissions and presents a transition pathway with opportunities for accommodations to directly reduce CO₂ emissions. The report is based on primary research that maps the GHG emissions of the global accommodation sector and the different types of accommodations operating in different geographies and climate zones. It provides a detailed, bottom-up underpinning of the accommodation sector's progress so far and what it can still achieve through different measures.
Posted on 06/12/21
Science Based Targets.
"Net-Zero for Financial Institutions". Accessed December 06, 2021.
https://sciencebasedtargets.org/...Standardization is needed to evaluate and validate net-zero commitments in the financial sector. This is needed for financial institutions to drive the decarbonization of the real economy and stabilize temperatures at 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. The objective of the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) is to bring a scientific basis for FIs to achieve net-zero by 2050. The Net-Zero for Financial Institutions Foundation Paper sets out principles, definitions, metrics, and targets for a quantitative net-zero standard for financial institutions. The transparent and inclusive multi-stakeholder process engages financial institutions, NGOs, government officials, and other interested parties.
Posted on 06/12/21
Global Destination Sustainability Movement.
"Global Destination Sustainability Index 2021". Accessed December 04, 2021.
The top 10 destinations are #1 Gothenburg, Sweden; #2 Copenhagen, Denmark; #3 Aarhus, Denmark; #4 Glasgow, UK; #5 Reykjavik, Iceland; #6 Tirol, Austria; #7 Lyon, France; #8 Zurich, Switzerland; #9 Bordeaux, France; and #10 Aalborg, Denmark. The GDS-Index is a performance improvement program to make the leisure tourism industry more sustainable. The four key areas deemed vital to the sustainability performance of a destination are environmental strategy and infrastructure; social sustainability performance; industry supplier support; and the DMO's strategy and initiatives. These areas are evaluated to assess the action of the DMOs on sustainability. The ranking supports DMOs and convention bureaus to adopt, promote and recognize responsible and regenerative practices.
Posted on 05/12/21
"Design For Sustainable Development". September 01, 2020.
This thematic collection aims at creating a forum for encouraging and debating the design for sustainable development. High-quality scientific contributions are needed to provide a coherent and widely accepted approach for designs that maximize the positive and minimize the negative environmental impacts while bringing about positive social and economic changes. To reach global development goals and sustainable growth, the private and public sectors need to undergo a large and systemic transition. The rethinking of existing systems to equitably meet the needs of a growing global population while ensuring future environmental viability is an essential and priority task for today’s society.
Posted on 04/12/21
- Graves, Christine, and Hildegard Lingnau. "“Overview: Putting Sustainable Development at the Core of Business Models.” In Development Co-Operation Report 2016 – The Sustainable Development Goals as Business Opportunities".
The private sector holds a pivotal position in achieving the goals of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development, which requires funding and co-operation on an unprecedented scale. This chapter addresses how international cooperation can help to put sustainable development at the core of business models and provides a set of recommendations. It looks at the need for sustainable development to focus on the quality and the quantity of private sector contributions. The challenges include making sustainability business as usual, creating conditions for good investment, building global change from the bottom up, ensuring accountability and transparency, and creating new multi-stakeholder partnerships.
Posted on 04/12/21
- Bellon, Aymeric. "Does Private Equity Ownership Make Firms Cleaner? The Role Of Environmental Liability Risks".
SSRN Electronic Journal.
(June 12, 2020).
Private equity-backed firms increase pollution in locations and periods where environmental liability risk is relatively low while decreasing GHG emissions and pollution where regulatory risks increase. This study shows that private equity (PE) ownership leads to a 70% reduction in the baseline rate of toxic pollution. Exploiting specific private equity deals from the energy industry, the study found that PE control and incentive to sell the firm are the main drivers behind the results. Reducing GHG emissions and toxic pollution reduces environmental liability risk and maximizes PE exit value by making the portfolio company attractive to more buyers.
Posted on 03/12/21
World Travel & Tourism Council.
"A Net Zero Roadmap for Travel & Tourism". November 2021.
This report supports stakeholders on the transition towards net-zero emissions by providing knowledge for the climate commitments of the private sector. It considers the most common roadblocks and areas for support as well as decarbonization levers for the achievement of net-zero targets. The report offers a decarbonization framework with specific action tables to support companies in their prioritization processes. It aims to identify and provide tools and resources to the sector that will encourage collaboration and support businesses to further prioritize climate action and set high ambitions that will accelerate the change towards a net-zero future.
Posted on 02/12/21
- Swann, Stacy, Laurence Blandford, Sheldon Cheng, Jonathan Cook, Alan Miller, and Rhona Barr. "Public International Funding of Nature-Based Solutions for Adaptation: A Landscape Assessment".
World Resources Institute.
Nature-based solutions for adaptation (NbSA) encompasses different types of activities, investments and approaches that seek to protect and restore nature and ecosystems. NbSA investments are fundamentally important in helping many countries address climate change to bring about economic development and other benefits. Climate finance and official development assistance (ODA) help developing countries scale up such investments, particularly where national public budgets are constrained. Integrating such approaches into post-COVID economic recovery planning can maximize the effectiveness of international and domestic public funding while delivering long-term resilience. This paper provides the first assessment of public international funding for NbSA.
Posted on 02/12/21
"Albrecht Voss: 2021 Hasselblad Masters Winner – Architecture". December 01, 2021.
Albrecht Voss is the winner of Hasselblad Masters 2021 photo competition in the architecture category. The competition consists of 12 categories. Each entry must consist of three (3) photos in each category and each entry is judged on the three submitted images in that category. 60,000 photos were submitted. The Hasselblad Masters is one of the world’s most prestigious professional photographic competitions. It gives acclaimed professionals as well as aspiring newcomers the chance to make their mark in the world of photography. The Hasselblad Grand Jury comprises members of the industry's most respected photographers, established editors and industry experts, and previous winners.
Posted on 01/12/21
- Legrand, Willy. "Nature-Based Solutions for Urban Hotel Real Estate".
IU International University of Applied Sciences and Berkeley Capital Group.
A 40% drop in natural capital per person has been reported over the past two decades while being systematically depleted. However, nature and its ecosystem services are at the center of the hospitality business proposition at the destination, where nature is a source of solutions to mitigate and adapt to climate change and protect biodiversity while ensuring human well-being. This paper argues that projects that manage, protect and restore ecosystems are win-win strategies for addressing climate change and biodiversity loss. It also argues that hotels are uniquely positioned to tackle both climate and biodiversity via their facilities.
Posted on 01/12/21
- Cataldo, Ieva, Nerija Banaitienė, and Audrius Banaitis. "Developing of Sustainable Supply Chain Management Indicators in Construction".
E3S Web of Conferences.
This paper provides tools that solve procurement problems in construction, where sustainability indicators were divided into social (governance), economic, and environmental groups. It identifies sustainability indicators for examining the supply chains of construction companies, allowing construction project managers to more easily apply up-to-date, advanced sustainable approaches. The use of the indicators can help develop strategies for sustainable development policymakers and construction managers. The breakdown of indicators according to SCM sustainability and their in-depth study provides a basis for project managers and researchers to further analyze and study the indicators of projects in construction.
Posted on 30/11/21
Global Destination Sustainability Movement (GDS-Movement).
"Global Destination Sustainability Index (GDS-Index) Benchmarking Methodology". November 29, 2021.
The GDS-Index is a destination level program that measures, benchmarks and improves the sustainability strategy and performance of tourism and events destinations. Its purpose is to inspire, engage and enable destinations to become more regenerative, flourishing and resilient places to visit, where to meet, and thrive in. The GDS-Index integrates the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into the management of global destinations and was created specifically for the events and meetings industry. It is used to assess a destination’s sustainability and regeneration strategy, leadership, communication of sustainability initiatives to support client planners, and the rigorousness of their reporting on sustainability operations.
Posted on 30/11/21
"Sustainability in Hospitality".
The forum explores ideas, strategies and solution for an industry facing increased environmental and societal challenges. Industry opinion leaders and experts share their thoughts, reactions and insights on the important issues and events that are affecting the global hospitality business. Its goal is to anchor sustainability in the decision-making of the hospitality stakeholders in the value chain and whole life cycle. The articles focus on such issues as hospitality supply chains, the solutions that nature provides, and sustainability-driven legislation. Thought leaders are invited to share insights, views, ideas and reactions on important issues and events currently affecting the hospitality business.
Posted on 29/11/21
Sustainable Hospitality Alliance.
"Pathway to Net Positive Hospitality Raises Global Ambition for the Hospitality Sector". November 03, 2021.
This initiative aims to enable every hotel to improve their impact, wherever they are on the transition towards sustainability. The sustainability framework accessible to the global hospitality industry will encompass four clear stages and practical tools to guide the industry towards a regenerative impact. The hospitality industry has a crucial role to play in limiting its impacts across the spectrum of critical issues, including emissions, water usage, waste, and resource procurement. The Pathway recognizes numerous initiatives and resources designed to support the industry. It aims to build on these to develop a holistic, action-based approach to net positive hospitality.
Posted on 29/11/21
World Resources Institute.
"Prize for Cities". November 28, 2021.
Incremental change is not putting communities on track for sustainability, equity and prosperity. Although successful sustainable change is happening, the solutions and successful efforts towards urban transformation are not identified and publicized. To right this, the WRI Ross Center Prize for Cities initiative spotlights successful transformative urban change. Prize for Cities is a global prize awarded to inspire urban change-makers by elevating initiatives and telling stories of successful sustainable urban transformation. Businesses, local governments, CSOs – all types of organizations and individuals from the public, private, and civil society sectors – are all invited to apply for the 2020-2021 Prize for Cities.
Posted on 28/11/21
Der Verband Österreichischer Entsorgungsbetriebe (VOEB).
"Green Jobs in der Abfallwirtschaft". November 2021.
Professions in the environmental sector – "green jobs " – are now quite popular among Austrians. In a recent study, 43% of respondents showed interest in a green job, as high as 60% among 14- to 18-year-olds. Waste and resource management is viewed as a crisis-proof job (46%) and a job with a purpose and benefit for environmental protection (42%). Project management, research and development, logistics and laboratories are most popular among both women and men. The study (in German) was commissioned by the Association of Austrian Waste Management Companies (VOEB) among 1,500 Austrians between the ages of 14 and 69.
Posted on 28/11/21
- Bateman, Alexis, Kellen Betts, Ken Cottrill, Jason Pang, and Aniruddha Suhas Deshpande. "State of Supply Chain Sustainability 2021".
MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics and Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals.
This report reveals that company executives are the most significant source of pressure behind corporate commitments to supply chain sustainability (SCS). Given their central role in setting and steering strategies, this suggests that the drive toward supply chain sustainability is a long-term business trend. The report sheds light on how companies put their SCS commitments into practice. Three common approaches emerged: supplier development, supply chain visibility, and environmental impact reduction. The trend is driven primarily by large and very large companies. Small- and medium-sized companies are less likely to engage until after the coronavirus crisis due to strained financial resources
Posted on 26/11/21
- Wilkinson, Dominic, Jonathan Pugh, and Julian Savulescu. "Selective Lockdowns Can Be Ethically Justifiable – Here’s Why".
(November 16, 2021).
The unvaccinated are at a much greater risk of getting infected and spreading the coronavirus disease. They suffer the most severe symptoms and are the corona patients who occupy over 90% of the ICU beds. Even though they restrict individual freedoms, lockdowns are justifiable where necessary and proportionate to achieve an important public health benefit. Selective lockdowns are an alternative to complete lockdowns. Although they treat people differently, there is no need to lock down those at low risk of infection or hospitalization. A general lockdown is at the cost of liberty of a significant majority, who are fully vaccinated.
Posted on 26/11/21
- Legrand, Willy. "Marginal Abatement Costs – Focus: Hotel Real Estate".
Using marginal abatement cost (MAC) for investment decision-making brings hoteliers, investors, owners and operators multiple benefits, depending on the type and scope and responsibility of investment. The marginal abatement cost curve (MACC) provides a visual representation to easily identify the initiatives that have negative abatement costs and positive NPV. Applying the MAC methodology to decision-making is a matter of risk assessment and management towards regulatory demands, whether in terms of carbon pricing or energy efficiency of buildings, and mitigating the risk of stranding assets. MACC can provide great insights and a plan of action to decarbonize the hospitality industry.
Posted on 26/11/21
- Einarsson, Stefan, and Fabrice Sorin. "Circular Economy in Travel and Tourism: A Conceptual Framework for a Sustainable, Resilient and Future Proof Industry Transition".
December 16, 2020.
This paper suggests that the circular economy (CE) offers a pathway towards a resilient and sustainable, tourism ecosystem. It also suggests that hospitality, travel and tourism has an important role to play in the circular economy transition. The stakeholders can act as enablers of circularity and benefit from shared circular value within the value chains. This is achieved through a system-thinking approach based on collaboration, business model innovation and value co-creation. Circularity increases the resilience of the deeply interlinked industry and organizations, lowers natural ecosystem impacts, and provides enhanced economic and societal value to the ecosystem stakeholders.
Posted on 25/11/21
- Edouard Mathieu, and Max Roser. "How do death rates from COVID-19 differ between people who are vaccinated and those who are not?".
Our World in Data.
(November 23, 2021).
When headline say “Half of those who died from the virus were vaccinated”, we don't know whether or not the vaccine is protecting people. For this, we need to know how many people were vaccinated and how many were not. Comparisons of the absolute numbers is a "base rate fallacy". If 5 of 10 unvaccinated people died, the death rate among the unvaccinated is 50%. If 5 of 50 vaccinated people died, the death rate among the vaccinated is 10%. This only tells us that the death rate among the vaccinated is 5-times lower than among the unvaccinated.
Posted on 24/11/21
- Arzoumanidis, Ioannis, Anna M. Walker, Luigia Petti, and Andrea Raggi. "Life Cycle-Based Sustainability and Circularity Indicators for the Tourism Industry: A Literature Review".
(October 27, 2021).
Carbon footprint/climate change appears to be the most commonly used life-cycle sustainability indicator for tourism and hospitality. Specific sustainability indicators that consider socio-economic and socio-cultural aspects have rarely been specified in the industry's transition towards circular economy. Future life-cycle sustainability assessment (LCSA) must be based on scientifically sound and easy-to-use sustainability and circularity indicators performed through LCSA case studies. The indicators identified in the case studies will be used in decision-making tools (e.g., Delphi hierarchy process) with the involvement of the relevant parties for the selection of the most suitable stakeholders – operators, professionals, online booking platforms, etc.
Posted on 23/11/21
- Supply Chain Working Group. "Managing ESG Risk in the Supply Chains of Private Companies and Assets".
November 27, 2017.
Supply chains are often highly complex and span many countries and include multiple tiers that are made more opaque by outsourcing and offshoring. Highly interdependent, the relationship between products and services and ESG risk factors are intertwined across sectors and throughout every level of the supply chain. As they fall outside of a company’s core operations, supply chains are exposed to hidden and uncontrollable risks. These risks are typically driven by such ESG factors as natural resource depletion, human rights abuses, and corruption. They can harm the operations, financial performance, and reputations of the businesses, the assets, and the investors.
Posted on 23/11/21
- Day, Jonathon, Willy Legrand, and Olivia Ruggles-Brice. "Determining the Sustainability of Hotels in Your Supply Chain".
Sustainable Hospitality Alliance.
The hospitality industry needs to become more sustainable and hotels globally are focusing on the sustainability impacts of their supply chains. This guidance addresses the environmental and social sustainability issues in hospitality supply chains and recommends steps for determining what sustainability information to request. This document is intended to guide hotels in assessing the sustainability of their supply chain. It provides insight on the questions that help determine the sustainability of hotels and how to receive the highest quality replies. It is suggested that it be shared with business partners to support them in their information requests.
Posted on 22/11/21
- Fulton, Mark. "The Policy Challenge for the Inevitable Response to the Climate Transition".
(November 12, 2021).
Inevitable Policy Response (IPR) anticipates a climate policy acceleration driven in part by investor, corporate and civil society pressure around net zero, climate impacts, and low-carbon technology cost developments. The principles address the different emissions paths between the developed and developing nations in a just transition. Ambition must drive the transition towards the 2023 Paris global Stocktake and 2025 Ratchet. This article suggests that investment will then flow for emissions curves to bend towards net zero by 2050. However, with the policy ambition and without higher ambition and intensification by policymakers, the global temperature increase cannot be held to the Paris Agreement targets.
Posted on 22/11/21
- Duric, Zorica, and Jasna Potočnik Topler. "The Role of Performance and Environmental Sustainability Indicators in Hotel Competitiveness".
(June 09, 2021).
Environmental protection and sustainability are important factors in the hotel business and their competitiveness. Performance and environmental sustainability indicators help hotel managers identify opportunities for employing processes for saving resources to improve the environmental performance of their hotels. This article addresses how an environmentally sustainable business affects hotel performance and identifies the most important indicators while pointing out the complexity and the significance of these indicators in the hotel business. It aims to offer insight into and analysis of performance and indicators of the environmental sustainability of hotels and emphasize the importance of environmental reports in the process.
Posted on 20/11/21
- Gühnemann, Astrid, Agnes Kurzweil, and Markus Mailer. "Tourism Mobility and Climate Change – A Review of the Situation in Austria".
Journal of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism.
(May 13, 2021).
Travel by car and plane are primary sources of greenhouse gas emissions in tourism. 3 out of 4 guests in Austria use the car and around 10% travel by plane. It is expected that the number of guests arriving by plane will increase after the coronavirus pandemic. Technological improvements and societal trends will not be sufficient to achieve the climate targets of the Paris Agreement. To significantly reduce the negative climate impacts from the travel of tourists, the unsustainable forms of transport by air and car must be avoided and climate-friendly transport modes made available and used.
Posted on 19/11/21
- Armour, John, Luca Enriques, and Thom Wetzer. "Mandatory Corporate Climate Disclosures: Now, but How?".
SSRN Electronic Journal.
November 15, 2021.
Companies are not required to disclose the information that investors need to price climate risk. Voluntary frameworks, like the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), do not bring about the necessary change. This has led to mispricing climate risk and capital misallocation, which harms investors and delays the transition to net-zero carbon neutrality. This paper argues for mandatory corporate climate disclosures and suggests the regulatory architecture that supports such a disclosure regime. It outlines design principles to establish metrics against which government proposals can be evaluated in support of their efforts and to call out policy greenwashing.
Posted on 19/11/21
International Tourism Partnership.
"Sustainable Hotel – Siting, Design and Construction". 2014.
This resource supports local government planning authorities, owners, developers, architects and investors in the sustainable development of new or refurbishment of existing hotels. It can be used during all phases of the development process to ensure that hotels are built with minimal impact on the local environment throughout their whole life cycle – both in their construction and operation. This manual is one of the first publications explicitly designed to help hospitality companies build more sustainable hotels. It covers each phase of the sustainable hotel development process and offers comprehensive analysis and tangible actions for all project participants and stakeholders.
Posted on 18/11/21
United Nations Environment Programme.
"The Use of Natural Resources in the Economy: A Global Manual on Economy Wide Material Flow Accounting". June 25, 2021.
Material flow accounting provides a statistical framework measuring natural resource extraction, trade in natural resources, waste disposal and emissions. Domestic material consumption and material footprint are used as a proxy for overall environmental pressure within a national economy and the impact of a national economy on the environment. Economy-wide material flow accounting (EW-MFA) describes the interaction of a domestic economy with the natural environment and the global economy in terms of flows of materials, waste and emissions. This document provides global guidance on EW-MFA that can be used by national environmental policymakers around the world for developing a circular economy.
Posted on 18/11/21
The GRI Standards are global public reporting best practices on economic, environmental and social impacts. Reporting based on the standards provides information about an organization’s positive or negative contributions towards sustainable development for integration into its strategy, to identify financial risks and evaluate its long-term success. The standards contain disclosures and include requirements and recommendations. Requirements specify information an organization must report or instructions it must comply with and report. Recommendations suggest additional voluntary information or a course of action. They provide a structure for reporting relevant information about an organization and its economic, environmental and social impacts.
Posted on 17/11/21
- Tang, Christopher S., and Tinglong Dai. "ESG Investing Has a Blind Spot That Puts the $35 Trillion Industry’s Sustainability Promises in Doubt: Supply Chains".
(November 09, 2021).
There's some discrepancy in how such rating agencies as Bloomberg, MSCI and Sustainalytics are measuring the ESG risk in the performance of supply chains. To accurately measure a company’s ESG risks, also its end-to-end supply chain operations must be considered. The EU's new Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation mandates investment funds to report details on how they integrate ESG characteristics into their investment decisions. The German Supply Chain Due Diligence Act, which is to become effective in 2023, requires large companies based in Germany to be responsible for social and environmental issues arising from their global supply chain networks.
Posted on 16/11/21
- Ricaurte, Eric, and Rehmaashini Jagarajan. "Hotel Sustainability Benchmarking Index 2020: Carbon, Energy, and Water".
Cornell Center for Hospitality Research.
November 13, 2021.
The Cornell Hotel Sustainability Benchmarking Index (CHSB) is the hotel industry’s largest annual benchmarking of energy, water, and carbon emissions. It is an industry-led global data collection and benchmarking initiative, with more than 18,000 hotels contributing information on their energy and water usage and greenhouse gas emissions. Open to hotels and hotel companies of all sizes, including major hotel brands, operators and owners, 55 nations and 20 international hotel chains representing all regions of the world participated. Published annually, it is freely available and offers a peer-based reference for benchmarking and estimating hotel energy and water usage and carbon footprints.
Posted on 16/11/21
PRI lists 25 SDG reporting initiatives according to focus. Some are a mechanism for disclosure and reporting on SDG investments or impact financing. Others allow for measuring and reporting on the implementation of the SDGs by businesses and their alignment with corporate sustainability benchmarks. United Nations Global Compact allows for the mapping of financing instruments, benchmarking, and analytics to direct private finance towards critical sustainability solutions. The initiatives of IFC, GSI, and WBCSD among others track the development impact of investments. The United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative helps stakeholders identify, assess and promote positive impact activities, entities, and projects.
Posted on 15/11/21
- Rubio-Mozos, Ernestina, Fernando E. García-Muiña, and Laura Fuentes-Moraleda. "Sustainable Strategic Management Model for Hotel Companies: A Multi-Stakeholder Proposal to ‘Walk the Talk’ toward SDGs".
(October 19, 2021).
This paper proposes a sustainable strategic management model (SSMM) for small- and medium-sized (SME) hotel companies, which have to contribute to the 2030 Agenda. Adding the SDG perspective, it is a holistic proposal with a multi-stakeholder approach to enable them to focus on the well-being of people and the planet. Through a qualitative research methodology, the ecosystemic SSMM is defined so that the hotel company can make significant contributions to the SDG pillars of sustainability. Basing the structure on the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) criteria, it proposes four strategic management axis and develops ten principles of ethical performance (PEP).
Posted on 15/11/21
- Pacces, Alessio Maria. "Will the EU Taxonomy Regulation Foster a Sustainable Corporate Governance?".
European Corporate Governance Institute.
(November 10, 2021).
EU securities regulation has established a taxonomy of environmentally sustainable financial activities that potentially supports sustainable corporate governance. This paper argues that including environmental sustainability in EU mandatory disclosure aligns the incentives of institutional investors with the interest of their beneficiaries while fostering the efficient inclusion of sustainability in corporate governance. Firstly, by standardizing the disclosure of environmental sustainability, the taxonomy can curb greenwashing. Secondly, as the same standards define the sustainability preferences in recommending and marketing financial products, it is an efficient way to channel investor preferences. Thirdly, sustainability disclosure prompts institutional investors to compete for sustainability-minded beneficiaries.
Posted on 14/11/21
- Schönherr, Norma, Heike Vogel-Pöschl, Florian Findler, and André Martinuzzi. "Accountability by Design? Exploring Design Characteristics of Corporate Social Responsibility Standards".
Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal.
(July 22, 2021).
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) standards are widely adopted instruments for supporting firms in becoming more accountable, while noncompliance limits their effectiveness and legitimacy. This paper investigates the design of 50 CSR standards across different standard types (principle-based, reporting, certification and process standards) systematically and comparatively for their accountability and compliance effectiveness. The study finds that the prevalence of design characteristics aimed at fostering accountability varies significantly between different standard types. It identifies implementability, comparability and measurability as three factors related to the specific purpose of any standard that explain this structural variation in the standards’ design.
Posted on 14/11/21
United Nations Environment Programme.
"Global Status Report for Buildings and Construction: Towards a Zero‑Emission, Efficient and Resilient Buildings and Construction Sector". October 19, 2021.
To limit additional global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius, countries have adopted policies and codes that have a future impact on the emissions and energy efficiency of buildings. Building emissions need to be reduced along their life cycle through a combination of reducing energy demand, decarbonizing the power supply and addressing embodied carbon stored in building materials. Efforts require maximizing the refurbishment of existing buildings, evaluating each design choice using a whole life-cycle approach, minimizing upfront carbon impacts, and avoiding future embodied carbon during and at the end of their life. This also helps in achieving the UN SDGs.
Posted on 13/11/21
- Mehta, Jojo. "Ecocide as an International Crime".
(October 26, 2021).
One solution to the widespread or long-term damage to the environment gaining support is to make ecocide a crime and punishable by international justice. Major events that massively destroy ecosystems would thus fall under the jurisdiction of the international criminal court. This would allow citizens to hold companies and governments to account for the mass-scale damage and destruction of the environment and ecology. If ecocide became international law, major cases against mass polluters could prevent further environmental destruction. Criminalizing ecocide could be part of the solution and the legal angle requiring policymakers, investors, insurers and CEOs to take preventive action.
Posted on 13/11/21
- Mathiesen, Karl. "EU Accused of Being the ‘Missing Leader’ at COP26 Climate Talks".
(November 11, 2021).
The role of the EU in the UN climate process has traditionally been to drive the talks and build the needed high ambition coalition. But, according to green groups, diplomats, observers and allies, the EU appeared at COP26 ineffective, constrained and inept at times. Where the EU was present and represented in negotiations, it remained silent. This was met with disbelief and left the impression that the EU was more interested in closing documents than in principles. However, the EU may be pushing for a deal behind closed doors that gets countries to announce new emissions cuts next year.
Posted on 12/11/21
- Goubran, Sherif. "On the Role of Construction in Achieving the SDGs".
Journal of Sustainability Research.
(October 30, 2019).
Construction and real estate have been central to the debates on sustainable development. Where the dominant definition of sustainability in the built environment focuses on the environmental dimension, the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) offer new opportunities for the building sector to expand its focus. Green building rating systems, such as LEED, BREEAM and DGNB, fail to analyze the intersection between buildings and the SDGs. This paper identifies SDG targets that depend on construction and real estate activities and reveals that 17% of the SDG targets are directly dependent and 27% are indirectly dependent on construction and real estate activities.
Posted on 12/11/21
- Goubran, Sherif, and Carmela Cucuzzella. "Integrating the Sustainable Development Goals in Building Projects".
Journal of Sustainability Research.
(August 30, 2019).
Building designers are attempting to integrate the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into projects. This has limited the development of novel approaches as well as new building design methodologies that specifically aim at attaining the agenda’s targets. To help building design teams achieve the meaningful integration of the agenda’s five Ps – people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnership, this paper proposes two analytical mapping tools for use during the integrated design process. They track the integration of SDGs in the building projects and analyze the building design approaches and visions in reference to the goals.
Posted on 11/11/21
World Green Building Council.
"Beyond the Business Case". November 04, 2021.
This report outlines why real estate businesses must invest in sustainability. It demonstrates benefits for investing in a sustainable built environment by capitalizing on the economic opportunities, addressing risk mitigation, and embracing the social value case. The report explores the evolving scope of sustainability, country climate pledges within the Paris Agreement, such regulatory change as the EU taxonomy, the rise in sustainable finance, and the growth of ESG reporting. It draws from the rapidly growing sustainability agenda along the value chain across the built environment and supports the business case for sustainable development for real estate developers and investors.
Posted on 11/11/21
- Wendy Li, Louise Twining-Ward, Jessie McComb, Shaun Mann, Urvashi Narain, Hasita Bhammar, and Helena Rey. "COVID-19, Environmental Impacts, and Implications for Tourism".
United Nations Environment Programme.
November 02, 2021.
Tourism in many countries, particularly in developing economies, depends largely on such natural assets as forests, coastlines and wildlife and are linked to such environmental conditions as clean air and water. Given the interdependency of tourism and the environment, the environmental impacts of COVID-19 have short- and long-term implications for the tourism sector, which is already disrupted by mobility and travel restrictions. This document is intended as a primer for those working on tourism and COVID-19 recovery and highlights critical challenges as well as short- and longer-term opportunities. It is organized in four areas and provides recommendations and further resources.
Posted on 10/11/21
"Europe Fails to Act on Energy Waste in Recovery and Resilience Plans". October 14, 2021.
At least 37% of the EU Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) for pandemic recovery funding must be spent directly on climate-related actions. This study of the National Recovery and Resilience Plans (NRRPs) in 18 member states reveals that only 8% on average is allocated to energy renovation. Austria is the worst performer, with only 3% going to energy efficiency projects, while the best is Belgium with 16%. Greece leads with plans to spend €384 per capita on energy renovation while Austria budgets just €11. The study identifies opportunities to improve and support the implementation of NRRPs across the EU.
Posted on 09/11/21
- Keating, Dave. "EU Prepares to Include Nuclear and Gas in Green Investment List".
(November 08, 2021).
EU countries have been arguing for three years whether to include nuclear and gas as green investments in the taxonomy. The decision will shape EU climate and energy policy for decades and have effects far beyond the financial sector. France, the UK, and Eastern European countries threatened to veto the EU taxonomy in 2019 because nuclear was not explicitly included as a sustainable investment. In 2020, a group of ten mostly CEE pro-gas countries threatened a veto because it did not include natural gas as a transition fuel. A nuclear-for-gas compromise may delay the Commission’s formal proposal until after this month.
Posted on 09/11/21
- Wehrmann, Benjamin. "German Politicians Affirm Rejection of Nuclear Power in EU Sustainable Finance Taxonomy".
Clean Energy Wire.
(November 08, 2021).
Germany's environmental minister from the Social Democrats (SPD), Svenja Schulze, has affirmed that the country will work towards excluding nuclear power from the EU taxonomy for sustainable investments. She says that they don’t want nuclear energy, don’t think it’s sustainable, and don’t want the EU to support it. The German government is countering an initiative of other EU member states led by France to include nuclear power in the EU’s plans to become climate neutral through sustainable investments. Markus Söder, Conservative (CSU) Bavarian state premier, supports Schulze’s opposition to making nuclear power a tool for climate change in the EU.
Posted on 08/11/21
- Ahmad, Sarah. "The EU Taxonomy".
Seven Pillars Institute.
(October 21, 2021).
Different standards and metrics make it difficult for investors to compare green investments. The EU taxonomy establishes a standardized and transparent system for classifying and investing in sustainable economic activities. The taxonomy operates on the project level and the firm level. The project level considers the planning and realization of new investments while the firm level focuses on its financial performance. The EU taxonomy incorporates human rights and social governance standards required by the EU, UN, OESCD. The firm's size determines whether sustainability disclosure is voluntary or mandatory and subject to the Non-Financial Reporting Directive (Directive 2014/95).
Posted on 08/11/21
"EU Taxonomy for Identifying ‘Sustainable Economic Activities’".
The EU taxonomy is a classification system that establishes a list of six "environmentally sustainable economic activities". It defines which economic activities are deemed to be environmentally sustainable to help the EU scale up the needed "sustainable investment" to become "climate neutral" by 2050. Unclear definitions, emission thresholds and areas of application have delayed its full implementation. The Commission is now assessing and deciding on the inclusion of nuclear energy and fossil fuels in the EU taxonomy of environmentally sustainable activities. The EU taxonomy is being amended to also include environmentally harmful sources of energy.
Posted on 08/11/21
- Hoyer, Werner. "On Climate Change, Government Trust Desperately Needs to Be Restored".
European Investment Bank.
October 27, 2021.
75% of EU citizens are more concerned with the climate emergency than they think their government is. Around half say the difficulty in solving the climate crisis is mainly because of government inactivity. Most consider climate change the biggest challenge of this century and believe that a radical change in habits is the best way to counter it. But, 58% of EU citizens believe their country will fail to take the measures needed to cut carbon emissions by 2050. They no longer accept political pronouncements ("blah blah blah") or trust their government on climate and are demanding them to act now.
Posted on 07/11/21
- Hanson, Craig, and Janet Ranganathan. "INSIDER: Why Burning Trees for Energy Harms the Climate.".
(December 06, 2017).
Per unit of generated energy, CO₂ emissions from burning wood for heat can be 150% higher than from natural gas and 30% more than from coal. Harvesting trees for energy releases carbon into the atmosphere that would otherwise have remained stored in the forest. Harvesting trees also foregoes carbon sequestration had they continue growing. It takes a long time to offset the increase in CO₂ emissions from burning wood for energy from the CO₂ absorbed by tree regrowth. The EU is called upon to amend the Renewable Energy Directive to correct the erroneous definition of renewable biomass from forests.
Posted on 07/11/21
- Amiri, Ali, Nargessadat Emami, Juudit Ottelin, Jaana Sorvari, Björn Marteinsson, Jukka Heinonen, and Seppo Junnila. "Embodied Emissions of Buildings – A Forgotten Factor in Green Building Certificates".
Energy and Buildings.
(June 15, 2021).
As a points-based green certification, LEED assigns 110 points – the highest level, platinum (80 + points), accredits only 3 out of a total of 110 points directly to embodied emissions. In BREEAM, 12 points (8%) are directly related to material selection, of which 5 points (3%) are based on life cycle assessment (LCA). Studies using LCA to evaluate environmental impacts mainly consider operational emissions generated during the operation phase. Initial (pre-use) embodied emissions are seldom the focus. The number of points allocated to embodied emissions is disproportionately low in both the LEED and BREEAM building environmental (green) certification systems.
Posted on 06/11/21
- Fairs, Marcus. "BREEAM and LEED Green Certification Schemes Are ‘Meaningless’ Says Andrew Waugh".
(July 28, 2021).
Environmental certification schemes such as BREEAM and LEED focus largely on operational emissions rather than CO₂ from the construction supply chain. However, embodied carbon emissions comprise around half of all emissions from buildings. The certification systems focus chiefly on operational carbon. Where 3% of the points are based on life cycle analysis (LCA) for the BREEAM green building certificate, only 3 out of a total of 110 available points (2.7%) are directly accredited to embodied emissions in the LEED framework. Ignoring embodied carbon encourages architects to add unnecessary systems and devices to achieve high ratings and to prop up the existing "misguided" systems.
Posted on 06/11/21
"Circular Economy Principles for Buildings Design". February 21, 2020.
This set of circular economy principles focuses on sustainable building design. It stressed resource efficiency in construction in order to prevent and reduce construction and demolition waste and facilitate re-use and recycling of building materials and products. The document informs the key participants in the building value chain about sustainable building design: (1) building users, facility managers and owners; (2) design teams; (3) builders and contractors; (4) product manufacturers; (5) deconstruction and demolition teams; (6) investors, developers and insurance providers; and (7) governments, regulators and local authorities. It builds on the voluntary Common European Framework of Sustainability Indicators – Level(s).
Posted on 05/11/21
- Simon, Frédéric, and Kira Taylor. "The Green Brief: Gas, Nuclear and the EU Taxonomy Saga".
(November 27, 2021).
The European Commission must determine which economic activities in the EU can be labeled as a sustainable investment based on their meeting strict environmental criteria. It is expected that the Sustainable Finance and EU Taxonomy will define nuclear power as a “green”, “transition”, or even an "amber" technology. This would lower financing costs for the capital-intensive nuclear power industry that requires state aid from EU governments to be economically viable. Yet, this would also contravene the primary intent of the widely supported European Green Deal, which is to finance the EU's sustainable and ecological transition towards a circular economy.
Posted on 04/11/21
Level(s) specifies technical screening criteria for investments in the built environment that support the EU’s objective to reduce the whole-life carbon impact of new buildings. It is part of the Sustainable Finance and EU Taxonomy package that defines activities that contribute significantly to climate change mitigation and adaptation. Level(s) is an open-source EU framework for construction companies and contractors, manufacturers, asset managers, and facilities managers to track the sustainability performance of buildings for disclosure to investors. It is for the whole-life carbon assessment of projects to support the European Green Deal objective to make the EU climate-neutral by 2050.
Posted on 04/11/21
- Kapoor, Prashant. "Why It’s Time to Get Serious About Embodied Energy".
August 30, 2017.
Embodied energy is the energy consumed by all processes associated with the production of a product – from the mining and processing of natural resources to the manufacturing, transport and delivery of the finished product. It is the energy consumed in the extraction of materials and production of the products used to construct buildings rather than the energy consumed in their operation. Manufacturing building materials creates significant energy-related GHG emissions and causes high levels of waste. The EDGE App, developed by IFC, helps determine which building elements have the highest embodied energy and where there are alternatives to reduce it.
Posted on 03/11/21
Sustainable Hospitality Alliance.
"WWF and Greenview Collaborate with Hotel Industry to Develop a Methodology to Measure Waste across Hotel Chains". (September 03, 2021).
The Hotel Waste Measurement Methodology provides a common approach for the hotel industry to collect data, and measure and report food waste. The measurement methodology allows major brands and individual properties to set meaningful goals to reduce food waste, keep food out of landfills, and track progress over time against those goals. It harmonizes methods of data collection and addresses common data gaps and challenges. WWF developed this methodology to address the challenge posed by managing food waste in diverse hotel operations. It offers hotels significant opportunity to increase business efficiency and make progress against social and environmental goals.
Posted on 02/11/21
- Kazmeyer, Milton. "How Does Nuclear Energy Affect the Environment?".
(April 25, 2017).
Nuclear energy is propagated by science, companies, and governments as a source of clean energy source, as opposed to CO2-producing plants. However, the effects nuclear energy has on the environment pose serious threats that cannot be ignored or greenwashed. The principal environmental and safety concerns are CO2 emissions, low-level radiation, millennia of radioactive waste for 30 years of energy generation on average, cooling water system discharge that kills fish and plant life, and the threats of nuclear power plant accidents and terrorism. Satisfactory solutions have not been found despite the attention these issues have been given for nearly 80 years.
Posted on 01/11/21
- Perez-Jimenez, Jose Antonio. "Gaseous Emissions from the Combustion of Biomass Pellets".
March 31, 2015.
Biomass is considered a sustainable energy source with significant potentials for replacing fossil fuels and electricity for heating purposes. However, present residential wood combustion can be a significant source of ambient urban air pollutants such as hydrocarbons and particulate matter. The majority of the wood-fired appliances currently used suffer from poorly optimized conditions, resulting in considerable emissions of products from incomplete combustion. For environmental and health impact assessments, regulatory standards and evaluations concerning present and future residential biomass combustion as well as a solid qualitative and quantitative knowledge of the emissions from different sources are of vital importance.
Posted on 31/10/21
- Tollefson, Jeff. "COP26 Climate Summit: A Scientists’ Guide to a Momentous Meeting".
(October 25, 2021).
During COP26 – the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties – government officials and business leaders will present their latest commitments to cut greenhouse-gas emissions. Scientists will also discuss efforts to track emissions, understand impacts, and advance potential climate solutions. With its tradition of making decisions by consensus among nations rather than majority vote, many question whether the UN climate convention is capable of meeting the challenge. Despite 30 years of climate diplomacy, urgent and aggressive action is needed to halt global warming. In this article, what success looks like and what’s at risk are explained.
Posted on 28/10/21
"Why the Building Sector?". (
To meet 1.5° climate targets of the Paris Agreement by 2040, we must eliminate all CO2 emissions from the building sector. Why the built environment? Buildings generate nearly 40% of annual global GHG emissions. Of emissions, building operations are annually responsible for 28% while building materials and construction ("embodied carbon") are responsible for an additional 11%. To meet the 1.5°C carbon budget, all new buildings and major renovations must be designed today to be zero carbon. For this, all property development project participants are called on to design buildings and infrastructure to eliminate all CO2 emissions.
Posted on 28/10/21
UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) at the SEC – Glasgow 2021.
"UN Climate Change Conference (COP26)".
COP26 is the 26th United Nations annual climate change "Conference of Parties" (COP) to build awareness and stimulate dialog on climate action and participation. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is among the largest international meetings of governments, the private sector and civil society. The UN climate change conferences involve officials from every country as well as representatives from businesses and civil society. Delegates from countries meet for both formal negotiations and informal consultations. They take part in meetings with other delegations to clarify positions, overcome deadlock, and reach agreement to collectively tackle climate change.
Posted on 20/10/21
- Fairs, Marcus. "Architecture “One of the Least Well-Represented Businesses” in Race to Zero".
(June 28, 2021).
Architects and designers are failing to engage with the UN's drive to reduce carbon emissions. None of the 50 largest architects signed up to the UN’s Race to Zero campaign, which is the UN initiative to get companies to commit to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. Architects and designers are in a unique position and key role to reduce GHG emissions due to the influence they have on the development of buildings. Race to Zero aims to sign up 20% of companies in each sector – the "tipping point" that will cause others to follow. But, architects are generally laggard.
Posted on 19/10/21
- Directorate-General for Environment. "Level(s) – European Framework for Sustainable Buildings".
July 22, 2021.
Level(s) is a simple entry point for applying circular economy principles in our built environment and a flexible solution for identifying sustainability hotspots and for future-proofing projects and portfolio. It provides a common language for assessing and reporting on the sustainability performance of buildings. Level(s) uses core sustainability indicators to measure carbon, materials, water, health, comfort and climate change impacts throughout a building’s full life cycle. It can be applied to residential buildings or offices – from design to end of life – and offers an extensively tested system for measuring and supporting improvements.
Posted on 22/07/21
- Kaklauskas, Arturas, Edmundas Kazimieras Zavadskas, Natalija Lepkova, Saulius Raslanas, Kestutis Dauksys, Ingrida Vetloviene, and Ieva Ubarte. "Sustainable Construction Investment, Real Estate Development, and COVID-19: A Review of Literature in the Field".
(July 02, 2021).
Studies show that consumption by buildings attributable to real estate development around the world is 30-40% per year. As much as 50% of minerals from natural resources is consumed by the construction industry. Real estate development produces around 33% of atmospheric CO2 while construction and building operations globally accounts for 40% of all energy consumption. This research report presents aspects of sustainable construction investment and real estate development (CIRED) and their interrelations during the period pre-, intra-, and post-COVID-19 and demonstrates a marked increase in the effectiveness of a CIRED analysis.
Posted on 22/07/21
- Loibl, Wolfgang, Milena Vuckovic, Ghazal Etminan, Matthias Ratheiser, Simon Tschannett, and Doris Österreicher. "Effects of Densification on Urban Microclimate—A Case Study for the City of Vienna".
(April 17, 2021).
The impacts of climate change are especially tangible in dense urban areas due to the inherent characteristics of urban structure and materiality. As the climate change impacts are intensifying, climate adaptation, mitigation and protecting strategies are becoming even more important. To assess the impacts of climate change and densification on urban climate and potential adaptation strategies, a typical densely populated sample area for the city of Vienna was modeled. This case study analyzed the large-scale densification potential and its potential effects on microclimate, air flow, comfort, and energy demand.
Posted on 15/06/21
- Wijdekop, Femke. "Environmental Defenders and Their Recognition Under International and Regional Law – An Introduction".
December 03, 2019.
This is an introduction to the efforts of environmental defenders to protect and conserve the ecological integrity of the ecosystems of their communities. The fulfillment of the international community’s commitment to the protection of the environment is premised on the empowerment of environmental defenders. Environmental defenders create the enabling conditions for the enjoyment of civil, political, social and economic rights for current and future generations. More broadly, they act to encourage our achievement of a more sustainable, prosperous and equitable future set out in the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Posted on 15/05/21
Business & Human Rights Resource Centre.
"Turning Up the Heat: Corporate Legal Accountability for Climate Change". 2018.
This briefing demonstrates that communities and advocates are increasingly using the courts to generate change and confront companies on their responsibility for climate harm. It argues that strategic litigation encourages corporate accountability for climate change and broader corporate accountability movements when governments have repeatedly failed to take steps to adequately combat climate change. It suggests that climate lawsuits against companies are the result of increased collaboration between concerned individuals, cities, human rights and climate advocates, scientists and expert litigators, who have combined their respective expertise and strategies for corporate accountability.
Posted on 15/05/21
Center for Constitutional Rights.
"Creative Legal Strategies". July 14, 2015.
The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) discusses the creative use of law as a positive force for social change and developing a distinctive set of tools and strategies. It suggests employing justice-enabling constitutional principles, applying underutilized rules and rulings, using litigation to move actors out of court, revealing stories of individuals and communities impacted by injustice, understanding the interplay between international law, and fostering solidarity with impacted communities. It argues that social justice work is often about challenging power propagated through unjust laws or appealing to higher, aspirational norms.
Posted on 15/05/21
- Herrera, Veronica; Mayka, Lindsay. "How Do Legal Strategies Advance Social Accountability? Evaluating Mechanisms in Colombia".
Journal of Development Studies.
(November 22, 2021).
This theory-building paper argues that there are four mechanisms by which legal strategies can enhance accountability. The courts can help those affected by policy failures to overcome the collective action problem. The courts can provide civil society with access to information about rights violations, malfeasance, and poor policy performance. Legal strategies can set in motion court-backed reforms that redress immediate rights violations and strengthen state capacity for more accountable governance. Court recognition can increase the symbolic and discursive resources of claimants, making their demands for accountability more effective.
Posted on 15/05/21
- Sperance, Cameron. "Marriott in Danger of Losing 122 Hotels to Much Smaller Brand".
(September 25, 2020).
Service Properties Trust (SVC) sent Marriott a payment shortfall notice on 122 hotels, allowing Marriott 10 days to pay the $11m delinquency. If Marriott fails to make payment, SVC will terminate the agreement and transfer the hotels to flag affiliation with Sonesta International Hotels Corp., of which SVC owns 34%. The transfer would be the second for Sonesta in less than a month, after taking on 103 IHG hotels. The failure of IHG to make an $8.4m payment on guaranteed property returns to SVC sparked agreement termination.
Posted on 24/03/21
- Kett, Russel. "The Impact of COVID-19 on the European Hotel Sector".
(September 24, 2020).
The first six months of 2020 have seen dramatic declines in RevPAR, the closure of many hotels, and the furloughing of many hotel employees. Government support has been provided to hotel staff and owners in many countries. Now that the measures are easing, the number of permanent job losses is likely to increase. As they resume business, hotels that are benefiting from drive-to leisure demand are experiencing encouraging levels of performance. However, those that rely on international and MICE business will take longer to see satisfactory levels of business return.
Posted on 24/03/21
- Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology (BMK). "Greenwashing Survey on World Ecolabel Day".
The Austrian Ecolabel.
(September 28, 2020).
Independent, state-run ecolabels are characterized by transparent criteria and sound third-party verification, as opposed to greenwashing. "Greenwashing" is a collective term for PR strategies of companies to give themselves or their products and services a green, environmentally friendly, sustainable image. It is misleading and consumer-deceptive. National ecolabels mark products that are more environmentally friendly than comparable products on the market. Independent, state-run national ecolabels guarantee the verification by independent, external auditors. The criteria for awarding them are transparent and publicly available to guarantee traceability.
Posted on 24/03/21
- Travers, Jennifer. "European Commission Launches Consultation to Regulate Green Claims in Marketing and Combat ‘Greenwashing’".
EHS Law Insights.
(September 28, 2020).
Companies making "green claims" should substantiate these against a standard methodology, to assess their impact on society and the environment. The European Commission has launched consultation to regulate green claims in marketing and combat "greenwashing" and is targeting the opinion of the general public and key stakeholders. The consultation is assessing the reliability and scope of current labels/initiatives and reviewing the current greenwashing practices that mislead market actors and reduce sutainable development incentive. The EU is now calling on interested parties to participate in an online questionnaire (https://bit.ly/3cZvEZq) till 3 December 2020.
Posted on 24/03/21
- Autin, Gregory. "Global SDG/ESG Rankings – USA".
October 30, 2020.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development establishes 17 goals adopted by UN member states as the action plan to achieve sustainable development. Each country must establish its action plan on implementing the UN SDGs and the integration of sustainable development in policymaking at the national level. Environmental, social and governance (ESG) metrics enable enterprises and undertakings to achieve sustainable development goals. Various SDG and ESG indexes measure social, environmental and economic factors that have an impact on a country's sustainable development and indicate the country's compliance with UN SDGs.
Posted on 24/03/21
- Autin, Gregory. "Who are Project Stakeholders?".
(November 05, 2020).
A project stakeholder is any individual or group that can affect, be affected by or believe to be affected by a project during its life cycle and/or its output and can influence its success. A development project has multiple stakeholders with varied and often conflicting interests. A project participant is any person that is directly involved in the development process. Together with the project participants, personnel engaged throughout a project's extended life cycle, the local community and society at large are all project stakeholders.
Posted on 24/03/21
- Farand, Chloé; Gerretsen, Isabelle. "Joe Biden Wins the White House, in Pivotal Moment for Global Climate Action".
Climate Home News.
(November 07, 2020).
US president-elect Joe Biden has promised to reenter the Paris Agreement, ending the US opposition to the UN SDGs under Donald Trump’s presidency. Elected on an ambitious climate platform, Biden promised a $2tn clean energy revolution. He will govern with Kamala Harris as vice president, who as former attorney general of California has a track record of suing for "environment