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Optimising environmental sustainability in construction

With the built environment responsible for around 40% of the global carbon emissions, it is crucial that sustainable practices are adopted to achieve net-zero ambitions. RICS is one of 49 globally prominent organisations that have developed ICMS 3 – a world first for cost and carbon management in construction, from concept to completion and beyond.

Fostering confident markets and driving positive social impact for 150 years, RICS is now pioneering sustainable practices that assist the construction industry to manage and mitigate climate-related risk.


Alan Muse, Head of Construction Standards at RICS and ICMS lead:

“This update to ICMS and subsequent RICS standards, which our professionals follow when completing any construction project, will see the construction sector making a large and measurable impact when it comes to leading from the front and combatting climate change"

“These new standards provide a professional toolkit to measure and consistently report on carbon and influence the most basic design and construction decisions

If cement were a country it would be the third largest emitter of carbon in the world and so action to de-carbonise construction is required now”.

Alan Muse
Alan Muse

About the standard

ICMS 3 will contribute positively to efforts to decarbonise the construction sector in the most cost-effective way. Through ICMS 3, professionals will, for the first time, be empowered to deliver a globally consistent method for carbon life cycle reporting across construction projects, from buildings and bridges to ports and offshore structures.

Globally agreed by 49 prominent professional bodies part of the ICMS Coalition, RICS has collaborated to develop and raise the standard of construction carbon and cost management to the public advantage. The solution will support sustainable investment strategies by bringing much needed transparency and cross-border comparability of embodied and operational carbon across the life cycle of construction projects.

View the global coalition of 49 organisations

  • Africa Association of Quantity Surveyors (AAQS)
    Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering International (AACE)
    Association of Cost Engineers (ACostE)
    Association of South African Quantity Surveyors (ASAQS)
    Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (AIQS)
    Brazilian Institute of Cost Engineers (IBEC)
    Building Surveyors Institute of Japan (BSIJ)
    Canadian Association of Consulting Quantity Surveyors (CACQS)
    Canadian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (CIQS)
    Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB)
    Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors (CICES)
    China Electricity Council (CEC)
    China Engineering Cost Association (CECA)
    Commonwealth Association of Surveying and Land Economy (CASLE)
    Conseil Européen des Economistes de la Construction (CEEC)
    Consejo General de la Arquitectura Técnica de España (CGATE)
    Dutch Association of Quantity Surveyors (NVBK)
    European Federation of Engineering Consultancy Associations (EFCA)
    Fédération Internationale des Géomètres (FIG)
    Fiji Institute of Quantity Surveyors (FIQS)
    Ghana Institution of Surveyors (GhIS)
    Hong Kong Institute of Surveyors (HKIS)
    Ikatan Quantity Surveyor Indonesia (IQSI)
    Indian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (IIQS)
    Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET)
    Institute of Quantity Surveyors of Kenya (IQSK)
    Institute of Quantity Surveyors Sri Lanka (IQSSL)
    Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE)
    Institution of Surveyors of Kenya (ISK)
    Institution of Surveyors of Uganda (ISU)
    International Cost Engineering Council (ICEC)
    Italian Association for Total Cost Management (AICE)
    Korean Institution of Quantity Surveyors (KIQS)
    Fachverein für Management und Ökonomie im Bauwesen (maneco)
    New Zealand Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NZIQS)
    Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS)
    Pacific Association of Quantity Surveyors (PAQS)
    Philippine Institute of Certified Quantity Surveyors (PICQS)
    Property Institute of New Zealand (PINZ)
    Quantity Surveyors International (QSi)
    Real Estate Institute of Botswana (REIB)
    Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)
    Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)
    Royal Institution of Surveyors Malaysia (RISM)
    Singapore Institute of Building Limited (SIBL)
    Singapore Institute of Surveyors and Valuers (SISV)
    Sociedad Mexicana de Ingeniería Económica, Financiera y de Costos (SMIEFC)
    Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI)
    Union Nationale des Economistes de la Construction (UNTEC)

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Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), a strong supporter of reporting climate related data, have committed to promoting ICMS 3 for carbon reporting under their Knowledge Hub, a platform that provides a range of resources to help companies, banks, and investors identify, analyse and report climate-related financial information.

See here for more