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News & opinion

10 JAN 2020

Making a green resolution in 2020

2020 is here. A new year, a new decade and a new challenge – a challenge that will change the planet forever. From devastating bushfires to major earthquakes, it’s imperative for us all to join in acting now to avoid further catastrophe. In 2020, we’re asking firms to commit to tackling the climate emergency by making a green resolution.

Green resolutions can be big or small, simple or ambitious - every little change is progress. We’re asking firms to commit to tackling the crisis by making a change to business in their own way.

In a recent YouGov poll, it was revealed that 62% of real estate and construction workers do not feel that environmental sustainability is at the centre of their employer’s decision-making. The survey – commissioned by RICS – also found that 34% of workers feel their employer is not doing enough to reduce its environmental impact, with 22% unsure if their employer is doing enough.

RICS is therefore urging property and construction firms to make 2020 the year they commit to going ‘green’ and combating the climate crisis. Since October 2019, RICS has launched the Value the Planet campaign and committed to forming a climate change expert panel as we take steps to implement the UN’s sustainable development goals.

Value the Planet aims to encourage firms of all sizes in the built environment sector to reduce their operational impact on the environment, and to consider the longer-term sustainability of their business decision-making on society by adopting the UN’s sustainable development goals.

RICS has also launched a Responsible Business Report filled with solutions for companies to operate in a greener capacity, regardless of the firm’s size. This includes introducing higher recycling rates and reducing energy, transport and water use where possible.

According to the YouGov survey, only 28% of real estate and construction workers feel that industry bodies are doing enough to help support property and construction firms in reducing their environmental impact. 80% of these workers agreed that a collaborative effort from all industry bodies is needed to encourage property firms to operate more sustainably.

The survey results are an honest analysis of what needs to be done in order to tackle the climate crisis. A truly collaborative approach is needed, from not just firms but the industry bodies too. That’s why we’re calling on everyone to make a change this year. With a new decade beginning, the stakes have never been so high and it’s imperative for us all to act now, collaboratively.

You can support us in our commitment to reduce the built environment’s carbon footprint in a number of ways. Join us on Twitter and tweet us using the hashtag #RICSResolutions with your green resolution for 2020. You can get in touch and share a case study with us on what you or your firm are doing this year to go green. You can even submit an entry to the RICS Social Impact Awards for 2020, where we’re celebrating the industry’s positive and transformational contribution to society by way of human, social and environmental impact. What have you got to lose?

If you’re yet to make a change or need a bit more inspiration on where to start, you can also download our sustainable business toolkit with just a click of a button online. Even the smallest step can make the biggest difference to the planet.

For more information on RICS’ free ‘Value the Planet’ tools and resources, visit