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On 1 January 2016, the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which were adopted by world leaders in September 2015, came into force. The 17 SDGs apply to all countries with the aim to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all by 2030 as part of a new sustainable development agenda. To achieve the SDGs, all aspects of society, from government to the private sector to the general public, will need to play their part.

The construction and property sector will have an essential role in delivering the SDGs and their associated targets, given the significant economic, environmental and social impacts and benefits associated with construction products, buildings and infrastructure throughout their lifecycles.

The UK government played an influential role in negotiating the SDGs and has made a commitment to delivering them. Raising awareness and encouraging engagement with the SDGs will increase the number of people and organisations able to contribute towards meeting them. However, successive Environmental Audit Committee annual reports on the UK’s implementation of the SDGs have raised concerns with the lack of work to promote the SDGs domestically. Consequently there is a need and opportunity for industry to promote the SDGs and initiatives that can contribute towards meeting them.

BREEAM is delighted to support the SDGs and will continue to evolve the BREEAM family of standards and tools to enable significant contributions towards meeting the SDGs. BREEAM has produced an infographic that demonstrates how and where the BREEAM family of standards and tools support each of the 17 SDGs. The infographic is available as a free download, either click the image above or go to the BREEAM website.

Take a look at some of the most sustainable buildings in the world on the BREEAM Case Studies to see how they work in practice.

Chris Ward
About the Author
Dr Chris Ward (BREEAM Principal Consultant) is responsible for ensuring that BREEAM is underpinned by the most up-to-date and robust science and evidence and for managing BREEAM’s research strategy and programme. Since joining BRE in 2011, Chris has project managed and worked on a wide range of research and development projects covering topics including savings and payback of sustainable buildings, environmental weightings, the gap between actual and predicted performance of buildings, emissions from building products, and sustainable remediation of contaminated land. Chris is a Chartered Chemist, Chartered Scientist and Chartered Environmentalist and has 9 years’ previous experience of working in both environmental consultancy and regulatory roles covering issues including air quality, contaminated land, water quality and environmental permitting of industrial processes.

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