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The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted in September 2015 by the 193 Member States of the United Nations. These 17 goals set the ‘2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’ with 169 targets aimed at ending poverty, fighting inequality and tackling climate change over the next 15 years.
In June 2017, two years after their adoption, UN Secretary-General António Guterres issued the second Sustainable Development Goal progress report, which found that “while progress has been made over the past decade across all areas of development, the pace of progress has been insufficient and advancements have been uneven to fully meet the implementation of the SDGs1”.
In a publication on real estate investors and environmental sustainability principles, the World Economic Forum estimates that buildings account for around 40% of the world’s consumption of primary energy and produce around a third of all anthropogenic CO2 emissions2.
The application of sustainability criteria to buildings is therefore becoming increasingly important in facing environmental, social and economic challenges. These criteria can be expected to become the most important benchmark not only for green properties, but also for profitable real estate investments in general.
Contributing to ‘End Poverty’ (Goal 1), ‘Build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation’ (Goal 9), ‘Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable’ (Goal 11), and ‘Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts’ (Goal 13) are certainly part of the role that real estate companies are expected to play in promoting sustainable development.
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