Using Built Environment Strategies to Achieve 2030 Sustainability Goals

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Using Built Environment Strategies to Achieve 2030 Sustainability Goals

Gary Miciunas

The following is part of series from Cuningham's experts for Sustainable Brands, a global community that is on the forefront of making the case that embedding environmental and social purpose into the core of a brand is the future of business.

As a CSO or COO of a company striving for sustainability, what contribution can you expect of your built environment team? That’s the question we address in this first of a series of articles about decarbonization, regeneration and circularity in the built environment.

Every day, it seems another major corporation makes a public commitment to achieve ambitious goals of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions and carbon footprint by 2030. Sound familiar? Achieving such a commitment in this “decade of action” requires innovation in both management and leadership. Many organizations are realizing that they need to go beyond sustainability, but how?

New leadership partnerships between a company’s Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO), Chief Operations Officer (COO) and directors of its departmental functions responsible for the carbon footprint of its built environment (real estate, properties and facilities) will become critically important. As a CSO or COO of a company striving for sustainability, what contribution can you expect of your built environment team? That’s the question we address in this first of a series of articles about decarbonization, regeneration and circularity in the built environment.

By forging a supply chain coalition of internal and external partners, you can expect a significant contribution toward your carbon-reduction goals. This will require accountability and transparency in business practices, sourcing of materials, and waste streams.

Gary Miciunas

Director of Strategy

Making your built environment supply chain accountable and transparent

The “built environment” is a prime culprit of waste and pollution in many ways. According to the World Green Building Council, construction and operations contribute 39 percent of global CO~2~ emissions — with building materials and construction accounting for 11 percent and building operations accounting for another 28 percent. Beyond emissions, 40 percent of solid waste finding its way to landfills is attributable to construction and demolition activities.

The reality is that 80 percent of this downstream waste and pollution is a consequence of decisions made during the design stage of products, services and environments. Clearly, the design opportunity to eliminate waste and minimize pollution is significant. By forging a supply chain coalition of internal and external partners, you can expect a significant contribution toward your carbon-reduction goals. This will require accountability and transparency in business practices, sourcing of materials, and waste streams.

Applying a trio of allied strategies to the built environment

Strategies to achieve decarbonization, regeneration and circularity are allies on your sustainability journey toward a low-carbon future. The following are three prominent strategies

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The decade of action ahead inspired by design

The challenge for teams racing to achieve sustainability goals by 2030 goes beyond improving existing systems to designing new systems across all areas of your enterprise. We believe a good place to start is with your built environment team exploring the potential of decarbonization, regeneration and circularity strategies to make a significant contribution to your overall efforts.

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Author: Gary Miciunas

Posted In: Research

Gary is inspired by the beauty and wonder of the natural world, and this inspiration drives his work at Cuningham, where he strives each day to improve people’s work lives.