I found the recent UKGBC and RICS reports, released on Built Environment Day at COP28, to be apt testaments to the current state and sentiment for net zero in the industry.

The concerns raised by both RICS and UKGBC resonate with our opinion that the rate at which progress is moving is currently too slow. The built environment contributes almost 40% of global carbon emissions, meaning the industry itself has a huge responsibility for implementing change.

Decarbonising the industry is now non-negotiable, and organisations must prioritise transparency in environmental, social and governance (ESG) data. Measuring and managing ESG data is fundamental to lowering emissions. The RICS report rightly highlights that a substantial portion of respondents are not measuring carbon on projects, citing return-on-investment concerns as their reasoning. This hesitation for ESG reporting hinders progress, decreasing the ability to meet demands for greener buildings.

Transitioning to a sustainable future requires a collective effort to define ‘progress’, and how to go about it. You cannot manage what you don’t measure. Measurement is foundational to instigating genuine change. As the industry works to decarbonise buildings, we must first have a clearer picture of the scale of our emissions, where they are coming from and where change can be made.

Without the right tools or data, the industry will not have the capability to accurately measure, manage and report ESG data. Introducing such possibilities is our focus for now, and we implore organisations in the built environment to prioritise transparency; only then will we start to truly make a change in our industry.

Nuno Brito e Cunha, lead ESG adviser, EMEA, Measurabl