DELHI: United Nations Global Compact and Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) will develop a toolkit for the land, real estate and construction industry to improve the business practices in this sector.
United Nations Global Compact is both a policy platform and a practical framework for companies that are committed to sustainability and responsible business practices. With 8,000 corporate signatories in 145 countries, it is the world's largest voluntary corporate sustainability initiative.
RICS is a global body for setting standards in land, property and construction.
"In a landmark move to improve responsible business practices in the land, real estate and construction industry, the United Nations Global Compact and RICS will jointly develop a best practice toolkit for the sector," RICS said in a statement.
Collaboration marks UN Global Compact's first initiative to address corporate sustainability in a specific sector. This sector represents about 70 per cent of global wealth. It contributes around one-tenth of total global GDP and represents 7 per cent of overall employment.
Commenting on tie-up, RICS South Asia Managing Director Sachin Sandhir said that the partnership with the UN Global Compact is an evidence of RICS' commitment towards embedding professional and ethical best practices within real estate, construction and infrastructure sectors.
"The partnership means we identify prevent and mitigate any negative impacts on the society and the environment from the business, by incorporating good principles into the appropriate corporate strategies, policies and procedures," he added.
In order to advance responsible and sustainable business practices, the two-year project would have 3 key objectives.
First is to identify key challenges and opportunities for the land, real estate and construction sector relating to the UN Global Compact's issue areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption, as well as broader UN goals.
Then, the project would engage UN Global Compact participants from this sector, as well as real estate users and stakeholders, to capture existing best practices and scale up sustainability initiatives.
Lastly, the project would develop a best practice toolkit built on the Global Compact's ten principles to help companies in this sector and its downstream users tackle these issues and harness significant sustainability opportunities.
At this week's kick-off meeting of the 15-member steering group, UN Global Compact Executive Director Georg Kell said: "We are pleased to partner with RICS to break ground on the UN Global Compact's first sectoral initiative."
"There is tremendous opportunity for the land, real estate sector and construction sector to become a driving force for a more sustainable financial, economic, social and environmental system through collaboration and collective action," he added.