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UN Sustainable Development

UN Sustainable Development

Translating the UN's 17 goals to transform our world into action.

All 193 Member States of the United Nations have adopted a plan for fighting inequality and injustice, and protecting the planet.

At the heart of the “Agenda 2030” are 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that address the world’s most important economic, social, environmental and governance challenges.

Successful implementation of the SDGs will require all players from all sectors to champion this agenda. Private sector action will be key to the success of each goal – through responsible business operations, new business models, investment, innovation and technology, and collaboration.

Find out more about the Sustainable Development Goals

Real estate is an often-overlooked element of a company’s responsible business agenda, but with our sector impacting – either directly or indirectly - most of the SDGs and with its cross-sectoral reach it can be a powerful driver for making the SDGs a reality.

For companies in the sector, successful implementation of the SDGs will strengthen the enabling environment for doing business and building markets around the world because even the most principled and best-managed companies are challenged to thrive in communities marked by instability, to find skilled labour where adequate education is lacking, or to withstand natural disasters stemming from climate change.

UN Responsible Business Report

RICS has been working with the United Nations Global Compact on identifying the most critical issues facing companies with a stake in land, real estate and construction in relation to the SDGs. The aim is to make the implementation of the SDGs business as usual and to encourage companies to think holistically about the environmental and social impact of their business activities, and strategic investment decisions.

‘Advancing Responsible Business in Land, Construction, Real Estate Use and Investment – Making the Sustainable Development Goals a Reality’ aligns the original 2015 version of this document with the SDGs and provides a practice-orientated roadmap for our industry and clients through:

  • A toolbox of SDG-related and wider UN resources
  • Real life case studies showcasing successful SDG implementation
  • A Self-Assessment Checklist mapping 15 sectoral issues and corresponding 15 action items to individual SDG indicators

Advancing Responsible Business in Land, Construction, Real Estate Use and Investment – Making the Sustainable Development Goals a Reality

Find out more about the UN Global Compact

How we are turning SDGs into action

Our Sustainability Report for the 2016-2018 reporting period underlines our continued commitment to the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact, and showcases how we are fostering the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through the development and adoption of standards, cutting-edge research, capacity building projects and community action.

Download the Sustainability Report


COP23: Bonn, Germany, 6-17 November 2017

Our sector is complex. It has many stakeholders with different interests and needs and we often find that there is disconnect between delivery and operation as developers may not have a direct connection with end-users. This fragmentation is a problem.

On one hand this means that we rarely speak with one voice, but on the other hand, others, such as policy-decision makers, find it difficult to engage with us.

Our participation at the 23rd Conference of the Parties (COP23), the annual United Nations (UN) member summit on climate change, aimed to recognise the crucial role the built environment plays in reducing carbon emissions.