Transforming the Built Environment

The built environment is where we live. It is our homes, offices, the infrastructure around us, our entertainment and leisure spaces, and green areas. It helps people thrive, it is a primary employer and it represents a significant share of national wealth. However, it also contributes 40% of global carbon emissions, over 30% of global final energy use and consumes nearly half of the world’s natural resources. It is a priority that we transform the built environment towards one that is net zero-emissions, circular, healthy, inclusive and resilient.

    The challenge

    The built environment represents over 33% of global final energy use, generates nearly 40% of global energy-related GHG emissions and consumes 40% of global raw materials. Global population growth and urbanization will require a massive increase in urban infrastructure, which will intensify the challenges of the system. We must act now or face the consequences.

    The business case

    The project offers opportunities for innovative city-business collaboration and new business models. It provides a platform for cities and companies to discuss the role of urban planning, supporting regulation and public procurement. It brings significant benefits for companies, cities and communities and develops tools and guidance for accelerating the transition to sustainability.

    The solution

    WBCSD involves all stakeholders in the building value chain to develop a common language to promote market demand and enabling regulation for sustainable solutions in the built environment. Six workstreams have been identified in the project, with the goal of creating a shared vision to accelerate decarbonization, understand the business case for the circular built environment, explore how digitalization can drive sustainability and address sustainable space use and planning.

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