The 2022 RIBA Construction Contracts and Law Survey reviewed whether the Net Zero goals of the UK government, the climate crisis and wider sustainability goals were being reflected in contracts for projects.

The Chancery Lane Project, Zero Construct and the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals are all encouraging us to embed best practice relating to sustainability within our projects and our contracts.

However, the Survey said that less than half the respondents had been involved in one or more contracts that included sustainable outcomes in the last 12 months and only a third in projects with measurable sustainability criteria in the same period.

Sustainability options

Let’s not reinvent the wheel with every contract. There are plenty of resources to help you change the old ways of doing agreements and innovate.

Chancery Lane Project: this is a collaborative initiative of international legal and industry professionals whose vision is a world where every contract enables solutions to climate change. It provides contractual clauses ready to incorporate into agreements to deliver climate solutions.

Zero ConstructThe ZERO misson is to create a new construction industry culture, that continuously measures and manages carbon through all project stages. We need to work together to solve our planet’s greatest problems and make sustainability of equal importance as cost, time and safety on every project.

UN Sustainable Development Goals: the RIBA Survey showed that less than one in ten (7%) had been involved in projects which referred to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The most relevant UN SDGs for construction are 9: resilient infrastructure & innovation, 11: sustainable cities and communities and 12: responsible consumption and production.

What should you do?

The climate crisis is going to continue to affect every single person on this planet. The least you can do is to ensure you future-proof your professional practice to accommodate this issue, the sooner the better.

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