With climate action and net zero in the limelight following COP26, RICS has signed the Professional Bodies Climate Action Charter. This commits the organisation to educate, influence and act as we transition to a net-zero world in collaboration with the Society for the Environment (SocEnv).
SocEnv already licenses RICS to award the chartered environmentalist (CEnv) registration to members who demonstrate high levels of environmental competence. Such registrants prove that they can use their knowledge, experience and evidence-based thinking to protect and enhance the environment.
In the lead-up to COP26, SocEnv became a founding supporter of the Professional Bodies Climate Action Charter. This commits signatories to support carbon reduction ambitions in line with the Paris Agreement, and work towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Collaboration, leadership and competence are key.
The charter seeks three commitments from professional bodies.
Develop, report on and share resources to create climate action plans for reducing emissions, in line with limiting global warming to 1.5C.
Speak with a unified voice to and with other professional bodies, government and the public by creating an interdisciplinary forum.
Empower and inspire members to encourage sustainable growth by providing continuous professional development tools, principles and resources.
The charter enables organisations to share knowledge, increasing their ambition and providing a framework for collaboration towards meeting climate change targets. It also ensures that professional bodies take action themselves.
Photo by veeterzy on Unsplash
Photo by Sam Bark on Unsplash
As a leader in its sector, RICS has a vital role to play in supporting and inspiring professionals and businesses to make informed, positive environmental decisions. The organisation can help change the way its members work through CPD, sector standards, events and mandatory requirements.
Land and resources global group director James Kavanagh explains: 'Climate action, sustainability and the important role that the built and natural environment plays in achieving net zero is at the heart of RICS' strategic direction after COP26.
'We are delighted to join this far-sighted and important initiative, and look forward to working with SocEnv and constituent professional bodies on making it a success.
'Environmental professionals have a significant part to play in helping clients better understand sustainability. It is in all our interests to empower and inspire our members to promote sustainable growth.
'RICS values its relationship with SocEnv highly, as it does the opportunity to allow chartered surveyors to add CEnv to their professional credentials.'
SocEnv chief executive Dr Emma Wilcox supports RICS' commitment. 'To ensure national and international goals for carbon emission reduction are met, all sectors must play their part,' she says. 'Professional bodies are well placed to take a lead in making this happen. With this in mind, I am pleased that RICS has joined the Climate Action Charter, showing leadership for its members.
'As with all sectors, we know that there are many environmental challenges. But the multidisciplinary nature of the charter will support RICS on its journey to a more sustainable future.
'It is also clear that with more RICS members actively training in environmental issues, a greater number will be able to demonstrate their own leadership by gaining the chartered environmentalist registration.
'Proven environmental competence is essential in ensuring effective and efficient implementation of good practice, providing a sound platform for future generations of environmental professionals to build on.'