Making a positive impact — a practical, action-oriented framework for financing sustainability goals, from RICS and others

by Brianna Crandall — April 10, 2019 — The United Nations Environment Programme — Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) Property Working Group, in collaboration with UK-based global real estate organization RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors), PRI, and members of the Global Investor Coalition on Climate Change, has produced a practical, action-oriented framework for developing and executing an impact-based approach to sustainability goals in real estate and built environment sector finance and management.

25 leading institutional investors and asset managers of the UNEP FI Property Working Group — alongside partners RICS, PRI, IIGCC, AIGCC, and IGCC — published the new guide to accelerate a new financing paradigm for the delivery of the global UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Positive Impact Real Estate Investment Framework responds to finance-sector interest in investment outcomes for productive, equitable, healthy and resilient economies and societies.

Positive Impact posits a holistic approach to finance, requiring an appraisal of both positive and negative impacts; consideration of all three dimensions: economy, society and environment; and transparency and assessment of methodologies and impact achieved.

The Positive Impact Real Estate Investment Framework offers a process tool for institutions to identify impact “areas of influence” and corresponding investment opportunities, measure ex-ante and ex-post impact, and ultimately re-orient institutional capacities and capital for intentional delivery of outcomes that support the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It draws upon the UNEP FI Impact Radar, guidance that translates the SDGs into meaningful terms for businesses and financing impact assessment.

For dissemination and uptake of the Positive Impact Real Estate Investment Framework, UNEP FI and its collaborating partners will run a series of webinars and events targeting real estate investors in several global regions in the first half of 2019. Further activities for 2019 will include a call for case studies for investments that have applied the Positive Impact Real Estate Investment Framework.

The Positive Impact Real Estate Investment Framework is available to read or download from the UNEP FI website.

See also the Sustainable Building resources on the RICS website to find out what FMs and other real estate professionals can do to manage resources more carefully and to protect the environment for future generations.