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UN SDGs & Built Environment

Beyond 2020 will focus on creating clear links between the most relevant UN Sustainable Development Goals and the built environment. Central to our discussion will be achieving UN Sustainable Development Goal 11, Sustainable cities and communities, by the 2030 deadline.

From our perspective, the path towards sustainable cities and communities (SDG11) is only possible, if other relevant SDGs are fulfilled.

Below our interpretation of what the responsibility of the building sector regarding these SDGs is (KEY TOPICS) and the reference to the official SDG targets our KEY TOPICS are based on (RELEVANT SDG TARGETS).

Key topics

• Access to resilient housing and infrastructure for all
• Access to affordable housing for all
• Fuel poverty

1.4 Ensure that all men and women, in particular the poor and the vulnerable, have equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to basic services, ownership and control over land and other forms of property, inheritance, natural resources, appropriate new technology and financial services, including microfinance.

1.5 Build the resilience of the poor and those in vulnerable situations and reduce their exposure and vulnerability to climate-related extreme events and other economic, social and environmental shocks and disasters.

Key topics

• Healthy indoor and outdoor environment
• Healthy building materials

3.9 Substantially reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals and air, water and soil pollution and contamination.

Key topics

• Assure life-long learning opportunities for all
• Enable high quality education for a sustainable built environment

4.3 By 2030, ensure equal access for all women and men to affordable and quality technical, vocational and tertiary education, including university.

4.4 By 2030, substantially increase the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship.

4.7 By 2030, ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development.

Key topics

• Waste water treatment and recycling
• Water-use efficiency in building construction and building material manufacturing

6.3 Improve water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimizing release of hazardous chemicals and materials, halving the proportion of untreated wastewater and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse globally.

6.4 Substantially increase water-use efficiency across all sectors and ensure sustainable withdrawals and supply of freshwater to address water scarcity and substantially reduce the number of people suffering from water scarcity.

beyond2020

Key topics

• Buildings as renewable energy users and producers
• Energy efficiency in buildings

7.2. Increase substantially the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.

7.3 Double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency.

Key topics

• Job creation through sustainable building sector
•Technological innovation for improved efficiency in construction work
• Safe working environment in construction industry

8.2. Achieve higher levels of economic productivity through diversification, technological upgrading and innovation, including through a focus on high-value added and labour-intensive sectors.

8.4 Improve progressively, through 2030, global resource efficiency in consumption and production and endeavour to decouple economic growth from environmental degradation, in accordance with the 10-year framework of programmes on sustainable consumption and production, with developed countries taking the lead.

8.8 Protect labour rights and promote safe and secure working environments for all workers, including migrant workers, in particular women migrants, and those in precarious employment.

Key topics

• Resource-use efficiency in construction
• Adoption of clean and sustainable technologies in buildings and infrastructure

9.1 Develop quality, reliable, sustainable and resilient infrastructure, including regional and trans-border infrastructure, to support economic development and human well-being, with a focus on affordable and equitable access for all.

9.4. Upgrade infrastructure and retrofit industries to make them sustainable, with increased resource-use efficiency and greater adoption of clean and environmentally sound technologies and industrial processes, with all countries taking action in accordance with their respective capabilities.

Key topics

• Safe, affordable and accessible transport within cities and districts
• Inclusive and participatory planning and management of built environment
• Access to green, inclusive and accessible public spaces in cities

11.1 Ensure access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services and upgrade slums.

11.2 Provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all, improving road safety, notably by expanding public transport, with special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations, women, children, persons with disabilities and older persons.

11.3 Enhance inclusive and sustainable urbanization and capacity for participatory, integrated and sustainable human settlement planning and management in all countries.

11.6 Reduce the adverse per capita environmental impact of cities, including by paying special attention to air quality and municipal and other waste management.

11.7 Provide universal access to safe, inclusive and accessible, green and public spaces, in particular for women and children, older persons and persons with disabilities.

Key topics

• Material life cycle and circularity
• Waste prevention, reduction and recycling in new building construction and renovation
• Sustainability reporting in construction value chain
• Sustainability-oriented procurement practices for new construction and renovation

12.2 Achieve the sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources.

12.4 Achieve the environmentally sound management of chemicals and all wastes throughout their life cycle, in accordance with agreed international frameworks, and significantly reduce their release to air, water and soil in order to minimize their adverse impacts on human health and the environment.

12.5 Substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse.

12.6 Encourage companies, especially large and transnational companies, to adopt sustainable practices and to integrate sustainability information into their reporting cycle.

12.7 Promote public procurement practices that are sustainable, in accordance with national policies and priorities.

Key topics

• Climate change mitigation and adaptation in the built environment
• Built environment resilient to natural disasters

13.1 Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries.

13.3 Improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning.

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