As the UK’s political parties gear up for their annual conference season, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has launched its own manifesto for the built environment.
The manifesto, Empowering a Sustainable Future, seeks to make the case for a range of policies in the lead-up to the next General Election in 2024.
As RICS explains, the UK’s built and natural environments face large-scale challenges ranging from climate change to a cost-of-living crisis, creating additional difficulties for a housing sector experiencing crucial supply shortages.
Endemic skills shortages undermine development in the industry, it says, while the workplace has become more fluid post-pandemic, with the built environment needing to reflect the change in workforce behaviour.
According to the United Nations, the built environment generates around 40% of global carbon output, and RICS says it is leading the industry on the response to climate change by introducing new standards, guidance and toolkits that will speed up the decarbonisation of the industry.
Justin Young, chief executive of RICS, said: “As a leading representative of the built and natural environment sectors in the UK and globally, RICS advocates policies with solutions to some of the most critical challenges of our time.
“The public needs safe, sustainable, energy-efficient, and affordable homes; businesses need high-quality commercial spaces that align with the decentralised digital economy, while the industry needs a more robust pipeline of diverse talent that fulfils the skills demands of the sector so that it can deliver its goals.
“The RICS manifesto provides food for thought for the parties as they develop their policy platforms for the next General Election, and we look forward to engaging with their policy teams at the upcoming party conferences.”
The manifesto sets out a ten-point roadmap, which includes points focussed on creating safe, sustainable, and affordable homes for all, building safety, and future skills for a sustainable built environment, among many other important factors.
Key asks include:
- Increase supply of rented homes to meet demand and slow rent rises
- Deliver a joined-up quality and sustainability strategy
- Review skills shortages to tackle targets
- Hit housing targets with a housing delivery strategy
- Action the recommendations from the recent RICS Decarbonising UK Real Estate that call for reform to how building performance and EPCs are presented
- Develop the much-needed National Fire Strategy as called on by industry to raise competency, standards and mitigation. This must include the UN-endorsed International Fire Safety Standards (IFSS) Common Principles
Image credit: ConceptCafe/Shutterstock
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