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Hot Topic Highlight – RICS Responsible Business Framework

Updated: Oct 29, 2023

Building a Better You

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What is today's blog about?

In this week’s blog, we take a look at the RICS Responsible Business Framework. This is essential reading for RICS APC and AssocRICS candidates in relation to the Sustainability competency, as well as any candidates on the Facilities Management pathway.

You can download a full copy of the Framework here.

What is responsible business?

RICS define responsible business as ‘operating efficiently and responsibly. It meets and exceeds legislation and always considers its impact on people (the workforce, community and society at large) and the environment’.

What is the Responsible Business Framework?

The RICS published the Responsible Business Framework in December 2021, leading on from their Responsible Business Report in 2019.

The Framework is not mandatory guidance, but instead provides best practice guidance on responsible business for organisations of all sizes.

What are the aims of the Framework?

  • To highlight best practice and provide useful content for the real estate management industry on how it should operate in a more responsible and ethical manner

  • To influence clients, landlords and owners/occupiers in their thinking, planning and expectations on services required

  • To provide clarity on the relationship with all stakeholders for improved engagement across the supply chain

  • To provide a global approach towards embedding environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations into the management of real estate

  • To provide clarity on the terminology and definitions for responsible business and ESG

  • To provide alignment with United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs) and other global reporting frameworks in demonstrating impacts on society and the environment

  • To highlight the important role that property, and the people and organisations involved in its management, can play in the creation of lasting social value.

What are some of the key takeaways from the Framework?

The Framework is split into three key sections;

  • Governance considerations

  • Social considerations

  • Environmental stewardship

Governance considerations relate to the procedures and practices that companies follow.

Examples of responsible business in this respect include:

  • Using technology to ensure data is robust, transparent and minimises environmental impacts

  • Incorporating responsible practices and reporting into commercial and risk management

  • Supporting clients and the supply chain to address socio-environmental impacts

Drivers, such as these, in an organisation could be mapped as demonstrated below:

Drivers of responsible business
RICS, 2021

Social considerations relate to responsible practices such as:

  • Promoting diversity and inclusion

  • Upholding high health & safety standards

  • Fair pay principles and Living Wage

  • Fair, equal and unbiased recruitment

  • Focussing on well-being

  • Promoting social value

Environmental stewardship, the last section of the Framework, includes responsible practices such as:

  • Identifying environmental risks and opportunities

  • Ensuring environmental compliance requirements are met

  • Collecting environmental data to better manage assets and monitor energy use

  • Considering energy efficiency in decision making

  • Sustainable waste management

How can we help?

Stay tuned for our next blog post to help build a better you.

N.b. Nothing in this article constitutes legal, professional or financial advice.


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