A green profession? A global survey of RICS members and their engagement with the sustainability agenda

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Property Investment & Finance, 2008, 26 (6), pp. 460 - 481
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Purpose This study seeks to provide a review of the background and context to the engagement of RICS members with the sustainability agenda, and to examine the extent to which the surveying profession uses relevant information, tools and techniques to achieve the key objectives of sustainable development (or sustainability). Design/methodology/approach The paper analyses results from a major international online survey of 4,600 RICS respondent members, supported by 31 structured telephone interviews. Findings The results suggest that, although sustainability is highly relevant to RICS members' work, a lack of knowledge and expertise is making it more difficult for sustainability tools and other information to be used effectively. Research limitations/implications The survey is based on a substantial number of responses which are broadly representative of the global RICS population. A key implication is that “laggard” faculties include the disciplines of commercial property and valuation. Practical implications The research suggests that key stakeholders must work together to provide better information, guidance and education and training to “hardwire” the sustainability agenda across RICS faculties. Originality/value This is the first truly global survey of its kind and focuses particularly on those faculties that play a major role in property investment and finance (i.e. valuation and commercial property), comparing their position with that of other faculties in an international context. © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
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