Creating a more sustainable built environment

30th July 2021

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  • Global Environment and Social Assessment


Andrew Farley

In March, the Environmental Audit Committee kicked off an inquiry focused on improving the sustainability of the built environment sector.

IEMA provided written evidence, with our submission focusing on two specific areas whereby sustainability could be improved in the built environment. The first relates to the strategic management of greenhouse gases across supply chains in the sector, while the second concerns ensuring that high-quality impact assessment continues to play an important role in future planning processes.

IEMA’s full recommendations to the Committee were that:

  • IEMA’s management hierarchy for greenhouse gas emissions is used widely in the built environment sector to improve its performance on sustainability and the natural environment.
  • The government’s planning reforms, geared at speeding up permissions, do not come at the expense of high quality impact assessment that is integral to safeguarding natural and social assets.
  • Impact assessment approaches are enhanced as part of the government’s wider planning reforms, particularly in terms of mandating the use of environmental management plans and embracing innovation and digitisation.

The submission is available on the Committee’s inquiry page at

Image credit: iStock

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