Capturing the Value of Sustainability

A research report to provide businesses operating in the built environment with a way of measuring the value that sustainability creates for their business.


September 21, 2017


Research & Innovation




Get involved

This project focuses on a wider business case for sustainability. Rather than just a simple calculation for the return on investment for a particular sustainability initiative such as an LED lighting upgrade, this project focuses on the challenge that businesses face in trying to identify the value their businesses derive from their sustainability initiatives. Quantifying value depends on identifying the relevant value drivers* within a business.

Get involved:

  • Supply a case study and feature your company in the published report
  • Attend the launch event (exact date tbc, approx. late January 2018)
  • Trial the value metrics

If your company is interested in any of these opportunities, please contact

Purpose and Objectives

The purpose of the project is to provide businesses operating in the built environment with a way of measuring the value that sustainability creates.

The project is seeking to:

  • Provide an evidence base which can be used to justify taking action on sustainability;
  • Develop the industry’s understanding of different commercial drivers which underpin corporate sustainability strategies;
  • Encourage more organisations to adopt a common approach to identifying key value drivers of sustainability for their business and to report on these publicly;
  • Build corporate awareness of, and confidence in, the commercial value associated with a strong approach to sustainability and thereby build the ‘business case’ for stretching ambitions further; and
  • Drive the sustainability ambitions of built environment professionals and ultimately lead to higher standards of sustainability across the sector.

The focus will be on a wide range of organisational value drivers and wherever possible, seek to quantify these.

The project commenced in April 2017. Phase 1 comprised identifying existing research and building on the existing UKGBC body of work on the business case for sustainability. A survey was conducted in June 2017 with GBC members to ascertain the relevant value drivers for built environment businesses. A member workshop was held in September 2017 to generate the trial metrics. The project will conclude in January 2018.

*A value driver, as defined in this research, is any variable or factor specific to a business or industry, that can be influenced, measured, managed and controlled. In doing so, it affects the value of the company by one or more of the following: reducing risk, increasing profitability, leading to growth.  Examples of value drivers which are covered in the report are cost savings, brand and reputation, securing and retaining, customer attraction and satisfaction.


With thanks to the sponsors:

  • Argent
  • the_crown_estate
  • jll
  • barratt_developments_plc
  • berkeley_group