What is sustainable development? Well, sustainable development is that development which meets the needs of the present without conceding the ability of future generations to meet their own wants. India being a rising economy has seen extensive industrialization and development in the recent past, this development has caused an adverse impact on the environment. Coming to the contribution of the construction industry, Buildings account for almost 40% CO2 emission and extensively consume the industrial and transportation services, which leads to more pollution. Whereas on the other hand, LEED-certified buildings have 34 percent lower CO2 emissions, consume 25 percent less energy and 11 percent less water, hence there is an increased need to build green structures. Green buildings play an ever-important role in achieving sustainable development goals, thinking how? Let’s detail it down for you.
What Sustainability Actually Means?
Sustainability in simple terms means that things keep going and can sustain themselves, continue into the future, and go on forever. From a human perspective, sustainability for our planet means that it can continue to do what it was designed to do, i.e. provide fresh air, clean water, produce food and allow us all to lead a high-quality of life forever. Un-sustainability means that it cannot and that is where we all are today.
In our pursuit of prosperity, growth, and success we are destroying the system that we as humans are completely depended upon, today we humans have become a threat to our own way of life.
We need to understand, our planet is a system and everything is connected, be it society, environment, and economy. To live sustainably we need to follow four precise care instructions:
- Reduce Dependence On Fossil Fuels And Heavy Metals
- Reduce Dependence On Synthetic Chemicals
- Reduce Destruction Of Nature
- Ensure That We Are Not Stopping People Globally From Meeting Their Needs
These care instructions need to be applied to everything we do, be it home or work. If we dedicatedly follow these care instructions, we can work together to be sustainable in the future. We will all have a better quality of life, we will waste less, we will pollute less, and we will create more things that will be valuable for our nature – Like Green Buildings.
Sustainable Development Goals & Green Buildings
How can Green Buildings provide foundations towards meeting several Sustainable Development Goals? Let’s discuss 6 ways green buildings can help:
1. Ensure Healthy Lives And Promotes Well Being
There are many pieces of evidence that clearly indicate that a building design can affect the health and well-being of its residents. Green building features, like improved lighting, better air quality, and greenery, have proved to have a positive impact on the health and well-being of its occupants. Also, reduced emissions from buildings structures – predominantly in big cities – can significantly reduce pollution and improve air quality, benefiting the overall health of the city residents.
2. Affordable And Clean Energy
This one surely is one of the most talked about benefits of green buildings. Green building structures can efficiently use renewable energy which in the long run help in cutting the overall cost of running the building. Another benefit of using renewable energy is that it produces no carbon emissions, which means it has minimal impact on the planet.
3. Ensures Economic Growth
There is no doubt about the fact that demand for green buildings is increasing globally, with this the demand for workforce required to deliver them is also increasing. Green Buildings are promoting an inclusive and sustainable economic growth, in the future, it will create more decent jobs for many.
4. Make Cities Inclusive, Safe, Strong And Sustainable
Green buildings are the fabric of sustainable cities and communities. Whether it’s homes, schools, offices, or shops – the built environment plays a big role in making up communities, which needs to be sustainable to ensure a high quality of life for everyone.
5. Combat Climate Change
Buildings structures are accountable for over 30 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, no wonder they are a major contributor to climate change. Green Buildings, on the other hand, have a huge potential to combat it as it offers one of the most cost-effective ways to do so i.e. through measures like energy efficiency.
6. Prevent Waste Through Reduction, Recycling, And Reuse
The Green building industry plays a major role in preventing waste through reduction, recycling, and reuse, these ensure materials and resources are not wasted.
Green Building: A True Catalyst For Addressing One Of World’s Most Pressing Issues
We might look at a building structure and see it only as a non-living structure, but it’s time to look at them differently. Observe them as an opportunity to save energy, water and carbon emissions, as a medium to educate, create jobs, strengthen communities, improve health and wellbeing, and much more. Green building is a true compound for addressing some of the world’s most tenacious issues.
The Way Forward
A lot of environmental damage has already been done due to lack of alertness among the population. Its high time we understand the impact of our actions on the environment and also understand how to protect it for sustainability.
Originally Published On LinkedIn By Monnanda Appaiah (Managing Director at Wienerberger India)
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