27 JUN 2023


Ramboll has released its Sustainable Buildings Market Study for 2023, demonstrating 99% of UK respondents and 98% globally consider sustainability as important for successful business operations.

From architects and engineers, to developers, investors and contractors, the global study - with the largest share of respondents being in the UK - shines a light on future trends and technology in the built environment, drivers and barriers for sustainability, and net zero carbon strategies in practice. 

While the numbers surveyed who consider sustainability important for successful business operations was significant - marking an increase of 4% from the 2021 survey - only 50% have embedded net zero buildings into their organisation’s business strategy towards 2030, and 33% did not know what sustainability reporting schemes their organisation used.

Scott Brookes, director of Ramboll, said: “This year’s Sustainable Buildings Market Study offers us deep insight into the what, how and why of sustainability, with investors, developers, contractors, engineers, architects, and designers across the business environment providing responses.

“One of the standout statistics from this year’s study is that despite 98% of all respondents considering sustainability important for successful business operations, only 50% have embedded net zero buildings into their organisation’s business strategy towards 2030. 

"Whilst company-specific barriers across the landscape may include a myriad of legal, technological or economic factors, these results remind us to make every effort to turn ambition into action."

Brookes added almost two thirds of respondents considered the ‘circular economy’ the most important trend for the construction and real estate sector, up from 49% in 2021, "with 60% of organisations saying they had an increased focus on refurbishment". 

"To co-create a future that is decarbonised to net zero, we must embrace our oft-unloved existing building stock, which will undoubtedly play a leading role in any future urban prosperity,” Brookes said. 

The survey also found higher investment costs were the biggest barrier preventing sustainability being prioritised within organisations, with 61% of respondents citing these. 

This sentiment was even higher among UK respondents, as 66% thought it to be the biggest barrier to investment.

Lack of financial incentives was also seen as the biggest barrier for achieving a net zero carbon construction industry by 2050, with 58% of respondents citing this issue.

Meanwhile, 62% thought ‘circular economy’ was the most important trend for the construction and real estate sector, which compared with just 49% in 2021. However, ‘carbon neutrality’ just pipped circular economy to the post as the most important trend at 63%

Ramboll's survey also demonstrated only 22% strive for biodiversity in major renovations or new construction projects - but this is still significant progress from 2021, when the figure was just 10%.

On-site renewable production was selected as the most important technology for the advancement of the sector with 65% citing this.

Read the full report. 


Owned by the industry; acting on behalf of the industry. Delivering the intelligence that is critical to success in infrastructure.

Visit website  arrow