Bishop & Sewell

A new assessment standard from The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) is set to become the leading framework for carbon measurement in the built environment, writes Thom Wilkinson, a Partner in our Property and Environmental Law team.

The Whole Life Carbon Assessment for the Built Environment (WLCA) standard has been updated from its first edition, released in 2017.

Produced in partnership with the Department for Transport and Net Zero Waste Scotland, the standard has been updated following a public consultation. The standard is now suitable for global use and can cover all built assets and infrastructure projects throughout the built environment lifecycle.

The professional standard aims to help property managers understand the carbon costs and benefits of design choices in construction. It provides information on calculating and reporting carbon emissions over the lifecycle of a built asset, including production, construction, operation, end of life and beyond asset life.

RICS will take the new standard at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai, where the organisation is an accredited partner.

Charlotte Neal, Director of Surveying Standards at RICS said: “The built environment has been crying out for tools to measure its impact on climate change, which is crucial for developing mitigating practices to significantly reduce the industry’s carbon output.

“By providing a consistent methodology to assess the carbon output of buildings throughout their entire lifecycle, the second edition of WLCA will significantly improve the industry’s ability to measure and manage its impact on climate. Thank you to RICS’ members, staff and partners for your unceasing support of our work in leading the built environment towards a sustainable, net-zero future.”


Contact our Property Team

If you would like to discuss any of the points raised in this article, please do get in contact, quoting ref CB423. Thom Wilkinson is a Partner specialising in Property and Environmental Law and is contactable on: +44 (0)20 7692 7581 or

At Bishop & Sewell, we have more than 40 years’ experience in property with a particular focus on Landlord & Tenant.  If you are thinking of buying a leasehold property, or if you already own a leasehold property and you have a question about obtaining a consent to alterations that you are planning please call 020 7631 4141 and ask for a member of the Property team, or email

The above is accurate as at 10 October 2023. The information above may be subject to change.

The content of this note should not be considered legal advice and each matter should be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Category: News | Date: 10th Oct 2023

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