United NationsDepartamento de Asuntos Económicos y Sociales Desarrollo Sostenible

SDG12 Resource efficient housing

UN-Habitat (

    The buildings and construction sector accounted for 36% of final energy use and 39% of energy and process-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2018, 11% of which resulted from manufacturing and procurement of building materials and products such as steel, cement and glass (GlobalABC, 2019)— making the building sector the single most significant industry in terms of emissions. In addition, the building sector consumes 12% of freshwater and 30% of raw material and it generates approximately 20% of water effluents and as much as 40% of landfill waste globally (WEF, 2016). With the rapid urbanization and population growth, the importance of the buildings and construction sector with regards to sustainable development is increasingly recognized. The building and construction sector plays a key role in implementing the SDGs and Paris Agreement, and the decisions made today in the rapidly urbanizing developing countries will have long-lasting impacts on the state of the planet and life on earth. While 136 out of the 184 parties who submitted NDCs mention buildings, most do not include concrete policy actions or targets for their buildings and construction sector (GlobalABC, 2019). UNEP’s International Resource Panel demonstrated that material efficiency strategies in the buildings and construction sector, for example, would significantly reduce GHG emissions (IRP, 2019).

    Implementation of the Project/Activity

    Ongoing process. Currently, the Inception phase and Stocktaking has been developed and the project is currently establishing the working process with the selected countries. The next steps will be to develop an initial country analysis and roadmap to set up the basis for the resource-efficient housing programme analysis.


    The different outputs and activities planned in this proposal are expected to result in (i) strengthened national commitments and objectives for sustainable buildings and construction in two pilot countries and (ii) strengthened technical resources for UNCTs to support governments in mainstreaming sustainability, resource efficiency, and climate change in the buildings and construction sector to achieve the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement. Moreover, it is expected that UNCTs, supported by the participating UN organizations (PUNOs), have enhanced capacities to utilise the potential of the buildings and construction sector to raise resources for the implementation of national sustainable development plans and Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). In view of the importance of procurement in buildings and construction projects, the programme will include relevant information for sustainable procurement in the guidance developed and technical support provided in the pilot countries.

    Enabling factors and constraints

    Enabling factors: - Alliance between 3 agencies of the UN. UN-Habitat, UNEP and UNOPS to implement the programme. - One Planet Network Multi purpose trust fund finance for the joint programme. -Sustainable Buildings and Construction Programme of the One Planet Network (SBC) support -Technology to develop a global programme remotely, especially due to Covid19 Constraints: - Covid19 impact on the countries construction sector and overall population crises - Limited funding for a broad programme with high expectations

    Sustainability and replicability

    The programme has high sustainability and replicability. One of the main objectives is to build an advocacy package to be mainstreamed and implemented in this and other countries. A global approach to resource-efficient housing. The joint programme will provide guidance to UNCTs and governments by collecting, improving, and disseminating tools and approaches to: ● Mainstream sustainable buildings and construction approaches that are tailored to local contexts (e.g. through using country assessments, building and construction roadmaps, NDC guidance, etc.) ● Guide and support countries national buildings and construction value chain stakeholders in developing coherent sustainable buildings and construction strategies, plans, policies and regulation, and processes to support sustainable and resource-efficient materials use in planning, design, procurement, construction, operation, maintenance, and decommissioning for buildings and construction. ● Establish National Alliances for Buildings and construction, strengthen local skills and capacities and encourage locally adapted research and innovation on sustainable and resource-efficient materials use. ● Assess the investment value in SBC approaches, with an emphasis on housing sector-related programmes. The above-mentioned guidance will be presented as an SBC Mainstreaming and Advocacy package for UNCTs and will be piloted in one or more countries jointly with the UNCT, leveraging on the PUNOs country presence as well as that of the SBC member’s country presence.

    COVID-19 Impact

    Covid19 has impacted the timing of the programme, especially because teams in the global programme and the countries were scattered and facing crisis activities.

    This initiative does not yet fulfil the SMART criteria.
    01 September 2020 (start date)
    28 December 2022 (date of completion)
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