The evolution of awards – pushing the boundaries and rewarding best practice by Sophie Eastwood, MD of Holistic and YEP Global director

by Johnny Clayton on Monday, 28 October 2019

Awards play an important role in any industry, recognising excellence, encouraging and rewarding best practice, and highlighting what measures of success are important at any given time. They also provide an aspirational benchmark for businesses, showing what good looks like.

In the property sector, awards have historically been given for a great deal, with the focus on commercial success, the highest returns and the most profit. More recently, awards have been introduced that consider placemaking and community engagement, putting a more human face on the sector.

Now is the time for a seismic shift, where viability and commercial robustness become hygiene factors – because we couldn’t develop without these criteria being met anyway –  replaced by an assessment of the value we bring to society and UK PLC through the work we do.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the world’s leading professional body for those who work in land, property, infrastructure and construction, is leading the charge on this, having launched the RICS Social Impact Awards last week with the help of our team at  

This new pioneering awards programme will recognise the positive and transformational contribution that the built environment has on people’s lives across the UK. It will assess the human, social and environmental impact, and the innovation and collaboration, that goes into development and infrastructure projects in the Commercial, Education, Healthcare, Heritage, Infrastructure, Land & Rural, Leisure, Residential and Student Accommodation sectors.

The launch of this new awards programme follows the announcement this month about RICS’ new ‘Value the Planet’ campaign, which aims to encourage the built environment industry to adopt the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. At the same time, industry titles such as EG are embracing the potential of real estate as a force for good, highlighting the champions of our industry.

This is a welcome and long overdue change, which will not only help the general public to see the value of our built environment and how it can be a catalyst for improvement in our communities, but I also truly hope it will inspire the next generation to seek out a career in real estate.

Awards have never been so important in highlighting the role of property professionals in society, their values and purpose, which in turn develops reputations and attracts new clients. The RICS Social Impact Awards are open for entry at, so let’s showcase the great work of our sector and the contribution it makes, in the positive light it deserves.

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