Construction needs clearer measurement in a low carbon future
The construction industry needs to step up transparent action and take responsibility in preparing for a low-carbon future, according to a top executive at the World Business Council.
Addressing the NBS Construction Leaders Summit: Build Better, RT Hon Claire O’Neill, Managing Director, Climate and Energy at WBCSD (World Business Council for Sustainable Development) and former UK Minister for Energy and clean growth, said the industry needs to realize that it can no longer count on the government to enforce more low-carbon practices.
“Transparent measurement and reporting of lifetime carbon emissions from buildings will be key to achieving net zero,” she said. “We need to use evidence and a factual approach so that we can accurately measure progress … on rapid action with large carbon pools, carbon removal and adaptation.”
By designing and building with a net-zero and circularity strategy in mind, using the lowest possible lifecycle carbon emissions, and creating dynamic frameworks for clients, we can address the situation of forehead, O’Neill concluded.
“We need to educate customers on the importance of the lifespan climate benefits of their low-carbon construction and work alongside investors to realize the trade-offs between cost and benefit. “
Julie Hirigoyen, CEO of the UK Green Building Council, offered an action plan to stakeholders on how construction companies can develop net zero carbon solutions.
“We will be releasing detailed action plans for stakeholders in almost every sub-sector and professional organization as part of our roadmap later this year. This is crucial for such a fragmented industry – we want everyone to recognize that they have a role in the fight against carbon reduction. “
Construction safety was also high on the agenda. Hywel Davies, Technical Director of the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) and Chairman of the Building Regulations Advisory Committee (BRAC), provided an update on Dame Judith Hackitt’s “golden thread” policy and progress made by the Department of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), in collaboration with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
Richard Waterhouse, spokesperson for NBS, said we are all aware of the real risks of climate change and construction still has a long way to go before it can reach net zero.
“Industry can compare and analyze, using real, tangible results to present the best way forward through a systematic approach,” he said.
“At the heart of it all is digital, which provides the framework for progress to be made, not only in sustainability but also in security and compliance. With COP26 just around the corner, it will be fascinating to see how far the sector has come to our next event. “