Construction industry urged to stop talking and start acting on its carbon-neutral targets

Press release 20/10/2020 13:30 CET

Viewers to The Future of Construction – Net-zero carbon live webcast hear about progress towards targets, but that some early wins and good intentions are not enough.

Future of Construction

In the second of the Future of Construction series of live webcasts, a panel of industry figures tackled the key themes around meeting net-zero carbon targets set by government, UK cities and the construction industry. 

Hosted by BBC news presenter, Maryam Moshiri, the panel included Gregor Craig, president and CEO, Skanska UK; Julie Hirigoyen, chief executive, UK Green Building Council; Peter Miller, Environment and Town Planning Director, HS2; and Jeremy Greenwood, managing director, national commercial and construction solutions, Tarmac

There were also contributions from Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, and Rune Stene – managing director, Powerhouse.

The panellists discussed critical issues such as how to deal with the biggest emission sources, and what the industry can do to turn collaborative talk into collaborative action. The audience heard about real progress being made in certain areas, such as the Powerhouse project in Norway.

Viewers responded to live polls throughout the webcast, and identified government as potentially making the biggest contribution and government legislation as the most critical factor, for the industry to reach its carbon targets over the next 30 years.

“You could say we have wasted the last 40 years. As an industry, we haven’t acted enough. Now, we are waking up,” said Gregor Craig, Skanska UK president and CEO.

“The targets are set. But targets need to be more than a vague aim left to future generations to deliver. It’s time to start turning talk into action. This means main contractors need to take the lead but they need to do it fast.

"We need to collaborate as an industry in the same way that we have  worked out how to deal with social distancing on our sites. We need to work with the supply chain, our customers and government to spread the innovation right across our industry — to transform good intentions into real outcomes.

"There are fantastic examples of where we’ve made some progress, but there is a long way to go.”

The Future of Construction series is produced by Skanska UK.