Green Construction Board publishes low carbon plan

Press release 05/03/2013 13:30 CET

Co-chair Mike Putnam says Routemap will help industry reduce carbon emissions

The Green Construction Board, a joint government-industry group, has today called for urgent action to reduce carbon emissions as it publishes a new plan for the sector to meet national carbon reduction targets.

The Low Carbon Routemap for the Built Environment was launched by former Government Chief Construction Adviser Paul Morrell at Ecobuild who has led the development of the Routemap.

The Routemap sets out what is required from the construction industry to achieve its UK Government target of an 80 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels by 2050. Key findings include:

  • Meeting the 80 per cent reduction target for construction is technically possible, but very challenging
  • Success is dependant on improving the economic viability of technical solutions and addressing market failures
  • Taking responsibility for carbon reduction at an industry level is essential 
  • The drive to 80 per cent carbon reduction represents an economic opportunity, particularly in retrofitting domestic buildings.

GCB Co-chair and Business Minister Michael Fallon said:

“This Routemap will help shape our Industrial Strategy for construction as we plan for the long term. It’s a valuable contribution to our continuing work with industry and shows that even closer collaboration is required in the future if we want to get closer to achieving our objective.

“While the Routemap shows that the 80 per cent carbon reduction target is a very challenging one, we must not lose sight of the overall objective which is to minimise carbon emissions.”

Mike Putnam, President and CEO, Skanska UK and Co-chair of the Green Construction Board added:

“The Routemap is a valuable contribution to our understanding of the key decision points and actions needed over time, against the 2050 target of 80 per cent reduction in carbon emissions.

“It will help inform the ongoing dialogue between Government and industry and shows that even closer collaboration is required going forward. I firmly believe that it is possible to significantly reduce carbon by applying clear leadership and challenging solutions, focussing upon whole life costs of the asset, covering both capital and operational carbon, as well as costs.”

Today the GCB also published its ‘Top Twenty Tips’ for greening the industry and launched a case study engine to help firms find examples of good practice.

Following on from publication of the Routemap, Michael Fallon is set to deliver the keynote speech at the Ecobuild conference tomorrow (6 March) where he will talk about the opportunities for market growth in sustainable construction.

An Industrial Strategy for construction will be launched in the summer. The issues it is expected to cover include growth and innovation; supply chain; SME engagement; skills; access to finance and overseas trade. It will build on, but not duplicate, the work of the GCB, the Infrastructure UK Cost Review, and the Government Construction Board.

Notes to editors:

1. Green Construction Board

Government and industry is building on the work of the Low Carbon Construction Innovation & Growth Team (IGT) and working collaboratively through the Green Construction Board (GCB) to drive forward the actions set out in the subsequent Low Carbon Construction Action Plan. The full Terms of Reference of the group are available for download (PDF, 28 Kb).

To find out more about the GCB, view the ’Top 20 Tips’ and access the Routemap visit www.greenconstructionboard.org

2. The Government's economic policy objective is to achieve 'strong, sustainable and balanced growth that is more evenly shared across the country and between industries.' It set four ambitions in the ‘Plan for Growth’ (PDF 1.7MB), published at Budget 2011:

  • To create the most competitive tax system in the G20
  • To make the UK the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business
  • To encourage investment and exports as a route to a more balanced economy
  • To create a more educated workforce that is the most flexible in Europe.

Work is underway across Government to achieve these ambitions, including progress on more than 250 measures as part of the Growth Review. Developing an Industrial Strategy gives new impetus to this work by providing businesses, investors and the public with more clarity about the long-term direction in which the Government wants the economy to travel.