Net zero Ellis Fox Blog

Can UK construction collaborate to achieve net-zero?

The built environment has for decades carried the label as being one of the biggest single contributors to carbon emissions. This past week saw the announcement and soft launch of The Carbon Reduction Code for the Built Environment. This is massive positive step in the right direction, indicating that industry role players are committed to reducing environmental impacts while still furthering the growth of the industry.

Navigating the complexity of achieving net-zero

Reducing carbon emissions is a complex task because it doesn’t just involve changing one thing. It involves every aspect of operations from design, to supply chain management, process, production, operations and maintenance. To get all the elements working together to reduce carbon emissions is a mammoth task. This is why having an industry specific code is incredibly valuable. It provides guidelines on best practices and access to the knowledge of industry professionals who have been involved in drawing up the code.

To understand what is involved and why the code is so valuable to the industry view full details at this link:

The effectiveness of the code will largely depend on adoption in the industry and the willingness of all role players to work together to achieve reductions in emissions. This will need to extend beyond project based joint ventures and to a level of collaboration not yet achieved in construction. Which raises an important question: Can it be done?

From pledges to practical application

History has shown that making environmental pledges is just the first step in achieving targets, but it is an important step nevertheless. It’s when leadership makes the commitment to change. The challenge with implementing change is that it costs, and when managing the cost factor remains a priority, then the principles guiding the change are often overlooked or compromised on. Companies committing to achieving net-zero targets need to realise that it’s working towards a long term gain. Not only that, it’s an essential element of futureproofing the industry and achieving a level of sustainability.

It will require a new mindset, a new leadership style, new expertise and a new way of operating. Key to success will be having the right people in senior roles that can help drive the transition. People who are willing to collaborate with industry partners to ensure the complexities are managed effectively. This is a great opportunity for the construction industry to showcase their expertise and achieve what many have said will be impossible to achieve.