Big change needed for construction industry to meet low carbon agenda, report shows

An Innovation and Growth Team (IGT) report has shown that the construction industry faces a large change management programme to meet the low carbon agenda.

The report said the construction industry had engaged positively with the sustainability issue with many examples of cutting-edge practice.

But the Climate Change Act calls for the net UK carbon account in 2050 to at least 80 per cent lower than the 1990 baseline, which will require a ‘quantum change’ in the industry’s response to this challenge, says the document.

The report highlights four themes that government and industry need to engage on to rise to the carbon challenge.

These are the potential size of the market, as meeting the UK’s commitment to reducing carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions will affect every aspect of the built environment and stimulating demand, as there would be little point in developing the necessary capacity and skills if the demand for low carbon was not there.

Also, opportunities for SMEs, as transforming the built environment to low carbon could provide the industry with a 40 year programme of work and act as a springboard to growth for more than 200,000 small businesses in the sector and the wider green economy benefits, as the green economy represents an area of substantial potential growth for the UK. Creating a low carbon construction industry would develop skills and expertise that would be of great value to other sectors.

Paul Morrell, who led the IGT, said: "Meeting the low carbon agenda is both a challenge and an opportunity for the construction industry."

"It will require radical change to the way we do business as well as government action to meet the scale of the challenge."

Further information:
Department for Business, Innovation and Skills