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CIOB holds net zero event with industry experts and UK government

Chartered Institute of Building

3 min read Partner content

On Thursday 18 November 2021, CIOB held a unique event bringing together experts from Government and the construction supply chain to look at how net zero can be delivered across the Midlands.

Kicking off the event, attendees heard from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) Minister Eddie Hughes MP, responsible for climate change and net zero. In his speech, Mr Hughes discussed DLUHC’s recent move to Wolverhampton and the opening of their second headquarters there. Mr Hughes also reflected on his recent attendance at COP26 and the ambition DLUHC has to meet the UK’s net zero mission through the likes of the Heat and Buildings Strategy.  

Eddie Hughes MP, Minister for Rough Sleeping and Housing said:  

“It was a pleasure to meet the CIOB members from the West Midlands today and tell them about the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities’ new office in Wolverhampton that is bringing 250 jobs to the region and helping us level up the country. 

“Following my attendance at COP26 it was great to share the UK’s net zero mission, including the 10 Point Plan and recently published Net Zero Strategy. It’s clear to me that the building and construction industry are going to be at the forefront of the green revolution.”

Daisie Rees-Evans, Policy Officer at CIOB, presented the view of the Institute and its activity on sustainability and achieving net zero. CIOB made clear during the presentation that the sector cannot work in silos and the industry needs a coordinated, long-term action plan. The Construction Leadership Council’s National Retrofit Strategy, which CIOB has been actively campaigning on, is a key mechanism to help unlock the retrofit market which is key to achieving net zero. It was also highlighted that the recently published Heat and Buildings strategy was a missed opportunity by Government, falling short with a very heavy focus on heat, and not enough on the material of buildings.  

Daisie Rees-Evans, Policy Officer at CIOB, said: 

“What’s been great to see with this event is that there are a lot of consistent messaging coming from bodies in the industry on how we can tackle key issues, such as achieving net zero. A lot of this is partly due to the Covid-19 pandemic where we have witnessed greater levels of collaboration in the industry.  

Within  CIOB, we are looking at how sustainability training can be incorporated better into our educational framework, and are working with other bodies to provide resources on sustainability, such as recently supporting the BECD which will promote consistency in how we report and measure carbon emissions. I hope to see more events and discussions like today taking place on a raft of issues.” 

Attendees also heard from Alex Carter and Paul Chatwin of multi-disciplinary engineering consultancy, Cundall discussing their approach to best practice to successfully deliver low and net zero carbon designs and presented three projects they are working on in the Midlands. 

David Cadiot, Executive General Manager, UK Regions, Construction – Europe at Lendlease delivered the final presentation of the evening where he covered the perspective from a main contractor on how net zero can be delivered in practice. The presentation covered Lendlease’s ambitious carbon targets, how the company is ensuring its projects utilise eco-friendly sourced materials and power, and their views on how the sector can accelerate to net zero. 

Participants agreed that, while achieving net zero in the built environment is no straightforward task, as long as the industry continues with this momentum and collaboration on projects and cross-sector issues, the industry can enact meaningful change. 

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