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How CIOB can help tackle the climate crisis

In the run up to COP26, CIOB are taking action to help make net zero a reality | Credit: Alamy

Chartered Institute of Building

3 min read Partner content

Organisations in the built environment have a responsibility to make net zero happen.

The next UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) is now just three months away, and with preparations well underway, it is more important than ever that professional bodies work closely with policymakers to facilitate the built environment’s transition to net zero and demonstrate global leadership in tackling the climate crisis.

The UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) finds that the built environment contributes approximately 40 per cent of the UK’s total carbon footprint whilst also significantly impacting natural habitats. Our building stock must be nearly completely decarbonised by 2050 if we are to reach net zero, and this effort will require coordinated, long-term action and close collaboration between industry and Government if it is to succeed.

Back in March, our Chief Executive, Caroline Gumble, wrote about how CIOB is taking action on climate change, including through membership of the Construction Industry Council’s (CIC) Climate Change Panel. The Climate Action Plan has been compiled by professional institutions and organisations active in the construction and property industries, covering both the natural and built environments. The plan identifies ten diverse areas of work including education and qualifications, competency, and standards and regulations, which were developed in close collaboration with members of the CIC.

Ahead of COP26, we are preparing a programme of activity to showcase the role of the built environment in reaching net zero and are delighted to be participating in the UKGBC’s Built Environment Virtual Pavilion. The Pavilion will use virtual reality to showcase some of the most outstanding examples of sustainable building from around the world, providing a focal point for the property and construction sectors at the event.

We continue to play an active role in the Construction Leadership Council’s (CLC) Domestic Repair, Maintenance and Improvement Working Group, which has now published second iteration of the National Retrofit Strategy – a twenty-year blueprint for how the construction industry can work with the Government to retrofit the UK’s 28 million existing homes.

CIOB has joined 38 other built environment organisations in writing to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, calling for the implementation of the CLC’s National Retrofit Strategy in order to make green home upgrades accessible and affordable, subsequently saving 2.53Mt of carbon dioxide in the first four years and creating 100,000 new jobs.

Over the coming months, we will continue to advocate the importance of sustainability within the built environment to policymakers at the highest levels and working with industry to ensure that the net zero transition is achievable and equitable.

If you have any thoughts on how CIOB can take further action on climate change, or would like to be involved, please get in touch at

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