C02nstruct Zero programme
The cross-industry C02nstruct Zero programme aims to drive carbon emissions out of all parts of the construction sector, from manufacturing and design to building and operation.
 Calls for construction to contribute
The Construction Leadership Council (CLC) is calling on businesses from across the industry to play their part in securing net zero carbon construction 2050. With the UK hosting COP 26, it is imperative that the construction sector steps up to the challenge and supports the race to zero.
C02nstruct Zero is a cross-industry change programme that is intended to promote the high-level priorities that the industry must work on to reduce carbon, thereby playing a part in achieving the UK Government's objective of net zero for the whole economy by 2050.
 Unified priorities
CO2nstruct Zero builds upon the way that the industry demonstrated its ability to unify as a single force to tackle COVID-19. During this period, a consistent approach was taken by the whole sector while it avoided duplication of work.
It is with the same collective ideology that CO2nstruct Zero has sets its priorities, which include:
- Accelerating the shift of the construction workforce to zero emission vehicles and onsite plant.
- Maximising use of modern methods of construction (MMC) and improved onsite logistics, reducing waste and transport to sites.
- Championing developments and infrastructure investments that both enable connectivity with low carbon modes of transport and design to incorporate readiness for zero emission vehicles.
- Work with Government to deliver retrofitting to improve energy efficiency of the existing housing stock.
- Scale up industry capability to deliver low carbon heat solutions in buildings, supporting heat pump development, trials of hydrogen heating systems and heat networks.
- Enhancing the energy performance of new and existing buildings through higher operational energy efficiency standards and better building energy performance monitoring.
 Construction activity
- Implementing carbon measurement to support construction projects in making quantifiable decisions to remove carbon.
- Becoming world leaders in designing out carbon, developing the capability of designers and construction professionals to develop designs in line with circular economy – reducing embedded and operational carbon, shifting commercial models to incentivise and reward measurable carbon reductions.
- Supporting development of innovative low carbon materials (prioritising concrete and steel) as well as advancing low carbon solutions for manufacturing production processes and distribution
 A collaborative approach
The CLC is inviting companies and organisations from across industry to link up with CO2nstruct Zero, getting involved with its delivery. The aim of CO2nstruct Zero is not to develop new solutions or new pathways; instead the CLC believes it has a critical role to play in bringing people together to consolidate collective actions and plans for the sector.
An action plan will be aligned to the nine priorities, coordinating the extensive and exciting work happening right across the industry. Organisations can volunteer to help with the development of the action plan by bringing their initiatives to join up, while individual businesses are encouraged to become business champions by sharing their approach to delivering on the nine priorities and contributing to the race for zero.
The action plan will also consider changing skills needs and how these can be addressed to provide a workforce that can achieve net zero.
 Industry reaction
CLC Chair Andy Mitchell CBE said: "There is no bigger challenge that our industry faces than the need to decarbonise. We need to pull the whole industry together, letting everyone know what they can do to reduce carbon, while unlocking strategic changes that will set the sector on a new course towards net zero."
BSRIA welcomes and supports the CLC invitation for the industry to drive the delivery of net zero carbon targets in the built environment. BSRIA is also keen to emphasise the need for a holistic approach to the tasks, with due attention given to the quality of delivery as well as to the health, safety and wellbeing aspects of buildings.
The CLC will be identifying measurable targets to show how the industry is making progress towards Net Zero. CO2nstruct Zero will act as the focal point of engagement for the industry with Government in conjunction with the COP26 climate change conference in Glasgow.
This article originally appeared on the CIAT website under the headline, 'New programme launched by CLC aims to drive carbon out of construction'. It was published on 8 March 2021.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings
- CIAT articles.
- CLC publishes Construct Zero Performance Framework.
- COP21 Paris 2015.
- Construction Leadership Council CLC.
- Construction skills crisis threatens UK net zero goals.
- CO2nstruct Zero programme grows to over 70 businesses.
- Key messages from the UN climate change conference.
- National Retrofit Strategy v2 launches.
- Net zero carbon 2050.
- Recommendations for implementation of the National Retrofit Strategy.
- What has the UK done about carbon reduction since the Paris Agreement?
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