UK construction industry publishes sweeping net zero blueprint


Diesel generators on construction sites could soon become a thing of the past, under a sweeping new strategy designed to accelerate decarbonisation efforts across the UK construction industry.

The government and industry-backed Construction Leadership Council last week published a new Construct Zero Performance Framework, detailing how the carbon intensive sector can help deliver on the UK's overarching net zero emission target.

The framework sets out a series of new reporting initiatives designed to help track the sector's emissions reduction performance, as well as a number of new goals to drive the adoption of low carbon best practices.

Drawing on extensive consultation across the construction industry, the new framework aims to provide quarterly updates against a number of key environmental metrics that will be shared through a new industry 'carbon dashboard'.

The reporting will help track progress against a raft of new goals, including a commitment to eliminate 78 per cent of diesel plants from construction sites by 2035 and support the government's target to retrofit 27 million homes by 2040.

In the nearer term, the plan includes pledges to ensure that by 2025 all planning applications from the sector connect to public and active transport networks and include electric vehicle charging where parking is provided.

It also reiterates the industry's support for government targets to ensure all new buildings are designed with low carbon heating solutions by 2025 and sets a target to deliver new homes and buildings which minimise energy demand and reduce emissions in operation by 75 per cent for dwellings and at least 27 per cent for commercial buildings compared to current standards.

Other commitments contained in the plan include pledges to ensure -

  • every person buying from the sector (business or member of the public) will be provided with carbon data by 2030 to make informed lower carbon choices";
  • give all clients the chance to become net zero by offering alternative Net Zero design options to clients, even if not scoped - and
  • target having 1,500 construction businesses and clients signed up to a measurable carbon reduction plans such as the Race to Zero, Science Based Targets or Climate Hub initiatives by 2025.

Overall, the Council said the new framework should ensure the construction industry reduces its emissions by two thirds against 2018 levels by 2035.