Contractors trial Draft Carbon Reduction Code for built environment

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A draft Carbon Reduction Code for the built environment, for use by clients, consultants, contractors and supply chain members across all sectors of construction, has been published by the Cambridge Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction (CSIC).

The Code has been developed by the Achieving Net Zero Cross-Industry Working Group, convened by CSIC, and made up of organisations including Skanska UK, HS2, the Highways Agency, the Environment Agency, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Infrastructure and Projects Authority, and the National Association of Construction Frameworks (NACF).

The CSIC said the Code was a first step to facilitating action towards reducing carbon emissions related to design, construction, maintenance and operation of built assets. It is not intended to replace standards such as PAS 2080.

Sustainability experts from the Environment Agency and HS2, through the Skanska-Costain-Strabag joint venture, are now working with CSIC to help explore and develop the code and to help build wider engagement.

Meanwhile, the NACF, which represents local government construction and civils frameworks from across England and Wales, has already committed to conducting trials of the Code. It has developed a carbon reduction key performance indicator that can be adopted by its frameworks and supply chains. Contractors from across the West Midlands and North West will initially trial the indicator over a 12-month period.

Members of the Infrastructure Industry Innovation Partnership (i3P) are also engaged in the trial development.

CSIC will host an online launch of the Code at the University of Cambridge tomorrow (17 June). The launch event will be introduced by Hannah Vickers, CEO, Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE), and Dr Jennifer Schooling, director of CSIC. It will include short presentations by the organisations trialling the Code, including the NACF and Skanska.

Dr Schooling said: “It is essential that our industry reduces carbon emissions and the more organisations that sign up to the Code, the more we will achieve. Carbon reduction is much more likely to happen when all organisations within a value chain are committed to working together to reduce their footprint and save costs.

“Collaboration is the key to success, and with alignment across all parties we can progress towards the net zero carbon objective at the pace required. There are already many excellent examples of carbon reduction measures among our Achieving NetZero Cross-Industry Working Group, and the Code builds upon these strengths to provide an encouraging, supportive and collaborative approach to reducing carbon.”

Following the trial, the Carbon Reduction Code for the Built Environment will be formally launched in the autumn to coincide with the UK hosting the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference at COP26.

Organisations interested in participating in the trial of the Carbon Reduction Code for the Built Environment should contact CSIC at: [email protected].

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