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Industry and government discuss net zero for the Midlands

A minister, CIOB, a consultant and a main contractor share their views on the best ways to deliver the government’s net zero strategy across the Midlands.

A unique CIOB event in November brought together experts from the government and the construction supply chain to see how net zero can be delivered across the Midlands.

Kicking off the event, attendees heard from Eddie Hughes MP, the minister in the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) responsible for climate change and net zero.

Hughes discussed the DLUHC’s recent move to Wolverhampton and the opening of its second headquarters there. He reflected on attending COP26 and the DLUHC’s ambition to meet the UK’s net zero mission through the likes of the Heat and Buildings Strategy.

Clockwise from top left: Alex Carter, Eddie Hughes MP, David Cadiot, Paul Chatwin

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 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 it has been actively campaigning on, is seen as a key mechanism to achieving net zero.

The government’s recent Heat and Buildings Strategy was highlighted as a missed opportunity. 

Rees-Evans said: "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 (Built Environment Carbon Database) 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, who discussed its approach to best practice to successfully deliver low and net zero carbon designs and presented three current projects in the Midlands.

David Cadiot, executive general manager, UK regions, construction – Europe at Lendlease, delivered the final presentation, giving a main contractor’s perspective on how net zero can be delivered in practice. He detailed Lendlease’s ambitious carbon targets and how it is ensuring its projects utilise eco-friendly sourced materials and power.

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