Only one fifth of large consultancy clients ask for net zero design

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Only one fifth of large consultancy clients (19%) and a quarter (24%) of SME clients ask for net-zero compatible design, despite a growing focus on cutting carbon emissions in the UK as COP26 continues.

That’s according to the Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE), which made the findings as part of its latest industry benchmarking study, a full version of which will be released in December.

However, the survey also showed progress that was being made among consultancies. It found that 90% of large consultancies, and 50% of SMEs, have made, or signed up to a public net-zero pledge. Meanwhile, 55% of large consultancies, and 33% of SMEs, push clients to ask for a net-zero design solution.

Coming ahead of COP26’s built environment day tomorrow (11 November), the figures also showed that only 19% of large consultancies and 21% of SMEs fully calculate embodied and whole-life carbon in the designs they produce.

ACE director of policy Matthew Farrow said: “Built environment day at COP26 will shine a spotlight on our industry’s progress towards net zero, but the key takeaway is that consultants are, by and large, making progress and taking positive steps.

“Through being able to offer net-zero design as standard, and encouraging clients to make this the default option, consultants can enable clients to take informed and rounded decisions on carbon. With recent important initiatives such as the Construction Playbook and Value Toolkit giving the industry the tools to incorporate a fuller view of value in the design and delivery of projects, now is the time to put net zero at the heart of what we do.”

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  1. Because it costs clients with limited budgets, there is a great deal of scepticism, or they don’t need to be overt about their virtuousness.

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