Business leaders call for net-zero carbon standards for buildings by 2030

More than 50 business leaders from some of the UK's largest construction and property firms have called on ministers to implement policies that ensure all new buildings are built to net-zero carbon standards by 2030.

Orchestrated by the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC), an open letter has been sent to ministers calling for long-term political clarity that will drive investment into low-carbon innovations in the construction and property sectors.

The chief executives of companies including Aggregate Industries, British Land, Heathrow Airport and the Crown Estate have all signed the open letter, which calls on ministers to “swiftly to introduce robust new energy performance standards for the UK’s buildings”.

UKGBC’s chief executive Julie Hirigoyen said: “Time and again UKGBC members tell me they are looking to Government to provide policy certainty in order to drive investment and catalyse innovation. We have not seen changes to Building Regulations since 2014, and the scrapping of the zero-carbon policy in 2015 was both confusing and unnecessary.

“We’ve heard a lot from government recently on the environmental agenda, with some impressive commitments in the Clean Growth Strategy and the 25 Year Environment Plan. Now it’s time for the government to act on those commitments, with the industry’s backing, and put policy in place to turn their low-carbon aspirations into reality.”

Addressed to Secretary of State for Housing Communities & Local Government, Sajid Javid, and Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, Greg Clark, the letter calls for confirmation that energy standards will be significantly improved from 2020.

With the UK’s buildings contributing 30% of the country’s annual greenhouse gas emissions, signatories believe the policy amendments will help deliver on the goals of the Paris Agreement.

Greater Manchester

In related news, the UKGBC has also announced a series of actions to strengthen its involvement and influence in Greater Manchester. UKGBC will run quarterly events in the region as part of the Greater Manchester Local Network, and has welcomed regional firms Bruntwood and Peel Land and Property into the membership.

UKGBC’s director of policy and places John Alker added: “Greater Manchester has an opportunity to be a trailblazer, as it has been many times before in its history. It can demonstrate that high quality, sustainable buildings support an ambitious vision for the region as a clean, green and healthy place to live and work, which will support the attraction of talent and investment.

“UKGBC can help to deliver this, and I’m looking forward to an active programme of work with our growing local network.”

UKGBC at edie Live

UKGBC’s head of industry engagement Alastair Mant will be speaking on the Sustainability Keynote stage at edie Live, discussing how the built environment can achieve climate change mitigation, close the green building policy gap and develop smart and sustainable cities.

Running between 22 – 23 May 2018, edie Live plans to show delegates how they can achieve their Mission Possible. Through the lens of energy, resources, the built environment, mobility and business leadership an array of expert speakers will be on hand to inspire delegates to achieve a sustainable future. For more information click here.

Matt Mace

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