The Chancellor announced his 'green investment package' as part of the summer statement. Our senior team welcomes the statement, but overall think more needs to be done to truly achieve a green recovery.
“In order for the construction sector to truly change, a carrot and stick approach from the government will be required.
The support packages announced for greening up existing public buildings and social housing will certainly incentivise a shift towards sustainability, but solid conditions must be set to ensure full commitment further down the line.
Retrofitting existing building stock to become more energy efficient is undoubtedly a much-needed step towards achieving the net-zero carbon target of 2050, but more needs to be done.
Carbon neutrality needs to be the main consideration for all infrastructure projects going forwards – not just for public and social buildings. If a project cannot prove that it is meeting low carbon criteria, it simply should not be given planning approval.
The construction sector already has the talent and thinking to innovate solutions, but it needs the drive and commitment of clear government policy to turn this into definitive action."
“The proposed funding to make public buildings and social housing greener is undoubtedly a positive step; but it is critical that all infrastructure projects get a clear definition as to ‘what good looks like’ if they are to help fulfil a truly green recovery. There needs to be further emphasis on how to leverage investment in infrastructure, and how it can and should support ‘greener’ buildings, networks, places and jobs.
What we don't want is a rush to build which will take us backwards on our decarbonisation commitments. A post-Covid green recovery must be holistic and fully coordinated and integrated across government, industry and communities to ensure there are 'green standards' which are driving this effort and deliver direct benefits to communities.”
“The anticipated steps towards improving the energy efficiency of buildings are much welcomed: not only would such funding packages help to drive down the operating temperature of consumer buildings, but they will also be critical as part of a holistic energy system strategy towards heat decarbonisation.
However, beyond this, more can be done to achieve net zero carbon goals. District heating is one such additional approach than could help address UK’s carbon emissions crisis, enabling waste energy to be used to heat our homes and buildings. Investment in district heating infrastructure has already seen a range of innovative projects come to fruition: but further funding is vital if we are to unlock the full potential of these low or no-carbon technologies.”
“The £3bn package to bolster green jobs is a welcome measure from the government, but further needs to be done to deliver a green revolution and reaffirm the UK as the undisputed leader in green innovation.
Addressing the emissions issue in existing public building stock is certainly positive, but the carbon crisis cannot be attributed to just a handful of sectors. Decarbonisation requires considerable and collaborative change across all industries, but changing deep-rooted mindsets will require further government support schemes and funding. Existing funding programmes are already making an impact where they are needed most, but if we are to make a real difference, the government needs to put its money where its mouth is.”