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Industry leaders sign up to cut 24 million tonnes of carbon from infrastructure projects

Posted: 25th November 2013

Major industry leaders today joined Commercial Secretary to the Treasury, Lord Deighton and Business and Energy Minister, Michael Fallon in signing a joint initiative to reduce carbon in infrastructure which could save as much as 24 million tonnes of carbon and £1.46 billion a year by 2050.

The initiative to save valuable resources by using new technologies, construction techniques and low carbon materials to cut down on emissions was signed at the launch of the Infrastructure Carbon Review which has been published today (25 November 2013). The review was overseen by CIC on behalf of the Green Constuction Board.

Currently infrastructure and related areas like energy, account for around half of all UK carbon emissions. Cutting the volume of materials consumed in, for example, construction and using existing resources more efficiently will reduce cost as well as carbon.

The review developed jointly by government and industry through the Infrastructure Cost Review and Green Construction Board sets out a series of actions for government, clients and suppliers that have the potential to reduce up to 24 million tonnes of carbon from the construction and operation of the UK’s infrastructure assets by 2050.

By endorsing the review, government and industry will work together to implement, monitor and review progress against these objectives. The Green Construction Board will host a cross-industry event in Spring 2014 at which clients and industry can set out the progress they have made against the pledge commitments.

Lord Deighton said:

If we want a strong, globally competitive economy we have to invest in efficient infrastructure. The government has set out its long term infrastructure strategy, and we’re working with industry to make sure that we deliver cost effective and sustainable projects.

This agreement means that we could save the UK economy £1.46 billion a year by 2050 which is a vital step forward in carbon and cost reduction. Industry as well as government must continue to drive this work forward so we get the infrastructure that the UK needs to compete in the global race.

Michael Fallon said:

This review makes the business case for carbon reduction in what we build. It has been written by business leaders not civil servants and throws down the gauntlet to the construction sector to get behind what could be a game changing initiative.

Real change won’t happen by acting alone but through government and the construction industry working together in line with our industrial strategy. This is a sector that supports around 3 million jobs and where the UK has a strong competitive edge. We want to keep it that way.

Chris Newsome, Director Anglian Water and Chair of Green Construction Board working group, said:

This review is about reducing carbon and reducing cost. Leaders across the infrastructure sector are endorsing the review and taking action to release the value of lower carbon solutions. I’ve been very proud to be associated with the infrastructure carbon review and the long term benefits it will deliver within the UK.