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Promising progress to hit Construct Zero targets

Posted: 18th October 2022

New data shows that the UK construction sector continues to make good progress in its efforts to cut carbon from its activities.

Today marks the publication of the third update to the Construction Leadership Council’s CO2nstruct Zero performance framework.

First published in July 2021, the Performance Framework provides a sector level dashboard of progress towards Net Zero. It tests whether industry is living up to its commitments to cut carbon using 28 metrics, linked to nine CO2nstruct Zero priorities. These include volumes of domestic low carbon retrofits delivered, amount of non-diesel plant being used, and cuts in energy used for production of key materials.

This quarter there has been progress on retrofit skills, with a new industry accreditation scheme for PAS 2035 (retrofit installers) to be launched in October, against which we will measure progress. We have also seen a positive increase in the number of retrofit co-ordinators (to a total of 506), from the second report. It’s clear that accelerated progress is needed to meet the 30,000 target by 2028.

On decarbonisation, the number of large businesses that have adopted the PAS 2080 accreditation for carbon management has risen from six to 10, with an aim for all big firms in the sector to meet this goal by 2025. The Government announced in August the shortlist of projects that will be invited to take part in the due diligence stage of Phase 2 of Track 1 of the Cluster Sequencing process before government considers offering them further support.

A copy of the full Performance Framework update is available on the CLC website. This third update coincides with two other announcements. Firstly, we are pleased to announce another two new Business Champions- Gilbert Ash Ltd and TClarke. Secondly, we welcome National Highways’ Lower Thames Crossing project as our latest CO2nstruct Zero Partner.

National Highways is designing the Lower Thames Crossing to be the greenest road built in the UK and has designated it a ‘Pathfinder project’ that explores ways to become carbon neutral in construction.

Andrew Kidd, Lower Thames Crossing Solutions and Outcomes Director, National Highways said: “We’re proud to be a Pathfinder project, seeking ways to bring low and zero carbon innovation to commercial scale and accelerate the transition of construction to Net Zero. Our partnership with CO2nstruct Zero will allow us to learn and share best practices, and push the boundaries of what we can achieve together as an industry.”

Alongside the Performance Framework, the CLC today also publishes a joint CO2nstruct Zero/Green Construction Board Policy Progress Map, available here. It identifies current government ambition and policy development in relation to each CO2nstruct Zero Performance Framework metric, to support industry in driving change.

It is not an indicator of, or a risk rating to measure, the relevant Government policy
and does not preclude industry from undertaking activity that progresses towards
achieving metrics. The Scotland column reflects that many key net-zero policy areas
are devolved to Scotland. The CLC will be engaging in the near future with Welsh

CLC Deputy Co-chair Richard Robinson said: “I welcome this report and the excellent
progress that it documents. We still have lots more work to do, but the commitment
of the sector to play a leading role in getting the UK to net zero is evident. The
challenge now is to accelerate delivery across all of the CO2nstruct Zero priorities. I
look supporting that effort during my tenure with the CLC