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Workstream 9: Emergency response

This workstream covers the advance planning and training for dealing with short-term environmental crises and emergencies. It addresses liaison with emergency services, civil and defence groups.

Workstream Leader
Workstream Leader

Led by Institution of Royal Engineers (InstRE), this workstream includes measurable deliverables divided into three priority groupings: short-term, medium term and long term.

What have participants achieved so far?

The workstream has been considering two main areas - how it can help councils work and how it can help construction work.

It has met with councils to find out how many emergency response plans have been captured and what the level of coordination was. InstRE has been reaching out to institutions, companies and councils to assist them in developing extreme weather event response plans and co-ordinating existing initiatives with partners. The work often fitted more into the council emergency response plans than their climate action plans.

The InstRE has been engaging with Military disaster response teams from across the globe to look at best practice and guidance to help industry partners and government planning organisations look to build resilience practices in to their organisational activities. Based on this engagement the InstRE has created a guidance note from publication in Dec 23, aimed at setting out the key principles of resilience planning for engineering and construction projects, alongside move wider advice for response agencies.

The InstRE is committed to placing climate change adaption and sustainable practices central to business as usual for Built Environment professionals, continuing to build on it existing partnership to promote sustainable practices and delivery against its commitment to the CIC climate action plan.

In 2023 the InstRE formalised its sustainability award, presenting its first financially supported award to Cpl Cattell of 36 Engineer Regiment in Kinloss for his work on embedding circular economy and waste reduction into their supply chain management, as an example of how key changes can have immediate and lasting impacts.

Next steps

The InstRE are also continuing to conduct research on embedding circular and vernacular principles into Defence engineering practises, focused on setting standards in Defence that others can follow and upscale, this has been embodied in our recently built relationship with Project X Global, a partner of the WWF driving projects to upscale sustainable construction materials and methods; the InstRE has in partnership with UK Strategic command, Project X Global and Grahams Construction, worked with local supply chains to upscale sustainable concrete within the new Defence facility in Leuchars, opening the new methodology to greater exploitation in this region.

Resource Library

  • Crisis Response Knowledge Centre

InstRE, on behalf of CIC, has engaged with response agencies, planners, and affected industry groups to assist in planning their response to extreme weather events. Here you can find some of the excellent documents and the support work which has taken place:

  • Sustainability and climate change: a strategy for the education and children’s services systems

DfE has an important role to play in all aspects of sustainability including reducing our environmental footprint, particularly in the drive to achieve net zero.

The policies set out here are focussed on the environmental aspect of sustainability, this is done with consideration for how those policies will interact with the social and economic aspects of sustainability.