16/09/2009

Progress Report On Strategy For Sustainable Construction

As part of the Progress Report on the Strategy for Sustainable Construction the Government and industry yesterday revealed the achievements made so far on their commitments to change radically the way the UK construction industry designs and builds.

The report shows that a number of significant achievements have been made in the last year, with the passing of the Climate Change Act, developments under New Industry New Jobs, publication of the Low Carbon Industrial Strategy, and the UK Low Carbon Transition Plan.

One example of these steps towards a greener construction industry is the commitment, by construction organisations representing more than a quarter of the industry by value, to the Strategy’s Halving Waste to Landfill target.

The Strategy is also supporting the work of the UK Low Carbon Transition Plan, which is on target to achieve a 34% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in the UK by 2020.

Ian Lucas, Business Minister with responsibility for construction said: "This progress report demonstrates the Government’s commitment to put in place measures to drive forward the sustainability agenda and support industry with these aims.

"I am pleased to see we are making steps towards reaching these targets, but there is further work to be done to build on these achievements and reach the overarching goals of the Strategy."

Ian Pearson, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, the minister responsible for improving the sustainability of operations and procurement across Government, said the latest challenge is to maintain momentum in the face of the current economic climate to ensure the UK continue to improve the estate and meet Climate Change Act targets for 2020 and 2050.

Graham Watts, Chief Executive Construction Industry Council added: "The industry - in its broadest sense - is certainly alive to the need for sustainable construction and to the importance of the Construction Commitments and the progress report serves as a very concise point of reference with which to assess progress and exert more combined effort from government and industry"

The construction programme of the London 2012 venues and infrastructure is an example of sustainable construction in action, with the Olympic Park being built to the most comprehensive range of sustainability criteria ever adopted by a large scale project in the UK.

Recycled materials have been used to build the site, and more than half of these have been transported to the site by low carbon transport.

Moving forward, the delivery of the Strategy will be overseen by the newly announced Chief Construction Adviser who will be chairing an enhanced Delivery Board for the Strategy. This will ensure a higher level of cooperation and accountability between Government and industry in the delivery of its sustainable construction agenda.

(GK/BMcC)

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