Construction minister Michael Fallon explains why the Infrastructure Carbon Review is vital to the industry’s success and longevity.
Britain’s economic plan is working but the job is not done. We need to secure the economy for the long term.
A strong, innovative and efficient construction sector is central to the ongoing prosperity and sustainability of this country. That is why construction features strongly in our industrial strategy.
Construction 2025 was published in July. It puts construction at the heart of the economy. Its aspirations include:
- 50 per cent faster delivery, in overall time, from inception to completion, for new build and refurbished assets;
- 50 per cent lower emissions in greenhouse gas emissions;
- 50 per cent improvement in exports – in the trade gap between total exports and imports for construction products and materials;
- 33 per cent reduction in the initial cost of construction and the whole-life cost of built assets.
Some have questioned these aspirations. But what modern industry would not want to produce its products quicker, cheaper, more efficiently and to a higher quality – and therefore see more of it sold abroad?
Reducing costs by reducing carbon
While we know that our businesses are under increasing pressure to grow and at the same time reduce costs, there is another imperative facing the built environment: to reduce the carbon that’s embodied in, or used on, the buildings and infrastructure we create.
“Increasing energy and resource efficiency for infrastructure can boost business and opportunities for construction”
The Infrastructure Carbon Review’s focus is on reducing costs by reducing carbon in the built environment and reaping the business benefit. The review makes the business case for low carbon.
It contains practical advice and examples that can be applied across the industry, right through the value chain.
Throwing down the gauntlet to the sector
It also sets out an ambitious agenda because, apart from making an irrefutable business case for carbon reduction in the built environment, it throws down the gauntlet to the construction sector in general to get behind the initiative. It’s about implementation and could be a game-changer.
“Real change won’t happen alone but through government and industry acting together as part of our industrial strategy”
Increasing energy and resource efficiency for infrastructure can boost business and opportunities for construction.
Time to effect real change
Real change won’t happen alone, but through government and industry acting together as part of our industrial strategy. This is a sector that supports 3m jobs and where the UK has a strong competitive edge.
We want it to stay that way. Government can play a role in providing some leadership. Business leaders have the power to effect real change.
Michael Fallon is construction minister