There is a high number of amazing low-carbon ambassadors doing a great job within the property and construction sectors, something that was very evident from the judging process. However, we need more.
The adoption of low-carbon initiatives by the industry in general remains slow and there is still negligible ‘sustainability’ training being given to the graduates of today.
These graduates are our leaders of tomorrow and should therefore be learning more now about such a vital solution to 21st century needs. For some firms, the government initiatives that have been designed as a ‘call to action’ appear fragmented and confusing. In other cases, low carbon is simply not a part of the
business strategy, which remains driven by business, rather than the environment. The solution to this is the commercialisation of sustainability and, therefore, carbon.
There is a big misunderstanding that sustainability and achieving low-carbon levels always comes with the baggage of cost rather than benefit. This fear is unjustified, as it does not always have to cost to benefit, especially if you look at the whole life cycle. Capital expenditure doesn’t have to be king. Intelligent procurement
and modern methods of construction are two immediate examples where savings can be made at no cost - just a little more attention to the detail of how and where.
There is momentum and pressure on the government to introduce more clear and effective initiatives and I would endorse this effort. Times have been tough, the recession has hit hard and the industry is still fighting to recover, so it needs support from those who can provide it.
In the meantime, I applaud those who work hard to put low-carbon solutions to the fore of their business. I pledge that any support that I, or any of my Rider Levett Bucknall colleagues can provide, is yours.
Lance Taylor is chief executive of Rider Levett Bucknall