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Sustainability top of agenda

SUSTAINABLE construction initiatives are being promoted by a new pan-industry body which met for the first time last week.

The Sustainable Construction Focus Group is led by Sir Martin Laing, who is promising to cover more than just environmental

issues.

He said: 'Sustainability covers the so-called 'triple bottom line' of economic, social and environmental considerations.

'After all, there is nothing less sustainable than a loss-making company, or a poorly skilled and demoralised workforce.'

The group has a 12-month action plan with three key aims:

to pool information from the large number of sustainability initiatives in construction and other industries;

to act as an interface between these initiatives and the demonstration projects undertaken via the Movement for Innovation programme; and

to explore the root cause of the 'vicious circle of blame', where all members of the construction

development supply chain blame each other for not encouraging sustainable development.

Sir Martin said: 'When it comes to sustainability, all parties have passed the buck of responsibility for too long.

'We want to turn the vicious circle of blame into circle of improvement and we are confident that this group will be a big step in the right direction to achieve this aim.'

Sir Martin added: 'The group does not want to re-invent the wheel.

'If there is work going on out there we want to hear about it. If someone has something positive to contribute to the sustainability issue, please tell us about it.'