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Sat March 06 2021

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Construction professions team up for climate change pledge

4 Mar 20 Many of construction's professional bodies have agreed to set up a climate change panel to coordinate industry solutions to eliminating carbon emissions.

Twenty-five professional bodies in the Construction Industry Council together with the UK Green Building Council and the University of Reading’s College of Estate Management have signed a pledge to work together to tackle climate change.

They have issued a joint statement committing to “drive a net zero carbon emissions pathway” and “bring about change”.

The professional institutions and associations include, architects, surveyors, building engineers, civil engineering surveyors, structural engineers and town planners.

However, the Institution of Civil Engineers is a notable omission from the list of signatories. (See list below.)

 The full statement is:

Statement on Climate Change and Biodiversity Emergency

On 1st May 2019, the UK Parliament declared an Environment and Climate Change Emergency. In the following month, the Climate Change Act was amended to commit the UK government to a net zero emissions target by 2050. In response, the built environment professional bodies in membership of the Construction Industry Council that are signatories to this statement:

• recognise that the breakdown in global climate and biodiversity is the most serious issue of our time and that the built environment is a major contributor, accounting for almost 40%1 of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions whilst also having a significant impact on our natural habitats;

• agree that there is an urgent need for coordinated action to address and mitigate the impact of the built environment on both the climate change and biodiversity ‘emergencies’;

• agree the need to ensure that our built and natural environments have increased resilience and are capable of adapting to the future climate;

• commit to a fundamental change in thinking, behaviour and policy by working individually and together, to drive programmes of change within and across our professions; and

• support the establishment of a Climate Change Panel, formed from leaders within each profession and convened by CIC, to aid collaboration and shared endeavour between the professional bodies.

The signatory professional bodies will publish and implement climate change and biodiversity action plans relevant to their own discipline, membership and organisation; and working together, bilaterally and through the CIC, they will:

1. raise awareness and knowledge of the climate and biodiversity ‘emergencies’ and the urgent need for action, particularly through members’ sharing knowledge and research;

2. form a panel that will develop and regularly review actions and a CIC Action Plan that recommends how best the built environment professions working together can:

• drive a net zero carbon emissions pathway;

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• identify and promote examples of best practice carbon reduction, climate resilience, biodiversity protection and improvement;

• encourage thought leadership and innovation to bring about change;

• share best practice in terms of education accreditation, membership qualification and CPD development;

• provide advice and guidance on all matters relating to the mitigation of the climate change and biodiversity ‘emergencies’ and the appropriate adaptation of the built and natural environment, including:

– new regulatory and policy approaches;

– embedding the mitigation and adaptation of climate change and the protection and improvement of biodiversity into:

  • industry standards;
  • the accreditation of education;
  • requirements of professional membership; and
  • Continuing Professional Development (CPD);

– what constitutes best practice;

– advocacy; and

• report regularly to all members of CIC on these recommendations and actions.

3. Oversee actions (and an action plan) that is recommended by the Climate Change Panel.

On behalf of members and with the advice of the Climate Change Panel, CIC will:

1. support and provide co-ordination and information exchange for the climate change and biodiversity action plans and activities of individual CIC member organisations;

2. work with the professional bodies to develop partnerships with governments, the Committee on Climate Change, the Construction Leadership Council and other governmental and non-governmental organisations in pursuit of these objectives; and

3. communicate activities both internally and externally, including through the publication of a regular Climate Change and Biodiversity Digest.

The Signatories:

  • Construction Industry Council
  • Association for Project Management
  • Association for Project Safety
  • British Approvals for Fire Equipment
  • British Institute of Interior Design
  • Building Services Research & Information Association
  • Chartered Association of Building Engineers
  • Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists
  • Chartered Institute of Building
  • Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply
  • Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors
  • Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers
  • Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation
  • Chartered Institute of Plumbing & Heating Engineering
  • Construction Industry Research & Innovation Association
  • Institute of Clerks of Works & Construction
  • Inspectors Institute of Engineering Technology
  • Institute of Works & Facilities Management
  • Institution of Structural Engineers
  • International Institute of Risk & Safety Management
  • Landscape Institute
  • Local Authority Building Control
  • National House Building Council
  • Royal Institute of British Architects
  • Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
  • Royal Town Planning Institute
  • The Edge
  • UK Green Building Council
  • University College of Estate Management

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