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Wed May 18 2022

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Scottish agreement targets net zero

20 Dec 21 The Scottish Environment Protection Agency has signed a formal agreement with Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC) to drive the industry’s progress to ‘net zero’.

SEPA's Terry A'Hearn with Stephen Good of CSIC
SEPA's Terry A'Hearn with Stephen Good of CSIC

The Sustainable Growth Agreement signed by the innovation centre and environmental regulator is intended to support a sustainable future for the built environment that champions innovation and inclusive growth.

Activities delivered as part of the agreement will focus on upskilling the construction workforce – from leadership to entry level – with a range of training courses, practical sessions, webinars and mentoring opportunities to develop the skills needed to deliver a low carbon built environment.

The agreement sets out a joint vision for the construction sector, recognising the need to build resilience and create more sustainable, thriving places for people to live and work. It builds on the existing relationship between CSIC and SEPA, with the organisations having worked together on a number of innovation projects, housing and infrastructure sector plans, and a funding call for circular construction initiatives, as well as a variety of industry workshops, conferences and events.

Focusing on three main areas, the partnership aims to support the industry’s progress to net zero, increase resilience in the built environment and encourage investment in green infrastructure. In practice, it will involve building relationships to bring the right people together at the right time, support for sector leaders and innovators to lead the transformation, and a focus on showcasing examples of innovation and future best practice across the supply chain.

Both parties acknowledged the scale and urgency of the transformation needed to get the sector to zero carbon, with collaboration central to realising this ambition.

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Stephen Good, CEO of CSIC, said: “With increased innovation and new ways of working across the processes, materials, systems and skills used by the built environment, we can create a sustainable future for Scotland. The buildings we live and work in, and how we build them, are central to our economic, social and environmental impact.

“This partnership with SEPA cements an already successful relationship which we hope to further build on with cross-sector collaboration for the benefit of the entire sector. As well as reaching net zero carbon targets, we have an opportunity laid out in front of us to create a better place in which current, and future, generations can work, learn, live and prosper.”

SEPA CEO Terry A’Hearn said: “We’re in the middle of a climate and nature emergency and we need to be taking steps to secure the prosperity and future of our planet. The construction industry literally builds the future, but the industry needs to reduce the resources it uses and create less waste to help create a prosperous future and meet the ambitious net zero targets set by Scottish government.

“The Construction Scotland Innovation Centre is already delivering innovation that will drive net zero in the industry in Scotland, developing different ways of working. Swift, rapid innovation is the key to building and implementing those solutions and ensuring net zero targets are achieved.

“As a regulator, SEPA will stop bad practice in the industry, as a good regulator should. But we also need to encourage innovation. This Sustainable Growth Agreement (SGA) with Construction Scotland Innovation Centre will support this step change in the construction sector, tackling the risks and ensuring environmental compliance is the norm.”

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