Construction leaders have agreed clear targets for the industry to unite behind in its mission to drive carbon out of the sector.

On 20 July the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) published its Construct Zero Performance Framework. For the first time the framework sets out headline commitments for carbon reduction at a sector level, along with a series of measures and metrics to show how progress is being made.

The development of the framework draws on the extensive and detailed work undertaken across the sector by specialist groups and representative bodies to understand their emissions and develop their own plans. The framework seeks to draw these detailed plans together to provide Government and Industry with a comprehensive view at a sector level on progress.

Measures include tracking the number of domestic retrofits achieved, changes in the amount of non-diesel plant in use, and reductions in the amount of energy used to produce key products.

The Performance Framework has been developed in consultation with industry, with more than 2,500 comments received from industry to shape the framework. The commitments map to the nine priorities for carbon reduction outlined by the CLC in March 2021 and is the start of a conversation which will be refined and iterated over time to align with industry and workforce changes.

The headline commitments are:
• 78% of diesel plants to be eliminated from construction sites by 2035
• Close the productivity gap between construction and economy average output per worker by 2035
• From 2025, planning applications from the sector must connect to public/ active transport and include EV charging where parking is provided
• Working with Government to deliver retrofitting to 27 million homes by 2040
• From 2025, all new buildings will be designed with low carbon heating solutions
• From 2025, we will deliver new homes and buildings which will minimise energy demand and reduce emissions in operation by 75% (dwellings) and at least 27% (commercial buildings) compared to current standards
• Every person buying from the sector (business or member of the public) will be provided with carbon data by 2030 to make informed lower carbon choices
• From 2022, we will give all our clients the chance to become net zero by offering alternative Net Zero design options to clients, even if not scoped
• By 2035 we will have reduced construction product emissions by 66% from 2018
• We will target 1,500 of the sector’s businesses and clients to sign up to a measurable carbon reduction plan (including Race to Zero, Science based Targets or Climate Hub) by 2025

Beneath each of these headline commitments are a series of metrics termed ‘measures of success’, these will be used by the CLC in three ways:-

  • To report the sector’s progress on Net Zero to Government, including to provide evidence of where Government intervention could accelerate or is essential to enable the sector’s Net Zero commitments
  • To keep the industry informed on progress and areas where further effort is required
  • By the CZ Programme Board as they seek the deliver the industry wide change programme to deliver Net Zero.

Details of each measure are available on the Construction Leadership Council’s Construct Zero web hub. Data will be gathered on a quarterly basis and published as an industry carbon ‘dashboard’. The first update is due to take place in Autumn 2021.

In addition to the sector level measures of success, the CLC has also today published a suite of aligned metrics to support businesses and projects to understand and set in place their own plans to meet Net Zero. These are purely a resource for the industry and are expected to help businesses and clients to take consistent action, although the CLC will not be measuring their delivery.

Construction Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan welcomed the publication of the framework. She said:

“The Performance Framework provides Government and Industry with a sector-level dashboard on progress towards net zero, aimed at enabling businesses to action progress and encouraging those outside the sector to take the key steps on the broader journey to net zero. It’s important that the sector holds itself to account for the commitments it has made; the Performance Framework will enable the industry to do this, reporting progress on a quarterly basis, building on existing publicly available data”

Construction Leadership Council co-chair Andy Mitchell said:

“We are seeing huge demand from across the sector to push forward towards Net Zero, and this has been reflected in the level of consultation feedback we received when we tested these metrics with industry. We can have confidence that these measures will help guide us towards a lower carbon future, and I look forward to seeing progress”.

UK Net Zero Business Champion, Andrew Griffith said:

“The new Construct Zero framework will give environmentally-conscious industry leaders the tools they need to make a difference.
By setting clear targets and measures for the construction sector, this framework will help this vital sector take the actions we need to help end its contribution to climate change”

Mott MacDonald Carbon Management Discipline Lead, Mark Crouch said:

“Delivering net zero is an urgent priority for our business and decarbonising infrastructure is an agenda we have been leading on for many years. The construction sector must take a leading role in delivering the infrastructure required to transform our economy to net zero, and in ensuring that this infrastructure is planned, designed and delivered in a low or zero carbon way.
Having measurable metrics for the construction sector and a clear direction of travel is crucial, so we believe the new Construct Zero Performance Framework will be an important tool for decarbonising the sector”

Find out more about the Construct Zero Performance Framework here

Visit the FIS Sustainability Hub here