The Carbon Reduction Code for the Built Environment has been updated to Issue 3.0 May 2023. The Code provides a mechanism that enables individual organisations to publicise their annual decarbonisation progress, and thereby collaborate and share best practice on their journey to Net Zero with the intention of accelerating progress across the industry.

Part of the Construction Leadership Council’s Construct Zero initiative, the Code brings together and aligns the plethora of sector wide initiatives. It is referenced in key documents such as the UK Construction Playbook, September 2022, the UKGBC Roadmap, and the UK Government Guidance Note Promoting Net Zero Carbon and Sustainability in Construction, September 2022. The new version of the Code and the sign-up process are available on the CSIC website.

Who is the Code for, and what makes it different?
The Code is designed for clients, contractors and supply chain members working in the built environment. In order to enable wide participation, organisations may join at a global, national or regional level as well as at a major project level.

The Code is also not prescriptive, but instead asks organisations to report their progress year on year, to keep their accreditation, setting it apart from standards. It is also designed to be collaborative, with the ability to influence the onward supply chain.

What do organisations need to do to comply with the Code?
The Code offers three levels of commitment:

  1. Core commitments for all organisations;
  2. Core commitments for client organisations and further commitments to facilitate the transition to Net Zero;
  3. Core commitments for supply chain organisations and further commitments to facilitate the transition to Net Zero.

All organisations must be in accordance with the minimum entry level of compliance to attain Pledger status. This means agreeing to the core commitments of setting out plans to meet net zero by 2045, including annual targets, and publishing these and the progress made against them every year. Pledger levels also requires setting an interim target to reduce net direct and indirect carbon emissions for 2030, which aligns with or exceeds government strategy. Signatory level requires signing up to additional core commitments relevant to the organisation – be it client or supply chain, and Champion level sees commitments to more ambitious collaborative progress.

What has changed since the last issue?
A complete list of changes from the last issue of the Code are listed in the Code FAQs. A key addition is that of a third core commitment – Commitment 1.3 – which requires organisations to provide clarity on which carbon-offsetting schemes they are using if any. Current Code compliant organisations should also consult the Code FAQs, which explain the version of the Code with which organisations would need to comply at renewal.

How do organisations sign up to the Code?
The Code signup form is available on the on the CSIC website. The form is accompanied by a downloadable Excel spreadsheet listing all the information required to make the sign-up process easy to complete. There is no cost to signing up to the Code.

Dr Jennifer Schooling OBE, Director of CSIC, states:

“The Code recognises that we must start making meaningful change, and we have to start making it today. Not tomorrow, not next week and certainly not next year. I urge you to visit the CSIC website to read this new issue of the Code to understand what is required and sign up. By working together towards a greater good we all make progress. Collaboration and commitment will be key to success, and with alignment of ambition across all parties we can progress towards net-zero carbon at the pace required. The Code provides an encouraging, supportive and collaborative approach to reducing carbon. It is essential that our industry reduces carbon emissions and the more organisations that sign up to the Code, the more we will achieve.”