Construction’s Net Zero Carbon business champions announced

Construction’s Net Zero Carbon business champions announced

Champions from across the UK’s construction industry have come together today to declare their commitment to support CO2nstructZero, the construction industry’s response to the climate emergency.

Announced at UK Construction Week, the Business Champions initiative enables companies to be role models in this industry change programme. They demonstrate a commitment towards the sector’s drive towards reducing carbon emissions in the delivery and operation of the built environment. The first 14 companies have been drawn from across the UK’s construction supply chain; and selected by the Construction Leadership Council (CLC).

Companies who want to be business champions are encouraged to commit to CO2nstructZero, and can apply to become a Business Champion in an ongoing monthly recruitment drive.

As part of this industry change programme, business champions will work alongside the CLC and other major industry bodies to share innovations and best practice, acting as promotors and role models to support the industry’s move to Net Zero Carbon.

FIS Chief Executive Iain McIlwee commented: “FIS is keen to get behind and support this work and has already established a working group and is drafting in additional resources to support radical scale up of our focus in this area.  As part of our programme which will be announced over the summer, we are encouraging FIS Members to nominate business champions via FIS so we can help co-ordinate with CLC and support this race to Net Zero and what we believe will be a key part of transforming our supply chain for the better”.

From regional builders’ merchants to major global firms, the first 14 companies span the entire industry; including major contractors, consultants, architects, engineers, materials suppliers and specialist subcontractors; and between them are responsible for the delivery of billions of pounds of construction work across the UK.

Each organisation has made a commitment that they will share tangible evidence of their net zero carbon plans against the nine CO2nstructZero priorities, contribute to the CO2nstructZero industry reporting process and work together to support companies in the sector to develop their own plans.

Andrew Griffith MP, the UK Net Zero Business Champion and Chair of the CO2nstructZero Advisory Board, said: “This is a hugely significant moment for the UK’s construction industry. As we look towards COP26 later this year, the whole sector must work together to drive real change. From global UK companies to the smallest local businesses, our business champions represent the best of the sector and will play a key role in helping to drive transformational change in how we deliver the built environment.

“We cannot deliver our ambitious national Net Zero Carbon ambitions without changing how we build – and our business champions will set a fantastic example for others to follow.”

From investing in the development of low carbon concrete to the adoption of electric vehicle fleets and using low carbon energy sources to heat homes, each of the Business Champions is committed to driving industry change in their specialist area and are working on projects across the country that are transforming the delivery and operation of the built environment.

The 14 Business Champions are:
• Keltbray
• Mace
• Mid Group
• Multiplex
• Laing O’Rourke
• Arcadis
• Bradfords Building Supplies
• Travis Perkins
• APP Wholesale
• ACO Technologies
• Turner & Townsend
• Buro Happold

You can find out more about the business champions at

Help and advice to help to minimise the risk of a cyber attack

Help and advice to help to minimise the risk of a cyber attack

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has recently launched its Small Organisations Newsletter. SMEs cover a huge range of businesses and make up 99% of all business in the UK. Often SMEs do not have the budget of large organisations to spend on cyber security. This Newsletter aims to break down cyber related issues into bitesize pieces which can be read in your coffee break. The NCSC wants to arm you and your business with the advice and tools to minimise the risk of a cyber attack. Each month will cover a different topic and will offer advice and links to further information.

What is the NCSC?

The NCSC was set up in 2016 to make the UK the safest place to live and work online. They support the most critical organisations in the UK, the wider public sector, industry, SMEs as well as the general public. When incidents do occur, the NCSC provides effective incident response to minimise harm to the UK, help with recovery, and learning lessons for the future.

How to sign up

You can sign up to the newsletter using this link

Business Risk Management Tool

FIS has produced a Business Risk Management Tool to support contractors and help them adopt a structured approach to understanding risk and reducing uncertainty.  The tool identifies over 120 common risk areas for contractors against the categories including Information Management, Business Management, Contractual, Financial, Quality, H&S and Procurement,  providing a mechanism to score and rank risk and advice on mitigation and management.  A risk management matrix ranks risk in term of probability of an event occurring and the severity of the impact should the event occur. It can be used to identify and prioritise activity so that a contractor can then make informed business decisions and improve their resilience.

The Risk Management Tool is available to download free for members of the FIS community here – FIS Business Risk Management Tool.

The FIS Digital Toolkit

The FIS Digital Toolkit helps your navigate through the confusion and find the digital tools that work for your business – access the FIS Digital Toolkit Here

Holyrood candidates back regulation of construction industry and development of skills at special CICV Forum hustings

Holyrood candidates back regulation of construction industry and development of skills at special CICV Forum hustings

Regulation of the construction industry is essential for a safer and more productive future, election hopefuls from Scotland’s main political parties told a special digital hustings hosted by the Construction Industry Coronavirus (CICV) Forum

The importance of skills and training in the industry also won unanimous cross-party agreement from panellists during the exclusive event held online this week.

Support for reform of procurement practices and a review of VAT on domestic repairs were other positive talking points – supporting the Forum’s own manifesto suggestions for ways to improve the industry.

The hustings, held via webinar on Tuesday 27 April, featured five candidates currently facing election to the Scottish Parliament:

  • Carole Ford, Scottish Liberal Democrats
  • Monica Lennon, Scottish Labour
  • Laura Moodie, Scottish Greens
  • Alexander Stewart, Scottish Conservative and Unionist
  • Kevin Stewart, SNP.

Answering questions from senior Forum representatives and members of a selected audience, all panellists agreed that regulation was essential for the future of the construction industry.

Kevin Stewart said: “It should be the aim of all of us to drive up standards and safety and build trust in people doing day to day work. Why is a security guard a regulated professional when a plumber is not?

“We need to have real debate about the regulatory issues, and a consensus about moving forward on regulation. The Grenfell Inquiry highlights the need to have occupations regulated to keep people safe and give public confidence in construction work.”

Ms Ford agreed, saying: “Professional regulation’s primary purpose is to protect the public, maintain high standards and protect qualifications and standards in the sector.

“The cowboys are doing no favours to those who are properly qualified, so we are totally committed to all measures which would support consumers and protect standards and professional qualifications, and totally in support of having a well-regulated, well respected construction industry which has the confidence of the public.”

Also in favour of regulation was Ms Lennon, who said: “It is important that qualified tradespeople are recognised for their experience and their competence, meaning the public will have confidence in who is coming into their homes or workplace.

“It makes sense to give people confidence in their work and that they will work safely and have pride in what they do, so we fully support measures to improve regulation and improve public safety.”

Training and apprenticeships ‘vitally important’

The importance of skills, training and apprenticeships in the sector was another topic on which all panellists were in full agreement.

Alexander Stewart said: “Economic growth is the cornerstone for this recovery, and construction plays a vital role in that. Skills and training apprenticeships are vitally important and we fundamentally believe that there should be more funding put into it.

“We want to bring people back and get more new people into the industry and ensure that women have more opportunity to become more involved. We also want economic growth, which will only come about through investment in training and support mechanisms.”

Ms Lennon concurred: “Jobs are at the top and at the heart of our manifesto and our vision for the next five years is a roadmap to recovery that focuses on skills – up-skilling, re-skilling and how we can support local government to take on apprentices and use a talented workforce in Scotland to retro-fit homes to tackle fuel poverty and create new jobs in construction and manufacturing.”

Procurement ‘a bugbear that needs resolved’

Questions on procurement reform had been raised by several Forum members ahead of the husting – and again, all five panellists were firm in their convictions that change is needed.

Ms Moodie said: “We believe public procurement could be a real growth boost for small, local businesses that are socially and environmentally responsible and we are committed to reforming procurement requirements that could fulfil that.

“We want to make sure Scottish businesses capture more of the supply chain opportunities, especially from the rise in the growing renewable industry and I believe there is a lot of room for improvement in terms of accessibility and use of online procurement tools. We would also like to see more support for small businesses so they can compete on a level playing field with bigger companies in terms of bidding for the work.”

Both Mr Stewarts agreed that public sector procurement should focus on “best value and not cost” – a key part of the manifesto released last month by leading Forum member SELECT.

Ms Lennon added: “Procurement is quite simply a bugbear that needs resolved and there are huge opportunities around local engagement and low carbon innovation. SMEs are the lifeblood of our economy and we will reorientate procurement to make sure it works for businesses in Scotland.”

VAT rules ‘a burden on business’

The Forum’s manifesto proposals to mitigate the imposition of VAT on domestic repairs, innovations, and green energy projects, gained the support of all the candidates.

Ms Moodie said it was a “burden on businesses” when they were trying to expand and develop, while Ms Lennon said any changes would unlock plenty of opportunities.

Ms Ford agreed, adding: “The current VAT system is regressive and holding back demand for vital energy efficiency improvements and retrofits.”

Kevin Stewart was also in agreement, adding that VAT was not a devolved matter but that he wanted it reduced or abolished for refurbishment repairs and regeneration projects.

Homes ‘need to be fit for purpose’

Panellists also responded to one audience member’s point that a recent survey revealed that 52 per cent of homes are not wind and watertight, with £3.8bn spent annually on their repair and maintenance.

Ms Ford replied that in the west of Scotland the factoring issue in tenements needs looked at as well as that of owners’ responsibilities, saying: “The Edinburgh solution has its own problems, but owners and the responsibilities of multi-occupancy properties needs reviewed.”

Kevin Stewart spoke of “educating people” about the importance of properties being wind and watertight and the need to be ambitious in helping more, while namesake Alexander added: “Homes need to be fit for purpose and there is a need to invest in the sector.”

Praise for ‘collective expertise’

Finally, there was one more thing all the panellists agreed upon – the excellent work of the CICV Forum.

The unique collective was formed in early March 2020 in response to the urgent COVID-19 threat and now comprises 29 leading construction trade and professional associations.

Alexander Stewart said: “It’s so important that the Forum is at the table as you have boots on the ground and work closely together to get the plans put into place. All the ideas in the CICV Forum manifesto are very good and we would support you in achieving them.”

Ms Ford agreed, saying: “The level of detail in CICV Forum documents is only possible because of your collective expertise. Working together has generated documentation that is a lot better than if carried out by one organisation.”

Kevin Stewart added: “The Forum has been at forefront of promoting working safely and long may it stay at the table with government. In particular I would like to pay tribute to the construction character Campbell who has been used to promote messaging through your clever use of social media.”

Forum actions include lobbying the Scottish Government to influence policy and push for positive action, as well as providing expert advice on important sector issues including commercial, employment, planning, skills, and health and safety.

Hustings ‘a resounding success’

The hustings format was the brainchild of Gordon Nelson, Scotland Director of the Federation of Master Builders, a key member of the Forum.

He said: “From the feedback we have received from the sector, it was clear that the hustings event was a resounding success and generated a wealth of constructive and thought-provoking answers from our panellists.

“It proved also that construction is very much at the heart of Scotland’s recovery, and that all parties are committed to rebuilding together and investing in a safer and fully skilled industry that will benefit the whole nation.”


CDM 20-20 vision – changing the culture

CDM 20-20 vision – changing the culture

Does the construction industry understand the CDM Regulations in their entirety? This is a new report providing much needed clarity on the management arrangements for all projects.

Since 2015, Construction Industry Council’s (CIC) Health & Safety Champion has chaired its Health & Safety committee and Construction Industry Advisory Committee’s (CONIAC), Keeping Pace With Change (KPWC) working group, leading to the production of a number of important reports relating to CDM.

Over the last six years, members of the CIC Health and Safety Committee have been leading the training and influencing of construction professionals to apply the principles underpinning the CDM regulations strategically and practically, in order to deliver even more successful projects.

The first report of the KPWC working group ‘CDM 2015 – from compliance to consultation and collaboration’, published in 2019, set out to demonstrate how the professional institutions have taken on the challenge from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to enable their members to develop the skills, knowledge and experience to discharge their legal duties effectively and included accounts from CIAT, ICE, RIBA and RICS. The report also contained case studies from three early adopter clients, Network Rail, InterGen and Bradford Metropolitan District Council.

This latest report ‘CDM 20-20 vision-changing the culture’, launched today by CIC sets out the management arrangements for a range of projects, from small domestic building schemes to major infrastructure programmes, which are practical and CDM compliant. The strategic CDM approach promoted in this report aligns well with the philosophy of other, recent initiatives such as Project 13 and the Construction Playbook.

The KPWC group are working with the HSE, who provided advice to the authors, along with various institutions and influential individuals to promote the philosophy and resources in the report across all sectors of the Construction Industry by December 2021.

Construction Industry Council, 26 Store Street, London, WC1E 7BT Tel. 020 7399 7400 Fax. 020 7399 7425

CIC Chief Executive Graham Watts OBE said of the publication of the report, “We are delighted to be badging this document along that of the KPWC under CONIAC/Acting Together Steering Group. The aim of CDM 20-20 vision is to use a range of case studies based on different construction scenarios to demonstrate how CDM-compliant management arrangements can be achieved; this innovative approach requires a strategic analysis of the relevant CDM features of the particular project to be carried in the early stages, by the project leadership, to agree on what is required by the duty-holders before work starts in earnest.”

To view the full report please click here.

Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012: Post-implementation review

Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012: Post-implementation review

From May 2021 HSE will be seeking the views of a wide range of stakeholders about the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. This exercise is part of a second post implementation review (PIR) of the regulations, following the first PIR published in 2017.

The review will seek to establish if the regulations continue to meet their objectives, remain appropriate and are still the best means to minimise exposure to asbestos.

The exercise, using an online survey, will open in late May. Look out for further details next month.

Stress Talking Toolkit launched for construction sector

Stress Talking Toolkit launched for construction sector

Developed with the help of industry stakeholders, HSE has published a work-related Stress Talking Toolkit for the construction sector.

Starting the conversation is an important first step in preventing work-related stress, and the toolkit will help to do that.

This is the first time HSE has produced something specifically for the construction industry on work-related stress. The industry has introduced its own initiatives to help promote positive mental health and support those in need. The new toolkit builds on this work and is a key part of a wider approach to managing mental health on construction sites.

The toolkit is primarily aimed at small and medium sized businesses with a regular workforce (employed and contracted) who wish to be proactive in addressing this issue. However, it is a flexible tool that can be used across the whole industry. Download the Talking Toolkit and find out more about work-related stress at