The way we build has to change

21 May 2023  |  News
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Net Zero. It’s no longer a buzzword. It’s a statutory requirement here in the UK.

In 2021, the government published its Net Zero Strategy, setting out a pathway to reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

What have you done differently in your business in the last 2 years to help reach that goal?

Despite our awareness of how our behaviour has been damaging our planet, and the efforts many of us are making to reduce them, most of us only adopt new ways of doing things when we really have to. As humans, the vast majority of us resist change. It’s just human nature. Therefore, whilst we’re happily making simple day-to-day changes, like separating our household waste, conserving water and choosing pump dispensers over aerosols, the real change needs to come from industry, and none more so important than the construction industry which is known for contributing some 40% of the UK’s carbon emissions.

The changes required are fundamental to the way in which the construction industry works and builds.

Sustainable material sourcing, renewable energy sources, embodied carbon, designing and constructing buildings for reduced energy use, the list goes on and on. There’s a more sustainable and environmentally alternative to literally every process and material used in construction.

It’s a mammoth challenge to change almost everything that the industry have known and relied upon for years. They’re changes that instil fear in many, changes that many are resisting, and will continue to resist until they’re forced to embark upon them.

In fact, the biggest challenge the industry is facing is in upskilling and educating everyone involved, both up and down the supply chain, of how to tackle carbon emissions and waste, through different stages of the design, procurement and construction process, or to support other objectives such as enhanced biodiversity.

Provided with the knowledge and a larger workforce with the required skillsets, the challenges that the construction industry face become surmountable, but how do we get there?

Those with the experience and knowledge must help others navigate and embrace the changes needed so that we meet the goals, and that no-one gets lets behind.

As a marketing agency who are dedicated to the construction industry and built environment, The Digital Lookout add value to our clients by understanding and continually educating ourselves on industry issues and right now, this is the biggest.

We work with a wide range of clients across the supply chain. Some are front runners when it comes to working to a strategic change agenda, while others are tentatively dipping their toes in the waters and starting to consider new ways of working.

As marketeers we understand each of our client’s marketplaces and competitive landscapes. We see the opportunities that being more sustainable and carbon neutral focused when planning construction activities bring. Developers and investors are focused on this now, so the industry’s supply chain needs to be too. We’re a good two years behind thanks to Covid, but the plans to develop our landscape, towns and cities that are now being made now, need to be delivered upon under the new regime of building and retrofitting for Net Zero. We simply can’t afford to do things the way we always have done.

There are multiple ways that those designing and executing construction projects can drive decarbonisation through their approach. This could be by signing up to an environmental or carbon standard for built assets (such as PAS 2080, EN15643, PAS 2035, and BREEAM), through ensuring that they maximise the application of existing procurement policy to do so (such as the National Procurement Policy Statement, PPN 06/21 and the Social Value Model), or by setting ambitious reduction targets at project level for carbon and material use.

More importantly, there are reams of information, multiple sources, guidance and services to educate and inform those wanting to learn. If a marketing agency can get under the skin of decarbonisation, so you can you. Or if you really can’t, get in touch with us.




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