Net Zero Review marks positive start to 2023

Embodied Carbon

A net zero economy is the ‘growth opportunity of the 21st Century’ according to a new report from a UK Government sponsored report.

Former Energy Minister Chris Skidmore MP published his Net Zero Review last Friday, putting forward a set of 129 recommendations to accelerate this shift.

Key among these recommendations is a call to ‘develop a public procurement plan for low-carbon construction and the use of low-carbon materials, by the end of 2023’.

Low carbon procurement is a welcome development for our industry, with timber one of the world’s greenest building materials due to its low-energy manufacture and carbon storage.

The report also calls for the implementation of the Future Homes Standard, the Future Buildings Standard; and the Construction Leadership Council’s Retrofit Strategy.

These recommendations add to increasing pressure on the Government to act on its net zero commitments, with the Environmental Audit Committee and Climate Change Committee also calling for further action on built environment emissions.

For the Confederation of Timber Industries (CTI), this marks continued progress in our drive to decarbonise our built environment, with the recommendations of the Net Zero Review the first of many several positive initiatives taking place in 2023.

This year will see the continued progression of the Timber in Construction Working Group – a group created to outline a roadmap to increased timber construction in the UK.

The CTI holds an active role in the group, which is looking to publish an official report in June this year. We want to see this followed up with a public procurement plan, and the implementation of Jerome Mayhew MPs Carbon Emissions (Buildings) Bill.

We know this is important. Embodied carbon emissions can account for up to 75% of a building’s lifetime greenhouse gas emissions and are responsible for over 10% of our national emissions.

DLUHC has promised to consult the construction industry on how best to reduce these emissions, including the possibility of introducing mandatory whole-life carbon assessments.

The debate on low-carbon construction is certainly heading in the right direction, leaving our industry well-placed to substitute energy-intensive materials in the built environment.

There is, however, still significant work to be done. The CTI, in conjunction with the APPG for the Timber Industries, will continue to work hard to spread timber’s sustainable message among key political stakeholders in the UK.

Keep an eye on our page for further updates, including on how to get your own MP involved in building a low-carbon future with timber.

*This article was originally posted on the Confederation of Timber Industries website – an umbrella organisation which represents the UK’s timber supply chain.