The Code to unify the built environment in tackling carbon emissions

Last month (November 2021) observed the official launch of the sign-up process to the Carbon Reduction Code for the Built Environment that offers companies a collaborative and supportive approach to reducing carbon.   “The Code,” which summarises part of the Construction Leadership Council’s Construct Zero Initiative, was published by the Cambridge Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction (“CSIC”) in June 2021. This document was designed to assist companies in cutting carbon emissions relating to design, construction, maintenance, operation and decommissioning of built assets. It offers a system to individual organisations to publicise their annual progress, and thereby collaborate and share best practice on meeting net zero with the intent of accelerating progress across the industry.    In June 2021 The Carbon Reduction Code was first issued  The Carbon Reduction Code was first issued earlier this year (Image Credit: University of Cambridge)    The Code has recently been re-issued following advice from the National Association of Construction Frameworks (NACF), the Environment Agency, and Skanska Costain STRABG and HS2 Joint Venture.  The Code presents 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.   There are three levels of compliance with the code: Pledger, Signatory and Champion  Pledger Level is a minimum entry level of compliance for all. They must agree to set out plans to meet net zero by 2045 (including annual targets) and then publish these and the progress made against them every year. It also involves 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 appropriate to the organisation – whether client or supply chain.  Champion level sees commitments to more ambitious collaborative progress.  Applications can be submitted using an online form. Those which have achieved Compliance will be listed on the Code website as ‘Organisations Complying with the Carbon Reduction Code’ at their level of compliance.  The Code’s reporting mechanism is designed to work alongside several existing initiatives including the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) Carbon ProjectConstruction Innovation Hub Procuring for Value framework and toolkit, and RICS Building Carbon Database. It is designed for customers, contractors, and supply chain members working in the built environment.  For an industry that has traditionally been portrayed as divided, The Code is big on collaboration. The sharing of knowledge and best practice is crucial for all elements of the built environment to achieve the climate objectives that are necessary to reach net zero. Any tool to enable collaborative action towards reducing carbon emissions is valued and the more organisations that sign up to the Code, the greater the change we can make. Read about our sustainability commitments here

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