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Working together to create environmental sustainability and enhancement

Partner meeting Sustainability


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Climate change is an issue SCAPE and our partners are passionate about and one which we are now making a collective commitment to address, with the creation of a long-term sustainability strategy to protect and enhance the environment through our operations.

Collectively, the public sector recognises we face a dire Climate Emergency, with over half of the local authorities in the UK declaring a Climate Emergency. The scientific consensus on man-made climate change is clear. Now, decisive action is needed to make a positive change – Something that our people, our partners and the industry are all in agreement with.

The challenge

Recent figures from the National Federation of Builders’ War on Carbon report reveal that the construction industry is directly responsible for 10% of UK carbon emissions, and influences a further 47% - Meaning that either directly or indirectly, more than half of the our country’s emissions are linked to construction and the buildings and infrastructure assets we create and maintain.

Even on just one construction project, on one day, multiple skips of waste can be generated, numerous vehicle journeys made, and large quantities of energy and water consumed. By their very nature, construction projects will have a negative effect on the environment – Unless we make conscious decisions to do things differently.

Sustainability is a huge topic, and there are countless opportunities for improvement. From designing out waste, collaboration to improve material specification and sourcing or closer scrutiny of the lifecycle of materials, to targeting fleet emissions and consistently using renewable energy suppliers on our construction sites.

We know this is a big challenge, but we are ready. Our partners are ready. The industry is ready and keen to implement change. We are uniting as one voice to share innovations and ambitions, working together to make ideas bigger, better and more successful, for the benefit of our planet.

It is time for the construction industry, as many others have done, to accept its role in the climate emergency. We must be bold, ambitious and strong in our commitments.

Our response

In an industry first, we're bringing together our delivery partners and their technical supply chains across the UK to harness our collective power and influence, making construction a force for positive change.

Mark Robinson

SCAPE chief executive

We hope to involve all our partners in this collaborative initiative, who will bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the table, as well as a collective passion and drive for improvement.

SCAPE has been a social value-led organisation for many years, embedding community improvement and sustainable outputs into all our projects.

As a National Social Value Taskforce member, we have actively contributed to improving the National Themes, Outcomes and Measures (TOMs) to capture and value the environmental measures delivered on every project.

But this reinforced commitment to sustainability represents an even bigger ambition. We are building on our strong social value foundations and exploring the opportunities to extend social value performance management to cover wider environmental considerations.

This will form an integral part of our long-term vision, both as a socially responsible organisation, and as a leading voice for the industry. Our sustainability strategy for the next 3, 6 and 9 years is structured around the following commitment: Working together to create environmental sustainability and enhancement.

Our partners and public sector colleagues are already taking great strides in achieving this, and we will be showcasing some of the very best sustainability innovations in the coming months. Harnessing the advances already in use and implementing them more widely is the first step on our collective journey towards carbon-neutrality and environmental health.

Team SCAPE are currently delivering more than 1,800 projects across the UK, worth around £6.3bn, and we have a collective buying power of £12bn. It’s our responsibility to make sure these projects leave a positive legacy for future generations and demonstrate what a good, environmentally conscious construction project looks like.

Whilst many clients are reducing the impact of their projects on the local environment, we’re proposing a much more holistic approach.

For us, this is about raising the bar of what we can achieve together, not just locally, but on a more national and global scale.

Mark Robinson

SCAPE chief executive

We don't know all the answers – far from it. But we want to learn more, to bring the industry together and to innovate, with everyone playing their part.

We need input and buy in from all angles of the construction industry – from SMEs to multi-national tier 1 contractors, public and private sector clients across the UK to industry bodies. If we are to succeed, we must come together.

Next steps

We will be looking at Team SCAPE’s current sustainability activities, ambitions and innovations, sharing lessons learned and best practice adoption. We will also be putting our own operations under the microscope to make sure we are doing our bit.

Our strategy and approach will be shared with our public sector shareholders and clients to ensure we are shaping our solutions aligned to their ambitions and priorities.

The Team SCAPE research and development working group will meet regularly, identifying key areas for improvement and defining specific, measurable objectives to achieve our goals.

Our door is open for industry dialogue and I truly believe that together, we can make a real difference.