Live Procurement Careers Contact

Achieving a Zero Carbon Future: Essential Insights for Sustainable Development

Stock image of construction workers planning works


Share article

Twitter LinkedIn

As the deadline for achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050 gets closer, the United Kingdom is intensifying its efforts to mitigate the environmental impact of the built environment.

In order to achieve this, the built environment industry is working together to ensure all new projects are net zero carbon in operation - a requirement urgently needed to be achieved by 2030. This mandate underscores the urgency for transformative action within the construction industry. But what essential insights do you need to know to help you achieve this?

Continue reading to discover:

  • Important terminology you need to be aware of
  • A route to sustainable construction
  • Your go to guide to support steps towards a low carbon future

What is net zero?

"Net zero" refers to the obtaining a balance between the amount of greenhouse gases produced and the amount removed from the atmosphere. Achieving net zero means the emissions produced by human activities are balanced through absorbing an equivalent amount from the atmosphere.

This can be achieved through various solutions, including:

  • reducing emissions,
  • adopting cleaner technologies,
  • implementing carbon capture and storage,
  • and investing in projects that remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, such as afforestation or reforestation.

The concept of reaching net zero emissions is of great importance in the context of addressing climate change.

In the built environment, it's important to acknowledge the impact we have on the environment and explore approaches to sustainable construction.

How much does construction contribute to CO2 emissions?

A report launched by the United Nations Environment Programme identified the building and construction sector as the largest emitter of greenhouse gases, accounting for a staggering 37% of global emissions.

This highlighted our moral and legal responsibility to rapidly decarbonise to ensure we can tackle this together and work towards achieving the UK's commitment of reaching net zero by 2050.

Net zero carbon building is one solution that can help the built environment achieve a zero carbon future - but what does this mean?

What is a net zero carbon building?

A net zero carbon building is one that maximises energy efficiency and relies on renewable energy sources, both on-site and off-site, to power the building's operations. Any remaining carbon emissions are balanced out through offset measures to achieve a net zero carbon building.

Stock image for sustainable construction planning

What are the benefits of net zero carbon buildings?

As well as being a route to sustainable construction, net zero carbon buildings offer several benefits for your built environment projects, including:

  • Reduced energy costs
  • Improved indoor comfort for occupants
  • Enhanced building resilience
  • Market differentiation
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Reduced environmental impact
  • Increased asset value

All these benefits will help accelerate your construction projects, but where do you begin?

How can I design, build, verify and maintain zero carbon developments?

We have identified 4 steps to help you design, build, verify and maintain zero carbon developments throughout your projects lifecycle. It's vital to:

  1. Understand the brief
  2. Set the targets
  3. Agree the contract
  4. Deliver and review

Our SCAPE lifecycle guide offers the UK’s first viable framework procurement route to design, build, verify and maintain zero carbon developments. This guide will explain when you need to adopt a lifecycle approach, explain the process, highlight the benefits and provide you with essential insights and steps for sustainable development success.

Fill out the form below to download your free guide today.

Your go to guide for low carbon building

Please enter your email so we can get in touch.

Please enter your comments.