In May I was fortunate to be able to attend the recent UK Construction Week at Excel in London and see the strides forward an industry, that has become recognised as one of the biggest contributors to carbon emissions, is making in tackling the thorny issue of achieving Net Zero.
In his keynote on day one, Lord Callanan, Under Secretary of State for the Department of Energy Security and Net Zero, talked about the carbon capture projects underway in the UK. He touched on some interesting initiatives that are using low carbon hydrogen to test the reliability and efficacy of this fuel to provide an alternative to fossil fuels. The clear message was that the UK is committed to developing and delivering new and exciting projects that will have an impact on our fuel future but that the fastest way to reduce CO2 emissions is to invest in energy efficiency. It was an uplifting speech, full of optimism and ‘can-do’ rhetoric.
Richard Robinson was next to take the mic. As CEO for UK and Europe at Atkins and part of the Construction Leadership Council, Richard offered an insight into how the industry is tackling the day-to-day task of decarbonizing construction. He highlighted that 30% of all emissions come from vehicles – both those that deliver to site and those that generate power on site. Our client, IPG Energy, was exhibiting at the event this year and they have a solution that helps to tackle the smooth transition away from diesel for on-site power generation. IPG’s product, among others that were demonstrated at the show, were just some of the reasons that I left the event with an incredibly hopeful view of the future.
Achieving Net Zero may seem like a mountain to climb for an industry that is responsible for 46% of UK carbon emissions but with the help of both technology and engineering brainpower, it is increasingly an achievable goal. With events like UK Construction Week shining a light on all of the incredible solutions that are being developed and industry leaders converging on the event to learn more about how these can be applied at scale, the future of the construction industry looks increasingly green.
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