ACAN contributes to landmark Environmental Audit Committee report on the built environment
Today marks the release of a landmark parliamentary report from the Environmental Audit Committee, a cross-party parliamentary select committee that scrutinises Government action or inaction on environmental issues.
The report, Building to Net Zero: Costing Carbon in Construction, brings to a close the year-long inquiry into the sustainability of the built environment, and it is damning in its verdict. The EAC judged that despite the “significant amount” of emissions associated with the construction, so far “there has been a lack of Government impetus or policy levers to assess and reduce these emissions.” It highlights how the UK is currently lagging behind, despite “looming climate deadlines” requiring urgent action.
Calling on the Government to take action now, the EAC echoes demands made by ACAN’s Regulate Embodied Carbon campaign since it’s launch in February 2021, “that the Government introduce a mandatory requirement for whole-life carbon assessments for buildings.” And even proposes, like ACAN, that “this requirement should be fully incorporated in building regulations and the planning system.”
ACAN are referenced around 10 times in the report, and ACAN members including Rachael Owens, Seb Laan Lomas, Joe Penn, Matteo Sarno, Joe Giddings, Sophia Ceneda, Janna Laan Lomas, Elin Keyser, Emma Twine and Dominic Eley, are also mentioned by name, after a coordinated effort by multiple groups within our network to respond to the inquiry’s call for evidence last year. Alongside our input, fellow industry movements LETI & Architects Declare are also well represented in the report.
This clearly demonstrates the impact that individuals can have when they come together to take collective action through grassroots organisations such as ACAN. This is a vital step in the right direction, but it is only a small victory within a much larger battle, for the Government to take the necessary action to tackle the climate crisis. We strongly encourage all climate concerned architects, engineers and built environment professionals to join our movement and help us in this critical battle for the future of our planet.
Below is an extract from the report:
“The architects who gave evidence to us consistently recommended that a clear
timeline for the adoption of WLC assessment as a mandatory requirement for construction was needed to increase professional knowledge and capability in embodied carbon and provide the necessary signals for the construction industry to invest in managing it. 44 The Architects Climate Action Network have recommended that mandatory reporting be introduced in 2022, followed by the introduction of limit values in 2025, which will then be reduced over time. 45 The Part Z campaign, which seeks to introduce mandatory WLC assessments as part of building regulations recommends a similar timeline, with the introduction of mandatory assessments starting in 2023.“