Video: Economic upturn must refocus industry back on carbon reduction targets

Infrastructure professionals must embrace the current economic upturn to help the industry to get back on target to meet carbon reduction targets, according to Green Construction Board co-chair and Skanska UK chief executive Mike Putnam.

Boosting the number of clients and firms across the supply that endorse and adopt the GCB’s Infrastructure Carbon Review strategy is critical to refocusing industry on the challenge and, he said, to helping the industry understand the link between carbon reduction and better business performance.

“We are not on schedule [to hit 2025 carbon reduction targets] when you look at the totality of the built environment,” admits Putnam in an interview with Infrastructure Intelligence – see video. 

The government-backed Green Construction Board will be hosting a morning conference designed specifically to explain to business and commercial benefits of embracing the Infrastructure Carbon Review across the industry. 

Construction minister Michael Fallen and Chief Construction Advisor Peter Hansford will lead the discussion at the BIS conference centre on Victoria Street in London in October (date TBC). 


For details and to register you interest in attending this free event email

“As we went through the recession there is no doubt that the whole agenda did slip because other things understandably came to the fore and were a higher priority. But I firmly believe that as the economy picks up the focus will get back to [low carbon] being a top three issue.”

The Infrastructure Carbon Review was published last November by the Green Construction Board and sets out a number of practical steps that clients, suppliers, contractors and government can take to achieve both carbon and cost reductions.

Clients, businesses and stakeholders across the infrastructure supply chain have all been urged to sign up to and endorse the review and by doing so commit to helping the industry achieve the 50% carbon reduction targets set out in the government’s Construction 2025 industrial strategy.

“When we launched the Infrastructure Carbon Review back in November last year we had 20 bodies, a mixture of clients, tier 1 contractors, some consultants and some firms from the supply chain that endorsed it,” explains Putnam. “The ambition now is to widen that scope [of endorsement]. There are many organisations – client bodies and other stakeholders – that are already achieving a 50% reduction. We need to help others to understand what is possible and to help them up to that 50% reduction level.”

Putnam insisted that embracing low carbon ideas would not mean firms incurring additional costs, pointing out that the key was bold leadership and early engagement across all stakeholders to underline the business benefit to the whole approach.

“One of the key outputs of the Infrastructure Carbon Review is involving the entire supply chain, he said. “While bold leadership from clients is very important, it is equally important to have engagement and involvement right the way down that supply chain.”

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