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Getting the construction industry on track to net zero

1 July 2022, 13:58 BST 2 min read

Mike de Silva, Head of Sustainability at Clancy Group

As a significant global user of steel and concrete there are many opportunities for the construction sector to address the carbon emissions associated with these materials. With the production of steel and concrete both contributing to between 7-8% of global annual carbon emissions respectively, the sector must help drive the decarbonisation of both industries.

As the new Head of Sustainability at the Clancy Group, addressing the embodied carbon of steel and concrete in ongoing and future projects is high on my agenda. That's why I’ve become an advisor to international non-profit Climate Group and ensured that Clancy Group became a founding member to ConcreteZero. 

Steel and concrete are fundamental components of the built environment. UN predicts that 68% of the world population will live in cities by 2050, requiring significant growth in homes and infrastructure. The demand for steel and concrete will inevitably increase. It’s crucial that we take action now to set both industries on a path to net zero by 2050.

As a sector we can assess the potential reuse and repurpose of steel and concrete in existing assets at the beginning of a project. Circularity is an important philosophy for our sector to incorporate into the design, build and demolition of buildings and infrastructure. By taking this approach, we’ve a fighting chance of satisfying global demand whilst minimising the immense strain we’re placing on our planet.

At the Clancy Group, we’re increasingly bringing design and material efficiency to the heart of what we do.  We’re engaging with our supply chain to tell them where we are on this journey and what we expect of them.  This doesn’t just apply to concrete but to steel and all our major material purchases.  We’ll help and support where we can, particularly when engaging with our smaller local producers and suppliers. We recognise that this is a collective journey and we can only reach the finishing line if we collaborate and share knowledge and learning.

As a significant consumer of both steel and concrete, the construction sector has a critical role to play in the decarbonisation of some of the highest emitting sectors. Having worked in client organisations, design consultancy and contractor organizations I’m able to share insights from the construction industry as Climate Group begins to tackle concrete. It’s together that we can really drive change.

Read the unabridged article on Construction News