UK’s first net-zero procurement guide released for construction projects

Scape Scotland has launched the UK’s first procurement vehicle to deliver public-sector projects that meet net-zero standards.

The new Lifecycle procurement solution is available across all of Scape Scotland’s construction procurement frameworks, covering £2bn worth of projects to be delivered over the next five years.

The new Scape guide – supported by Morgan Sindall, Kier and McLaughlin & Harvey – comes not long after the UK Green Building Council launched its UK Net Zero Carbon Buildings Standard, which Scape intends to use within its frameworks to verify that built assets have achieved net-zero status.

Scape Scotland performance and improvement director Chris Clarke said: “The climate emergency is the greatest issue of our time, and one the public sector in Scotland is already moving to address in the wake of COP26. However, at a time when the capital cost of investing in net zero is being temporarily inflated by global pressures, it is critical that we provide those responsible for supporting community investment with the tools to continue driving the green agenda.

“With the Scottish government set to mandate net zero in the very near future, our new guide creates the UK’s first clear route for local authorities and other parts of the public sector to pursue the greenest standards possible.”

Scape partner and head of design management at McLaughlin & Harvey Peter Barker added: “Scape Lifecycle provides a platform for achieving and delivering the government’s net-zero targets on public-sector projects.

“The guide has been developed to provide an exemplar route for delivering to these targets, enabling our clients and partners to make commitments to sustainability, whilst setting ambitious but achievable objectives in response to the climate emergency, with a view that this positive leadership will bring momentum within the construction industry as a whole and beyond.”

Earlier this week, Simon Sturgis, founder of carbon consultancy group Targeting Zero, told delegates at the CN Decarbonising Construction conference that the sector was “desperate” for guidance on how to achieve net zero.

His comments come after MPs accused the government last month of “dragging its feet” over producing information on embodied carbon to the detriment of net-zero targets.

Responding to a question as to whether whole-life carbon checks should be compulsory for construction, Sturgis said: “There are places like Manchester, and one or two others, such as Dundee, that have their own whole-life carbon policies, but to get [this work] to spread nationally you need central government to bring it into a national policy framework.

“Let’s hope it happens sooner rather than later, because I think people are desperate for guidance.

“The message, I think, that many of the people who [gave evidence to parliament] brought was that the industry is keen for this to happen. They know it’s coming, so let’s just get on with it, and let’s make it easy to happen.”

Scape’s guide is available here.

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