COP26 and The Future of Construction

The construction industry is responsible for 38% of global carbon emissions (World Economic Forum). In order to reach the net zero carbon economy by 2050, the emissions of the construction industry need to be better regulated. In the effort to do so, the UN High-Level Climate Champions, the COP26 Presidency and the UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), will get together on 11 November at the COP26 Cities, Regions and Built Environment Day, to talk about reducing emissions in the construction industry. This is the first time the industry is coming together to discuss sustainability in the built environment.

COP26 and Construction

The construction industry is getting together on the last day of COP26 to discuss the way ahead for the industry to achieve net zero emissions. In order to do so, collaboration from all stakeholders in the industry is required. There is also a relationship between the construction industry and local governments in order to tackle carbon emissions.

The event will be co-chaired by a leading Government Minister and a young professional from the construction industry and feature Andrew Griffith MP (The Prime Minister’s Net Zero Champion).

The Built Environment Day at COP26 will be specifically aimed at policy makers, government figures, businesses and professionals from various sectors of the construction industry. Representatives from each sector will tell their story and demonstrate, through practical examples, how the industry can work together to achieve their net zero goals.

The event will also include a panel discussion with various industry leaders. They will discuss the global challenges faced by the industry, how the industry and government can work together to help achieve the net zero target and what the future of the construction industry will look like in order to meet the challenge.

The Construction Sector and Emissions

Currently, the construction industry is one of the highest emitters of CO2 globally. Buildings consume 36% of energy produced globally and are responsible for about 38% of global emissions. In order to lower global temperatures, all the stakeholders in the industry need to work together to reduce emissions from the industry by building more energy efficient buildings and moving towards sustainable construction.

Various companies are doing a number of things to reduce their environmental impact. Companies that do not work towards reducing their emissions will struggle to attract investors and will be subject to increasing costs and future legal and regulatory changes.

Steel and Recyclability

One major way to reduce the carbon footprint of the industry is by recycling construction materials. Steel is one of the major materials used in the industry and is extremely easy to recycle. It is considered to be one of the most sustainable materials of the 21st century. Every scrap of steel available can be used, over and over again, to create new steel and the properties of the recycled steel remain the same as that of the original steel. In fact, the quality of steel can also be improved with recycling. Recycling a single steel can lead to 70% energy saving and can result in additional socio-economic benefits of job creation.

Kloeckner’s Sustainability

Kloeckner Metals UK is committed to sustainability and is constantly introducing new initiatives to bring down its carbon emissions. We are working towards limiting global warming and our parent company Klöckner and Co has signed up to the UN Global Compact ‘Business Ambition for 1.5°C’ and are taking appropriate measures to reach the goal. At Kloeckner, sustainability for us is more than reducing our impact on natural resources: it means sustaining human communities and contributing towards sustainable development.

Kloeckner Metals UK | Westok’s commitment to sustainable design is backed by recently awarded BES 6001 ‘good rating’ and BCSA Sustainability Charter ‘Gold Standard’ status.  Alongside partners Thornton Tomasetti and KLH UK, Kloeckner Metals UK | Westok have recently been nominated for  the Project Innovation Award for the Timber Composite Product at the 2021 Structural Timber Awards. They have also recently published a grid-study on commercial office developments, reviewing steelwork densities and the carbon savings arising from the use of the lightweight ribbon-cut Westok cellular beam.

Kloeckner’s commitment in achieving Net Carbon Zero is strongly embedded throughout the  business and to help us reach that goal, we have recently switched to verified green energy suppliers for all our electricity and gas. When procuring plant, equipment, goods and services, we will consider the impact they will have on energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. We have systems in place to monitor and reduce greenhouse gas intensity within our business operations and are committed to reducing the extent of water usage within our operation. Our processes include a waste hierarchy in order to minimise waste generation through reuse and recycling.

Click here to learn more about our sustainability efforts at Kloeckner Metals UK

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