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October 19, 2023

Construction Managers Speak Out: Net Zero Concerns in the Industry

Construction Managers Speak Out: Net Zero Concerns in the Industry


In a recent survey conducted by the Association for Project Management (APM), it has been revealed that 50% of construction industry project managers believe their companies are not doing enough to support the UK's ambitious 2050 net zero targets. This revelation comes at a crucial time when the construction industry is under increasing scrutiny for its environmental impact. In this article, we delve into the key findings of the survey and explore the implications for the construction sector as it grapples with the challenge of aligning with the country's net zero goals.

The Survey's Key Findings

The APM survey sheds light on the sentiments of construction project managers regarding their companies' commitment to net zero targets. Shockingly, half of the respondents expressed dissatisfaction, stating that their companies are doing "too little" to support the UK's 2050 net zero goals. The remaining half of the participants were divided, with some believing their companies are doing "enough," while others thought their efforts were "too much."

This divide in opinion among construction managers highlights the complexity of the net zero challenge and the varied responses within the industry. It also underscores the urgent need for a unified approach to address the environmental concerns associated with construction projects.

Addressing Concerns and Industry Challenges

The construction industry plays a pivotal role in achieving national net zero targets, given its substantial environmental footprint. Construction projects contribute significantly to carbon emissions, resource depletion, and waste generation. Therefore, it is crucial for companies to align their practices with sustainable and eco-friendly measures.

For those construction managers who feel their companies are doing "too little," it is imperative for industry leaders to reassess their strategies and commit to more robust sustainability initiatives. This could involve investing in green technologies, adopting eco-friendly construction materials, and implementing efficient waste management practices.

On the other hand, companies perceived as doing "too much" should ensure that their efforts are not merely symbolic gestures but are grounded in meaningful, measurable actions. Striking a balance between ambition and practicality is essential to avoid greenwashing and ensure that the industry collectively moves toward a sustainable future.

The Role of Technology and Innovation

Embracing technological advancements and fostering innovation are key components of the construction industry's journey toward net zero. Companies should explore cutting-edge solutions, such as sustainable building materials, energy-efficient construction methods, and digital tools that enhance project management while minimising environmental impact.

Collaboration and Industry-Wide Initiatives

To bridge the gap in perceptions and achieve a unified commitment to net zero, collaboration within the construction industry is paramount. Industry associations, governmental bodies, and businesses must work together to establish clear guidelines, share best practices, and provide the necessary support and resources for companies to transition to more sustainable practices.


The APM survey underscores the urgency for the construction industry to intensify its efforts in supporting the UK's net zero targets. The divide in opinions among construction project managers highlights the need for a comprehensive and standardised approach to sustainability within the sector. By addressing concerns, embracing innovation, and fostering collaboration, the construction industry can play a pivotal role in creating a greener and more sustainable future for the UK.

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