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February 4, 2024

Construction Sector Calls for Carbon Regulation Commitment

Construction Sector Calls for Carbon Regulation Commitment

A coalition of construction industry leaders and organisations is rallying for a commitment to regulate embodied carbon in construction practices. This call to action, directed at all UK political parties, seeks to embed carbon regulation pledges into their election manifestos. Spearheaded by 11 prominent organisations within the construction and built environment sectors, this initiative underscores the crucial role of government intervention in shaping carbon measuring standards.

The Need for Government Intervention

Construction industry professionals emphasise the necessity of government-led regulation, citing the industry's incapacity to reach a consensus on carbon measuring rules independently. According to the coalition, leaving this task solely to the industry risks inconsistency and inefficiency in addressing embodied carbon emissions. Thus, they advocate for clear regulatory frameworks set by the government to guide industry practices towards sustainability.

Challenges and Solutions

Will Arnold, head of climate action at the Institution of Structural Engineers, highlights the repercussions of lacking a legally consistent approach to embodied carbon reporting and limits. He emphasises the need for standardised rules to ensure uniformity across projects, ultimately saving time, money, and resources for designers, developers, and the public alike.

Unified Call for Action

Joining forces with organisations like the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), among others, the coalition presents a united front in advocating for carbon regulation. Their collective effort underscores the urgency of addressing embodied carbon emissions and aligning with global sustainability goals.

Steps Forward

The coalition's proposal, outlined in a comprehensive paper addressed to political leaders, outlines specific targets and timelines for carbon regulation implementation. By mandating the measurement and reporting of whole-life carbon emissions for select projects by 2026 and imposing legal limits on upfront embodied carbon emissions by 2028, they aim to drive tangible progress towards a greener construction industry.


The collective voice of the construction sector echoes the urgency of addressing embodied carbon emissions through government-led regulation. As political parties prepare their election manifestos, the inclusion of carbon regulation commitments stands as a beacon of hope for a more sustainable and environmentally conscious construction industry.

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