In order to achieve decarbonisation, the industry must take a comprehensive approach that mobilises multiple sectors towards a common goal. For most, scope 3 emissions within their supply chain make up the largest proportion of their carbon footprint, so simply addressing one’s own emissions is not enough to have meaningful impact. To address this challenge, UKGBC is working with industry experts to highlight the need for cross-sector collaboration and to overcome the barriers facing supply chains.  

Why we need supply chain decarbonisation

The built environment has a significant impact on global emissions and whilst many organisations have made efforts to reduce their own emissions, the bulk of emissions lie either upstream or downstream of their own operations. Through addressing the carbon impact of their supply chain, companies have the opportunity to greatly increase their impact on the climate. Due to the complexity of modern-day supply chains, the industry must work collaboratively to gain the clarity, agreement and support needed to implement the correct actions. With a more collective approach, stakeholders can work together to make a real difference.   

How do we get there?

Supply chains in the built environment can be incredibly vast, fragmented and complicated. It is therefore not possible to establish a single solution to decarbonisation and instead stakeholders must adopt a holistic approach to the issue. From a broad view of the supply chain as a whole, we believe there are four key aspects that must be adopted to enact real change in the industry.  

  1. Build alliances across the chain: Supply chains can be long and complex making engagement difficult. Engaging with stakeholders across the chain, building relationships, and collaborating with stakeholders to form collective commitments, can help to move the industry forward in the right direction.   
  1. Effective procurement and evidence management: Stakeholders must implement clear low carbon material procurement strategies that allow them to track and store evidence for reporting purposes.  
  1. Define targets and pathways: Establishing a baseline to inform science-based targets are imperative steps towards decarbonisation. This then lays the framework to formulating a pathway to implementation and ultimately, achieving targets.  
  1. Manage Uncertainty: The levels of uncertainty are at an unprecedented high in the industry, especially around the subject of decarbonisation and how to manage it. Stakeholders must develop increased levels of knowledge sharing around the subject with a specific focus on practicality to provide the industry with the resources it needs. 

How this workstream sits within the broader scope of supply chain work

There are some key initiatives existing within the industry and driving real change. In terms of knowledge sharing and upskilling, the Supply Chain Sustainability School is carrying out pioneering work to get the industry together to collaborate on key sustainability topics. The Climate Group has crucial initiatives such as CocreteZero and SteelZero which are creating a global marketplaces for net zero materials as well as advocating for the procurement commitments of corporations. From a materials perspective, UKRI has their Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge and the MPA UK Concrete has their industry roadmap to beyond net zero, two initiatives that are putting a specific focus on the crucial decarbonisation of materials.  

On top of the great initiatives others are undertaking, UKGBC is well-placed to add further value and impact to this existing work. Due the member driven nature of the organisation, UKGBC can utilise the expansive reach it has in the industry and deliver a project that is able to fully encapsulate the needs and requirements of all stakeholders in the supply chain, facilitating a pathway to decarbonisation.

Project benefits for members

Beyond advancing our shared ambitions and supporting the realisation of critical industry targets, members partnering on UKGBC project opportunities will also gain multiple direct benefits including:

Driving meaningful impact

Your organisation will be credited with enabling the project and facilitating progress and positive impact in the built environment. You will take a steering role, helping to shape the project and associated outputs, as well as how those outputs are conveyed to the industry to maximise impact and uptake. You will secure a position on the project Task Group.

Raising your brand profile

Your organisation will receive brand recognition via the inclusion of your organisation’s logo on all project and/or project related outputs and collateral (e.g., reports, videos, presentation slides). You will receive bespoke social media assets to help promote your organisation’s support of the project. You will be given opportunities to present at project output launch and/or related events.

Extending networks

Your organisation will be able to collaborate with other industry leaders. You will have access to a broad network through which to extend your organisation’s reach and build new relationships with clients and suppliers from across the built environment value chain.

Developing your staff

Individuals will gain unique experience and improve their knowledge through Task Group participation and direct knowledge exchange. Individuals will engage with a diverse set of stakeholders from across the industry and collaborate to co-create tangible solutions

Enquire here

The team is currently working with members of the industry, if you would like to get involved in this project through task, advisory or working groups, or you would like to learn more, please get in contact with our UKGBC representatives:
Alex Benstead Senior Advisor – Advancing Net Zero