The Buildings Mission Zero Network has today launched the first of two reports supporting the decarbonisation of the Built Environment. ‘Mission Retrofit’ is co-authored by The Rt Hon Chris Skidmore OBE, author of the government’s independent review of Net Zero, and Chair of the Mission Zero Coalition, and Simon McWhirter, Deputy Chief Executive of UK Green Building Council (UKGBC).

The Buildings Mission Zero Network has taken forward recommendations from the Mission Zero report, including on how to deliver on an energy efficiency and retrofit mission, as well as identifying new areas of policy focus where the UK could be more ambitious, or deliver more effective outcomes for the buildings industry.

Reflecting on the report, Simon McWhirter, Deputy Chief Executive at UKGBC said:

“The dramatic policy reversals by government over the last week have been a real clarion call against complacency for our sector. And in the face of them pulling up the policy handbrake on all things green, this Mission Retrofit report is incredibly timely.

“The report shines a spotlight on the critical policy gaps and challenges highlighted by UKGBC’s Whole Life Carbon Roadmap, including the urgent need for a National Retrofit Strategy to upgrade Britain’s mostly cold and draughty buildings.

“And unlike other current government initiatives, Mission Retrofit is trying to eloquently link up the disparate parts of the complex carbon abatement puzzle – from sustainable planning reform, to a clear recognition of the importance of adapting our existing buildings for the rapidly warming climate. 

“Working with our members and partners at UKGBC we’ve been developing a range of Net Zero solutions, guidance and policy frameworks to help deliver our low carbon future for our buildings.

“And what the sector and the country need from government now is calmness and certainty, predictability and clarity in the drive towards a net zero and ecological sound future. We hope to see politicians stand behind this report, and include its recommendations in party manifestoes and policy behaviour moving forwards. As what we need now is political leadership, not the current vacuum.”

The Rt Hon Chris Skidmore OBE, Chair of the Mission Zero Coalition said on UKGBC’s contribution:

“The Net Zero Review, Mission Zero, was clear that tackling the UK’s buildings emissions is key to reaching net zero. We also know that 85% of all buildings will be in use by 2050, which is why it is so important we focus on decarbonising our existing homes, offices and public buildings. With the government committing to reducing energy demand and establishing the Great British Insulation Scheme, now is the time to ensure that we have a plan in place. Today’s report Mission Retrofit seeks to deliver that plan, having taken evidence over several months.”

The UK Green Building Council have been a key contributor and member of the Buildings Mission Zero Network, and have provided not only valuable evidence and insights that have helped shaped the report and its recommendations to all political parties. I would like to personally thank Simon McWhirter for his considered and thoughtful engagement and time as co-chair of the Buildings Mission Zero Network and look forward to working with him and UKGBC on our forthcoming report, ‘Building the Future’, which will focus on creating the low carbon homes and offices of the future.”