To avoid the worst catastrophes of the climate crisis, globally we must halve carbon emissions by 2030 and achieve net zero by 2050. The built environment is directly responsible for 25% of the UK’s carbon emissions and therefore has a moral and legal responsibility to rapidly decarbonise. UKGBC’s Whole Life Carbon Roadmap (The Roadmap) was created by a range of industry voices in response to this context and sets out a clear trajectory for industry and government as we work towards a net zero future.

Key Roadmap statistics

60 %
71 %

The Net Zero Whole Life Carbon Roadmap

The Roadmap was launched at the beginning of a crucial decade for climate action, with the need for our industry to decarbonise clearer than ever. It provides a common vision for achieving net zero carbon in the construction, operation and demolition of buildings and infrastructure. Critically, the trajectory demonstrates to industry and government that there is a clear pathway to net zero by 2050 for the built environment, setting out step-by-step actions for different stakeholders.

If embraced by these stakeholders, the pathway and action plans the Roadmap lays out have the potential to radically improve the future of our built environment; ensuring that our cities and communities are low carbon and sustainable for all.

The creation of the Roadmap

Collaboration was key, with comprehensive stakeholder engagement at all stages of this project that represented a significant cross-selection of our industry. Overall, more than 100 organisations co-created this guidance, and even more contributed through industry consultation. Launched , it represents industry coming together like never before to work towards the rapid decarbonisation of our sector.

The Roadmap is split into 4 key outputs. The Main Trajectory Report gives an overview of the project, key findings and the steps industry must take to achieve net zero by 2050. The Technical Report goes into more depth into the numbers behind the Roadmap and how our team arrived at the conclusions they did. The Stakeholder Action Plans give clear guidance for a range of built environment stakeholders as they work to meet these targets, and finally the Summary for Policy Makers recommends the key policies government should implement to enable industry to meet these targets.

A Progress Report on the Roadmap

To coincide with Built Environment Day at COP28, and to mark two years since the launch of the Roadmap, UKGBC reconvened our project partners to provide an update on the built environment sector’s progress towards meeting our net zero trajectory. This is in the form of a “Progress Report”. This Progress Report reviews progress in the four years since the 2018 baseline of the Roadmap. It presents the operational carbon, embodied carbon, and F-gas emissions of the entire UK domestic, non-domestic, and infrastructure stock based on reported data, for comparison against the progress determined to be necessary by the original Roadmap.

Overall, the Progress Report provides insight into progress (or lack thereof) on emissions reduction in the sector over the previous 4 years. The data and key findings are supplemented with narrative reflecting on the lack of supporting policy framework to deliver on the WLC Roadmap’s pathway to net zero.

What’s next for the Roadmap?

The Roadmap will be continually reviewed and updated by UKGBC. We aim to work closely with our members, policy makers and the wider industry to ensure the learnings of the Roadmap are well understood and its recommendations are being successfully implemented. As part of this, we’re hosting workshops, producing subsequent guidance and sharing knowledge across the value chain.

For the built environment, the Roadmap must remain just that – a roadmap we all follow as we work to decarbonise as a sector. Industry and policy makers are encouraged to use the report as a guide for decision making and path setting. At UKGBC, we’re following this expectation, as all of our carbon reduction workstreams directly respond to questions and recommendations raised in the report. We’re building a foundation of knowledge and guidance that supports this trajectory and make the net zero built environment possible.

Download the Roadmap files

Explore the three component parts of the Roadmap and all of its recommendations.

Whole Life Carbon Roadmap

The main report with our pathway to net zero.
Download12.78 Mb

Technical Report

Explore the data and full technical background to the roadmap.
Download3.37 Mb

Summary for Policy Makers

Understand what the roadmap recommends for policy moving forward.
Download1.65 Mb

Complete list of Stakeholder Action Plans

Explore all 14 Stakeholder Action Plans that outline how different industry professions must drive net zero in the built environment.
Download367.28 Kb

Download the Stakeholder Action Plans

Explore the 14 stakeholder action plans that give clear steps needed by different sub sectors, now, by 2025 and 2030.

Architects Stakeholder Action Plan

Download45.37 Kb

Building Service Engineers Stakeholder Action Plan

Download47.54 Kb

Contractors Stakeholder Action Plan

Download51.94 Kb

Developers Stakeholder Action Plan

Download50.56 Kb

Facilities Management Stakeholder Action Plan

Download44.23 Kb

Infrastructure Designers Stakeholder Action Plan

Download45.17 Kb

Infrastructure Owners Stakeholder Action Plan

Download44.94 Kb

Infrastructure Stakeholder Action Plan

Download45.02 Kb

Investors Stakeholder Action Plan

Download46.32 Kb

Landlords and Owners Stakeholder Action Plan

Download53.48 Kb

Material and Product Manufacturers Stakeholder Action Plan

Download45.88 Kb

NGOs and Trade Associations Stakeholder Action Plan

Download53.70 Kb

Occupiers Stakeholder Action Plan

Download45.32 Kb

Structural Engineers Stakeholder Action Plan

Download45.91 Kb


Want to learn more about the Roadmap or get involved?

Get in touch with our Advancing Net Zero team who can answer your questions and let you know how you can get involved moving forward.

690+ Members

50+ Keystone Members

30+ Opportunities to Get Involved