29 March 2023

Construction industry leaders set out roadmap for decarbonisation

In a new report by Shell and Deloitte, nearly 100 construction industry leaders have helped set out an industry roadmap to decarbonise the construction value chain.

© Ben Allan/unsplash

Decarbonising Construction: Building a Low-Carbon Future provides a value-chain assessment of the construction sector’s emissions and investigates the magnitude of emissions from ‘embodied carbon’.

Embodied carbon emissions are associated with materials, logistics and construction activities - the most challenging aspects of construction to decarbonise - which together accounted for more than 16% of global CO2 emissions in 2020 – equivalent to five times a major sector like aviation.

Additionally, the report provides a detailed analysis of the economic, regulatory, and organisational barriers affecting the sector’s ability to decarbonise.

To encourage progress, the report presents a roadmap to decarbonisation which contains 15 solutions that the industry needs to adopt to reach net-zero. These solutions have been developed jointly with industry leaders and highlight the importance of scaling existing solutions in addition to the importance of collaboration from across the value chain to develop new solutions. 

These range from measures to encourage increased investment in low-carbon technologies, to upskilling workforces and knowledge sharing, and the introduction of policies and regulations to incentivise both the supply and demand of sustainable construction practices and solutions.

The publication also emphasises the need for clear roles across the construction value chain, with all parties taking responsibility for aspects that they can directly influence.

For example, construction companies can create demand signals for low-carbon materials, and regulators, financiers and asset owners can help create the incentives required for investment. Many of the solutions require participation from multiple stakeholders.