Net Zero Construction RG Group

Lead The Path To Net Zero In Construction By Rethinking Project Management

Net zero construction targets represent a serious challenge. However, they are not impossible to meet and there are many different ways in which enterprises can take steps towards them. One of those is to focus on establishing a more sustainable culture within an organisation by rethinking the principles that underpin project management. Given how much influence the construction sector will have on whether the UK meets its sustainability targets, every possible option needs to be explored.

Why is a Green Construction Sector So Vital For The UK?

40% of the UK’s carbon emissions come from the construction sector. So, the changes that are made in this industry will have a big, broader impact on how able the UK is to meet its net zero goals. This is something that UK construction has not only taken seriously but also taken action on. For example, since 1990, there has been a 53% reduction in absolute carbon dioxide emissions. However, given that there is also a housing crisis, with hundreds of thousands of homes needed in the coming years, it’s going to take a more holistic approach to ensure that the construction sector makes its contribution work.

What Does Project Management Add?

When it comes to sustainability in construction, the first port of call is usually to look at using different materials, integrating more technology or using brownfield land. While all of this is clearly crucial, there is also a lot that rethinking project management can offer. So what does that entail?

  • Nurturing net zero skills. The Institute for Public Policy Research in the UK has already recognised that the UK currently does not have the skills it needs to achieve net zero targets. Construction needs to look at the way that learning is handled and create a more sustainable workforce with green skills at the heart of this. Projects can contribute to the broader net zero goal by ensuring that training for these skills is embedded in a sustainability-first approach.
  • Adopting a more agile approach going forward. This is vital for organisations looking to navigate complex change – and to achieve the transition to a net zero economy. This will require project managers to focus on the problem set and look for gaps in skills or technologies that could help to achieve a more agile approach. It’s this more agile approach that is going to make it possible for the construction sector to drive towards net zero targets. However, currently the number of construction businesses using an agile approach in the UK is half that of Europe – the time for change has come.
  • Green skills and agility need to be embedded into organisational strategy, from the top down, to really make a difference. This will ensure that every project – and every person on that project – always has in mind vital climate goals.

When it comes to net zero goals, the construction sector has an essential part to play in how well the UK does – and rethinking approaches to project management to focus on agility and green skills is a great place to start.

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