Thursday, July 25, 2019

BESA urges members to sign industry-led climate pledge

The Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) has thrown its support behind historic industry-led declarations committed to tackling the ‘crises of climate breakdown and biodiversity loss’.

Several large construction consultants and structural engineers, including Aecom, Arup, Atkins, BuroHappold, Mott MacDonald and WSP, have signed declarations titled UK Building Services Declare, UK Structural Engineers Declare and UK Civil Engineers Declare, and have committed to 11 points of action.

Some of these commitments include providing structural engineering design that achieves the standard of net zero carbon; raising awareness of the issue among clients and supply chains; accelerating the shift to low embodied carbon materials; evaluating new projects with mitigating climate change as a key consideration and upgrading existing buildings as an alternative to demolition and rebuild.

BESA has urged its members to add their names as signatories. BESA CEO David Frise said: ‘These declarations are both momentous and timely. Following the recent net-zero commitment by the Government, it is very encouraging to see such ambitious commitments being driven by the industry itself’.

'The challenge of the declarations will be to translate them into meaningful action. If the professions responsible for delivering the practical solutions take the lead, the contractors will play their part'.

'We will, therefore, be encouraging all BESA members to sign up and embed these principles in their daily working practices’.

This follows recent comments from new BESA President John Norfolk who weighed into the national conversation on climate change noting that: ‘BESA and its membership are in the vanguard of zero carbon action’.

‘Our work as building engineers is not just a way of tackling climate change, but can also transform the wellbeing of thousands of families by improving the quality of the built environment.’

More information about the Building Services Engineers declaration and how to become a signatory can be found here.

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