built environment sustainability mission 
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BE-ST has announced a new partnership with UKGBC Scotland, with a shared built environment sustainability mission

The built environment sustainability mission will focus on the challenges and opportunities in non-domestic retrofit.

BE-ST and UKGBC will work together to develop specific evidence and guidance that will showcase best practise and encourage widespread adoption of low carbon retrofit techniques.

There are currently 230,000 non-domestic buildings in Scotland, representing 80% of those that will be in use in 2050 – after the 2045 target to achieve net zero.

As a result, all of these schools, offices, factories, hospitals, universities and other types of public buildings will need to be retrofitted and decarbonised over the next two decades.

Driving action on embodied carbon policy and regulation

In addition to the focus on retrofit, BE-ST and UKGBC Scotland will be working together to drive action on embodied carbon policy and regulation, and the financing of green heat, as well as addressing low carbon skills gaps.

Recent estimates from the Construction Industry Training Board suggest that more than 250,000 roles will need to be filled by 2026 to keep up with industry demand, with skills to improve energy efficiency highlighted as one of the main pressure points.

Tapping into global expertise

Jennifer Smart, head of sustainability programmes at BE-ST, commented: “As time runs out to achieve zero carbon by 2045, collaboration is a critical part of the toolbox that we can use to drive positive change.

“We are already working towards the same mission, but by formally partnering with UKGBC  we can collectively tap into global expertise, shared facilities and networks to accelerate transformation across the built environment.

“As part of the partnership work, we’ll be developing an evidence base that supports organisations to implement change, including regional challenges and opportunities that impact different parts of Scotland as well as across the UK built environment.”

During COP26 last year, the UKGBC launched its new Scottish network, responding to the unique physical challenges and political ambition for change in Scotland, and drawing on a UK-wide industry-led network of close to 700 members representing all areas of the built environment.

The network aims to promote green building practices and advocates for change by calling for ambitious commitments, stronger standards, and progressive policy.

Accelerating the transition to a net zero carbon built environment

Simon McWhirter, director of communications, policy and places at UKGBC, added: “We launched UKGBC Scotland to translate our mission to radically improve the sustainability of the built environment to the specific political, market, socio-economic, and physical built assets in Scotland, and accelerate the transition to a net zero carbon built environment here.

“We are here to support and represent the progressive voices spanning the entire built environment value chain. Collaborating with BE-ST will enable us to collectively make a greater impact on the transformation of the built environment here, by sharing our networks and knowledge to drive change across industry and advocate for policy that puts us on track to securing a net zero built environment by 2045.”

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