A third of firms to join the Construction Leadership Council’s, CLC, latest round of net-zero champions are SMEs.

These include Benfield Timber Buildings who supply timber frames for housebuilders, solar panel and battery supplier EvoEnergy and Zed pods which builds micro-homes above car parks.

CLC co-chair Andy Mitchell said: “The power of the CLC comes from its ability to reflect and engage with the whole industry. CO2nstruct Zero has provided a standard for the whole industry to get behind.”

The initiative enables organisations leading the way in carbon reduction to share good practice across the construction industry enabling the sector to measure its net-zero progress.

Benfield Timber Buildings managing director Carl Benfield said: “Businesses have a huge part to play in making the changes themselves which can improve your business model.”

He said his company was working on producing a carbon passport for its timber frames detailing the materials, what should happen at the end of life and carbon-offsetting.

The green drive picks up a head of steam

The Environment Agency has become the first client organisation to join the initiative along with PwC UK as a partner. Other champions include engineering consultancy AESG, regeneration developer Galliford Try, industrial builder Henry Brothers, software provider Kerridge Commercial Systems, property developer Osborne, multidisciplinary contractor VolkerWessels UK and thermal insulation manufacturer Xtratherm.

Since forming in March 2021 CO2nstruct Zero now has 50 business champions committed to targeting reduction and sharing how they are achieving this with the wider sector.

Brokers Hank Zarihs Associates said an SME builder’s green credentials were increasingly something development finance lenders were weighing up when looking at potential borrowers’ business plans.

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Shiraz Khan