CIOB challenges UK govt to build a green vision with substance

In response to a recent government consultation ‘Strategy for Sustainable Construction’, the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) has called for a greater emphasis on the ‘big picture’.

Stephen Wielebski a CIOB Ambassador said, “There is a prodigious, and urgent, opportunity for us to develop a Strategy for Sustainable Construction that has real direction and some teeth. But sadly the strategy in its current form does not adequately consider the UK construction industry’s role in delivering sustainability objectives within a national or international context. The lingering debate over the definition of ‘waste’ coupled with the present impasse concerning soil guideline values (SGV’s), are just two of many frustrating issues that prevent us from making meaningful progress.

“The strategy has a strong focus on delivering zero-carbon housing, but simply setting targets for building zero-carbon homes, fails to acknowledge a more significant issue – decarbonisation of the industry’s energy supply at source. Energy produced from non-renewable sources and consumed in building services accounts for approximately 50 percent of UK CO2 emissions. This proposed strategy has good intentions but a lack of co-ordination involving all key stakeholder interests does much to undermine the importance of an issue that needs urgent and planned action worldwide.”

The CIOB supports an outcome based strategy with clear priorities. Any targets that are set should be challenging enough to deliver the desired outcome and not simply the minimum requirement. The CIOB believes the proposed strategy is unclear about organisational roles and responsibilities, and it does not define overall accountability for delivering the strategy.

Whilst it is important for all relevant government departments and industry bodies to sign-up to an agreed proactive strategy; the CIOB believes it is even more important for their roles and responsibilities to be clearly defined within any future strategy.

It is also essential that quality data is produced from which to benchmark and measure progress to achieve success. There must also be consistent and workable definitions across the industry. To view the full CIOB submission please go to



The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) represents on behalf of the public the most diverse set of professionals in the construction industry.

The CIOB’s role is to:

  • Promote the importance of the built environment.
  • Lead the industry to create a sustainable future worldwide.
  • Encourage leadership potential.
  • Set the highest standards in quality, safety and qualification.
  • Create an industry where excellence prospers.

Further information is available by contacting Saul Townsend CIOB press and communications manager on 01344 630 766 –