The ONS have released Sustainable Development Indicators 2015, a report that assesses progress towards a sustainable economy, society and environment. The Inquiry of the Manufacturing Commission into industrial sustainability is seeking submissions on how UK manufacturing can achieve long-term economic, environmental and social sustainability. The CPA are holding a Networking Forum on Energy Efficiency for Manufacturers on the 30th July 2015, for more information email: andrina.dhillon@constructionproducts.org.uk. The IRCC have published Driving Revenue Growth Through Sustainable Products and Services showing that revenues from sustainable products or services are growing up to six times faster than ‘normal’ equivalents.

The latest statistics released by DECC show that the Green Deal continues to slow, with the number of Green Deal installers down for the ninth consecutive month. The National Insulation Association (NIA) is calling DECC to make announcements about their intentions for the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) and the Green Deal. A challenge that is covered in an Ecobuild article called Retrofit: Low expectations.

The management team from the the UKs largest urban regeneration programme is in the early stages of liaising with manufacturers and distributors of construction products to understand how they can help achieve the project’s ambitions. 10 of the world’s most energy efficient offices are detailed in a blog by 2degrees. On the residential side a new partnership between Cambridge City Council and leading house builder Hill, named Virido, has seen work begin on 208 homes, one of the biggest zero carbon housing projects.

Zero Carbon Homes have published their report Overheating in Homes – The Big Picture.  The report shows that many in the industry are still at the very early stages of their journey into the complete issue of overheating while others have started to embed processes into their businesses to minimize the problem.

Meanwhile George Osborne’s Productivity Plan confirms that the government is dropping the zero carbon buildings policy. It states: “The government does not intend to proceed with the zero carbon Allowable Solutions carbon offsetting scheme, or the proposed 2016 increase in on-site energy efficiency standards, but will keep energy efficiency standards under review, recognising that existing measures to increase energy efficiency of new buildings should be allowed time to become established”. (See para 9.17, penultimate bullet, page 50 of the document). It also means that there will be no further changes to Part L in any form in 2016.

Government also intends to end new public subsidies for onshore wind farms by legislating to close the Renewables Obligation for new onshore wind generating stations from 1 April 2016. So it is not surprising to see another call from the construction sector urging government to make energy efficiency a priority. The Aldersgate Group of influential business leaders does just this in their new report ‘A Brighter, More Secure Future’.

Finally Ecobuild have announced their plans for the 2016 show, with the aim of keeping the show innovative and at the leading edge of construction.

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