NEWS / ACE News / Construction sector’s response to the Prime Minister’s Net Zero challenge

ACE News

15 MAR 2021


ACE welcomes Construction Leadership Council (CLC) Net Zero focus

ACE will work closely with the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) on a major new campaign to ready the construction industry to decarbonizing the built environment.   

The campaign, called CO2nstruct Zero was launched on Monday 8 March and is described by the CLC as "a cross-industry change programme to drive carbon out of all parts of the construction sector, from manufacturing and design to construction and operation of assets". The workstream is a key part of CLC's work programme for 2021 and will be spearheaded by ACE chief executive Hannah Vickers

The campaign will consist of nine priorities arranged around three themes of transport, buildings and construction activity.


  • Accelerating the shift of the construction workforce to zero emission vehicles and onsite plant
  • Maximising use of Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) and improved onsite logistics, reducing waste and transport to sites
  • Championing developments and infrastructure investments that both enable connectivity with low carbon modes of transport and design to incorporate readiness for zero emission vehicles


  • Work with Government to deliver retrofitting to improve energy efficiency of the existing housing stock
  • Scale up industry capability to deliver low carbon heat solutions in buildings, supporting heat pump deployment, trials of hydrogen heating systems and heat networks
  • Enhancing the energy performance of new and existing buildings through higher operational energy efficiency standards and better building energy performance monitoring

Construction activity:

  • Implementing carbon measurement, to support our construction projects in making quantifiable decisions to remove carbon
  • Become world leaders in designing out carbon, developing the capability of our designers and construction professionals to develop designs in line with circular economy - reducing embedded and operational carbon, shifting commercial models to incentivise and reward measurable carbon reductions. 
  • Support development of innovative low carbon materials (prioritising concrete and steel), as well as advancing low carbon solutions for manufacturing production processes and distribution

Construction Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP welcomed the initiative: “The UK was the first major economy to set our commitment to eliminate our country’s contribution to climate change into law. But we can only do that by working with industry to make practical changes to secure a better low-carbon future.

“I am delighted that, through CO2nstruct Zero, the construction sector is showing the unity and leadership to make this happen and ensure we build back greener.”

A number of the Co2nstructZero priorities, especially those around designing for Net Zero and masterplanning, link closely with work already underway by ACE and EIC through its joint Net Zero group.

Dr Sarah Prichard, managing director at BuroHappold, chairs the group: "It's great to see a complex and diverse sector, such as construction, really coming together to tackle one of the greatest challenges of our time. We all have a part to play, at a personal and professional level. Unless we fully decarbonise the built environment, Net Zero will remain an aspiration only, which is not what any of us want."

"The Net Zero group and I look forward to working with the CLC in the build up to COP26, and recognise that this is only a staging point on the journey and that our efforts will need to continue well beyond it!" 

More detail on CO2nstructZero can be found at the CLC website. Find out more about ACE's own Net Zero campaign.