MP urged to create cross-industry sustainable buildings taskforce

Signatories include AXA UK, Flood Re, and Kennedys

MP urged to create cross-industry sustainable buildings taskforce

Construction & Engineering

By Terry Gangcuangco

“The time for action is now – industry and Government must work together to help communities reap the benefits associated with a well-planned, energy-efficient, and more resilient built environment.”

Those were the words of 11 organisations, including AXA UK and Flood Re, in a letter to Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities Simon Clarke, calling on the government to set up a sustainable buildings taskforce designed to ensure that buildings in the UK are future-fit.

“We write as an industry to highlight the unique opportunity to reform historical approaches to housing and building policy and to call for the establishment of a new cross-industry sustainable buildings taskforce to place resilience at the heart of decision-making,” reads part of the October 12 letter seen by Insurance Business.

“Buildings play a huge role in shaping our day-to-day lives. Improving the efficiency and sustainability of our building stock has the potential to give people greater control over their energy bills, protect the environment, boost productivity, and improve resilience to future risks and challenges.”

The letter was signed by AXA UK chief executive Claudio Gienal, Arcadis’ UK sustainability advisory lead Jane Boyle, BRE CEO Gillian Charlesworth, Flood Re chief executive Andy Bord, Kennedys partner Paul Lowe, RISC Authority chair David Williams, Fire Protection Association managing director Jonathan O’Neill and former technical director Dr Jim Glocking, Stonewater CEO Nicholas Harris, Bioregional chief executive Sue Riddlestone OBE, and OFR Consultants director Sam Liptrott.

“We urge the government to consider the value of establishing a cross-industry sustainable buildings taskforce to ensure future policies are reflective of evolving industry practices, as well as changing consumer and business needs following the COVID-19 pandemic,” they wrote.

“As an industry, we are committed to working with the government to support the development and regeneration of multi-purpose, energy-efficient, and resilient building structures, which are adaptable to the needs of the communities they serve.”

The 11 major players went on to state that it is crucial to facilitate early-stage conversations between energy suppliers, developers, designers, safety engineers, and insurers.

Commenting on the plea, Gienal said: “As a leading insurer, AXA UK takes a keen interest in the evolution of the building landscape, including the need to see a safer, greener, and future-proofed building stock. The built environment plays a vital role in supporting the UK’s energy security and building resilience to emerging risks such as flooding and extreme weather.

“Unfortunately, regulation is yet to catch up with the crucial need to make what we build today fit for the evolving requirements of future generations. That’s why we are calling on the government to create a sustainable buildings taskforce to bring together all those involved in the development of the UK’s building stock…”

Meanwhile, in the letter, the signatories told the MP that they would be happy to discuss their proposals and that they look forward to continued engagement.

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