CEW joins the ‘Coalition of the Willing’ to establish UK’s first Green Building Charter

Constructing Excellence in Wales has joined more than 40 leading organisations representing the construction sector in Wales in a commitment to the first green building charter of its kind in the UK.

14th January 2009

The Coalition of the Willing was formed as the Sustainable Development Commission, the Design Commission for Wales, Welsh Assembly Government and CEW joined with 40 other organisations to support progress towards a built environment that contributes low or zero net carbon emissions as quickly as practically possible. Other members of the coalition include the Federation of Master Builders, the National House-Building Council and the Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment as well as CBI Wales.

The coalition will play a major role in the development of low/zero carbon buildings ahead of the UK Government’s target of achieving zero carbon new homes by 2016 and achieve a major step change in Wales by 2011. It will also work towards significantly increasing the energy efficiency of the existing building stock in Wales, contributing towards the Welsh target of 3% annual reductions in emission reductions from 2011 onwards.

Reductions of 3% each year would enable Wales to achieve an 80% reduction before 2050. One method of reducing Wales’s carbon footprint is via improving the energy efficiency of buildings, as the direct and indirect consumption of energy from buildings generates approximately 40% of all carbon emissions in the UK.

The initiative was launched at the Built Environment and Climate Change Summit at the Wales Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, by Environment, Sustainability and Housing Minister Jane Davidson and Jonathon Porritt, Chair of the Sustainable Development Commission.

The SDC and DCfW were asked by Jane Davidson AM, to create a “coalition of the willing” of key stakeholders from the private, public and voluntary sectors that will commit to taking a “can do” approach to tacking climate change through the built environment.

Ms Davidson said:
“Today is another Wales first in the battle against climate change demonstrating our ‘can do’ attitude. We all believe early action is needed, and the charter confirms Wales’s commitment to do all we can to tackle climate change and reduce our carbon footprint. The built environment is the largest contributor to greenhouse gases in Wales. The way in which we construct and use our homes and other buildings accounts for 40% of our total carbon emissions. It is vital that all our new buildings are energy efficient and as green as possible. This charter is a demonstration of the coalition of the willing, of how diverse groups from all over Wales are ready to use their voice and powers to help Wales reduce its carbon footprint.”

Milica Kitson, chief executive of CEW said: “The sustainability message runs through all of our work and the starting point is to build in a collaborative manner and to minimise waste. The Coalition of the Willing demonstrates that the industry is right behind the battle against climate change. Working as a team we will be able to educate everyone in the supply chain that the way we construct homes and buildings has a direct impact not just on our built environment but our planet too.”

For further press information please contact Andrew Brown on 07795 547069 or email andrew@frankandbrown.com

About CEW
Constructing Excellence in Wales is the umbrella organisation for the construction industry in Wales. The long term goal is to improve the construction process in Wales and ensure the principles of rethinking construction outlined by the Egan and Latham reports become mainstream industry practice. Constructing Excellence in Wales (CEW) works with all parts of the industry – from Welsh Assembly Government, local government and health authorities, through to developers, construction firms and sole traders – to promote best practice.