Welcome to our November E Bulletin

Politics is everywhere right now. But construction has issues too. What’s the most important? Andrew Brown, CEWales Director, believes how the construction industry responds to climate change is top of the agenda

On the 11th November, The National Federation of Builders issued a report that is designed to raise awareness to the climate crisis and asks how the construction industry can respond. But it also provides an answer. Not an evangelical, tub thumping demand, but a subtle suggestion: why not include carbon accounting in the procurement process. It doesn’t say exactly that, I have given you my impression. But why not? We all know that the procurement process for all elements of construction needs challenging. That’s why the Office of the Future Generation Commissioner is reviewing procurement across the public sector. It is why almost 50-people attended the CEWales Leadership Forum dedicated to procurement. Procurement is one of the major issues that will be scrutinised when the Grenfell inquiry places construction in the spotlight. And if we agree that there is a major climate crisis threatening our future generations and that our built environment must shift to guarantee healthy lives and improved wellbeing then should not a form of carbon accounting become standard in all procurement processes and then in all forms of cost and value management? I think it is a no brainer and I applaud the NFB for driving the idea. What’s more I think everyone should read the editorial leader from Lem Bingley in last week’s Construction News. He makes some excellent points about how construction must shift its focus and he backs the NFB’s arguments. So should we. What’s more we should demand more specific detail from our political parties about how they intend to respond to climate change and what part they envisage for Welsh construction in that process. That’s why CEWales is pushing each of the Welsh political parties for their opinions and detailed ideas about what they expect from construction. The encouraging thing is that industry is full of ideas – many examples of which are in this week’s newsletter. The worry is this: are the politicians listening? Will they listen? We need to shout louder and with one voice. And that is why we believe that now more than ever Wales needs CEWales and the construction industry needs the national Constructing Excellence movement.