CSIC and SEPA to drive net zero ambitions in construction Innovation centre and environmental regulator sign Sustainable Growth Agreement

  17 December 2021
Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC) and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) have signed a formal agreement to support a sustainable future for the built environment, championing innovation and inclusive growth.

The Sustainable Growth Agreement sets out a joint vision for the construction sector, recognising the need to build resilience and create more sustainable, thriving places for people to live and work. It builds on the existing relationship between CSIC and SEPA, with the organisations having worked together on a number of innovation projects, housing and infrastructure sector plans, and a funding call for circular construction initiatives, as well as a variety of industry workshops, conferences and events.

Focusing on three main areas, the partnership aims to support the industry’s journey to net zero, increase resilience in the built environment and encourage investment in green infrastructure. In practice, it will involve relationship building to bring the right people together at the right time, support for sector leaders and innovators to lead the transformation, and a focus on showcasing examples of innovation and future best practice across the supply chain.

Activities delivered as part of the agreement will focus on upskilling the construction workforce – from leadership to entry level – with a range of face-to-face training courses, practical sessions, webinars, and mentoring opportunities to develop the skills needed to deliver a low carbon built environment.

Both parties acknowledged the scale and urgency of the transformation needed to get the sector to zero carbon, with collaboration central to realising this ambition.

Stephen Good, CEO of CSIC, said: “With increased innovation and new ways of working across the processes, materials, systems and skills used by the built environment, we can create a sustainable future for Scotland. The buildings we live and work in, and how we build them, are central to our economic, social and environmental impact.

“This partnership with SEPA cements an already successful relationship which we hope to further build on with cross-sector collaboration for the benefit of the entire sector. As well as reaching net zero carbon targets, we have an opportunity laid out in front of us to create a better place in which current, and future, generations can work, learn, live and prosper.”

Terry A’Hearn, SEPA CEO, said: “We’re in the middle of a climate and nature emergency and we need to be taking steps to secure the prosperity and future of our planet. The construction industry literally builds the future, but the industry needs to reduce the resources it uses and create less waste to help create a prosperous future and meet the ambitious net zero targets set by Scottish Government.

“The Construction Scotland Innovation Centre is already delivering innovation that will drive net zero in the industry in Scotland, developing different ways of working. Swift, rapid innovation is the key to building and implementing those solutions and ensuring net zero targets are achieved.

“As a regulator, SEPA will stop bad practice in the industry, as a good regulator should. But we also need to encourage innovation. This Sustainable Growth Agreement (SGA) with Construction Scotland Innovation Centre will support this step change in the construction sector, tackling the risks and ensuring environmental compliance is the norm.”

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For more information, please contact:

Peter McFarlane, Frame: 07412 739 093 or peter.mcfarlane@framecreates.co.uk
Libby Keiller, Frame: 0714 285 202 or libby.keiller@framecreates.co.uk

Notes to editors

About Construction Scotland Innovation Centre
CSIC is Scotland’s national innovation centre for the built environment and one of Scotland’s seven innovation centres supported by Scottish Government, Scottish Funding Council and Scotland’s Enterprise Agencies. CSIC’s mission is to accelerate the built environment’s transition to zero carbon, and does this through a range of innovation, R&D, knowledge exchange and service design initiatives. Collaboration partners gain access to CSIC’s innovation ecosystem as well as a range of flexible tools and support services including an extensive network of academic experts and the Innovation Factory; the UK’s first dedicated digital manufacturing, prototyping and future skills centre of excellence. CSIC delivers impact across four interlinked programme areas; Digital Transformation, Modern Methods of Construction, Sustainability and Retrofit, and is supercharging change that will help achieve its vision of a better built environment that delivers inclusive and sustainable economic, social and environmental impact for Scotland and the planet.

About SEPA
Every day SEPA works to protect and enhance Scotland’s environment. SEPA believes that the only nations, societies and businesses which will thrive in the 21st century will be those which have developed ways to prosper within our planet’s capacity to support them, including adapting to and taking early action on climate change.

Scotland has committed to becoming a world leader in addressing climate change and is already taking ambitious steps to drive a low carbon economy, creating new opportunities for a stronger and more inclusive economy and society. SEPA’s job is to help make this happens, including working with and supporting people and groups in Scotland that share this aim.
Sustainable Growth Agreements (SGA) are voluntary, non-legally binding, formal agreements through which an organisation (or organisations) and SEPA can explore new and innovative ways of working that deliver environmental, social and economic success.

SGAs help create urgently needed business frameworks that facilitate more sustainable ways of working within our planet’s resources. The focus is on practical actions to deliver environmentally positive outcomes.