Editor: It is great to see Property Week examining how developers are addressing carbon emissions, but individual businesses cannot do this on their own. We need a planning and regulatory system that is more supportive.
The macro target of reducing carbon emissions by 80% (compared to 1990) by 2050 is not being pursued at a local level – there is often insufficient guidance or scrutiny from planning officers, which means buildings are delivered with only a cursory nod to sustainability.
Germany and several Scandinavian countries are far better at translating national targets into local regulations and the UK must follow suit.
In addition, I fear the UK will be fighting a losing battle on carbon emissions until we are more stringent about conducting post occupancy studies. Most of the data on carbon emissions is based on projections made at the planning and development stage – not on the performance of a building over its life cycle.
There needs to be a change of mindset whereby we continuously evaluate and improve, rather than propose sweeping changes to design and construction.
It is great to see some companies making great strides on carbon emissions, but we need a more holistic and quantifiable approach.
Joyce Chan, head of sustainability, HOK London