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New partnership helps to decarbonise North East England construction

(Left to right) Kate Lloyd, programme manager, CENE, Catriona Lingwood, chief executive, CENE, Anna-Lisa Mills, director, SmartCarbon Ltd.

Constructing Excellence in the North East (CENE) has partnered with SmartCarbon Ltd, to offer companies in the construction sector a rolling programme of activity to reduce their carbon emissions.

The Decarbonising North East England construction programme includes training, measurement activity and sharing of best practice to develop an industry framework for a net zero future.

The SmartCarbon Calculator enables organisations to calculate, report and therefore reduce their carbon footprint. The process is based on the internationally recognised Greenhouse Gas Protocol and uses the latest UK Government conversion factors and international energy agency factors, where relevant.

The programme is also in line with the OneVoice action plan, recently launched by the Construction Industry Council North East (CIC), Constructing Excellence North East (CENE), Construction Alliance NorthEast (CAN) and Generation for Change (G4C), as a rallying call to the region to become a beacon of best practice focusing on three key themes – climate, value and people.

Through OneVoice, the North East England construction industry has also pledged to support the North East England Climate Coalition (NEECCo) ambition of ‘Becoming England’s Greenest Region’.

The partnership between Constructing Excellence and SmartCarbon supports the climate theme within the OneVoice action plan, championing and facilitating the industry’s response to the climate change emergency.

Catriona Lingwood, chief executive at CENE, said: “Organisations across all sectors are becoming aware they need to be carbon neutral by 2050. However, we will be encouraging them to bring that date as far forward as possible. New measures set out by the Government will ensure businesses commit to net zero by 2050 before they can bid for major government contracts and this includes requirements from their supply chains to report their emissions.

“Through the OneVoice action plan and our subsequent partnership with SmartCarbon we are offering organisations three clear steps. The first is the Climate Reality Check, free to CENE members, with a nominal fee for non-members.

“Step two is the Carbon Champion Course which is Institute for Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) and Northumbria University accredited and subsidised by CENE for both members and construction companies in the region. Using the SmartCarbon Calculator, where we offer a 10% discount to CENE members, is the third step which records their carbon emissions and enables organisations to identify where and how they can make further reductions.

“Any organisation already measuring their carbon can easily and free of charge, add their regional carbon emissions to the CENE dashboard enabling us to start building up a picture of carbon emissions for the sector in the North East. The dashboard will provide an overview of the industry, not specific details of individual companies.

“Alongside SmartCarbon and with the support of the CENE Climate Change Group, NEECCo and Built Environment Group, we will create a framework for collective improvement, one which supports organisations, reports activity, highlights best practice and drives down carbon emissions for a better environment in North East England.”

Sam Dixon, architect, JDDK architects, said: “We have been using the SmartCarbon calculator since 2019 to calculate the carbon footprint of our business. It is an invaluable tool that is easy to use and ensures our calculations are accurate and up-to-date with the latest Government conversion factors.”

To find out more about SmartCarbon programme and to sign up, please visit: Decarbonising NEE Construction – powered by SmartCarbon – CENE


(Left to right) Kate Lloyd, programme manager, CENE, Catriona Lingwood, chief executive, CENE, Anna-Lisa Mills, director, SmartCarbon Ltd.

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