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New construction summit for 2015 promises to be ‘industry-led’

Plans for a new conference organised by the Construction Industry Council and the Strategic Forum for Construction aim to create an industry-led platform to debate issues that extend beyond the government’s procurement agenda. The Construction Industry Summit on

8-9 September 2015 is badged as “being organised by the industry, for the industry, to engage and empower stakeholders from across all sectors of the built environment to achieve and deliver the vision set out in the Industrial Strategy Construction 2025 manifesto”. Graham Watts, chief executive of the CIC,

told CM: “We’re running a construction summit that isn’t run for the industry by the government, where the industry can decide which of the wide variety of subjects current at the time will be on the agenda.” Peter Hansford, chief construction

adviser, said: "The global construction market is forecast to grow over 70% by 2025 and the government is working with the UK construction industry to ensure that British companies are well placed to

take advantage of the opportunities that this presents. The Construction Industry Summit is an invitation to everyone in the industry have their say in the Construction 2025 vision going forward." It is to be led by the CIC and the SFfC, a

grouping of industry organisations that has kept a low profi le in recent years. Originally set up as a tri-partite forum uniting the government, industry and unions, it currently consists solely of industry organisations: the Construction Products Association; the CIC; the National Specialist Contractors Council and the Specialist Engineering Contractors Group; and the Civil Engineering Contractors Association, NFB and FMB. Diana Montgomery, chief executive of

the CPA, said that the group had been active behind the scenes in supporting the Construction 2025 agenda. “The forum is meeting regularly and

over the past year has reshaped itself to better take this work forward. The SFfC will be activity supporting the Industry summit to ensure it is a successful event.”

CIOB urges Carillion to ‘make a difference’ in Qatar

The CIOB has urged Carillion engage with the underlying issues that can lead to labour abuse in Qatar, rather than making the knee-jerk response of sacking the sub-contractor. The BBC's Newsnight programme last

month interviewed two migrant labourers working on the US$627.5m Msheireb Downtown Doha project. One had been exploited by a

recruitment agency that withheld most of his earnings, and one complained of poor safety practices on the site. The project is being built by a joint

venture led by the UK’s second biggest contractor, Carillion. The operatives were working for labour supply companies hired by Carillion's subcontractors. Carillion said it would launch “an immediate review... to establish the position and take appropriate action”. The CIOB's position is based on its

fi rst-hand experience of the Qatari labour market, drawn from the Member's Forum and related conference last year. During the event, the CIOB signed a

Memorandum of Understanding with the Qatar Foundation, which is a client in several public sector projects (see left) and is also a modernising force in Qatar. The CIOB also urged Carillion to

consult with the Qatar Foundation and Amnesty International on the issues. The CIOB statement said: “We hope

that the response is appropriate to dealing with the issues the workers face. The typical response in such cases has usually resulted in the plight of the workers going from bad to a humanitarian disaster where the workers are left in a limbo with no work, nowhere to live and no means of getting home and at risk to even more unscrupulous operators.”


report still withheld

The Green Construction Board report that reveals the industry's carbon footprint in 2008-12 actually increased in real terms – instead shrinking by the target of 15% - is now due to be published on the GCB website in January. The publication date has slipped

six months from the date the report was originally “signed off”. It is to be accompanied by the fi nal assessment of the industry and WRAP's “Halve Waste to Landfi ll” challenge, and a study on water usage in the industry. Both are understood to have been completed at the end of September. The carbon report reveals that the

industry's onsite emissions, transport emissions and offi ce energy use fell by 6% in 2008-12. But because workload fell by 9% in that period, the true picture is that overall performance on carbon emissions actually worsened. Writing on CM's website, Paul Toyne,

chair of the GCB's carbon infrastructure group, pointed out that there had been some successes in 2008-12, marred by the failure to make substantial progress on site-related emissions. He revealed: “As an industry we

achieved big carbon reductions in freight logistics (down 17%), offsite and modular assembly (14%) and the biggest saving of all was in business travel which fell by a third. However, “onsite construction” activities, which account for over 40% of total emissions, rose by 13%.” The report was compiled from data submitted by some members of the UK Contractors Group and the Civil Engineering Contractors Association. The UKCG declined to comment prior to

publication, but CECA chief executive Alasdair Reisner told CM that its members' perfomance on carbon was now improving. “CECA is currently working on its

fi gures for 2013. In 2012, which is the last year for which we have data, infrastructure contractors saw a slight decline in CO2 emissions per £1m of turnover, from 56 tonnes to 53,” he said. “However the case for cutting carbon further is unassailable, as by doing so we should also cut the cost of delivery, offering more effi ciency for customers.”


“Business travel fell by a third, but onsite construction emissions, which account for over 40% of total emissions, rose by 13%”

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